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Purr-fect Press Conference

by AFP

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa politician’s livestream features him and other officials with cat whiskers, ears

A politician in northwestern Pakistan was given paws for thought after his press conference was streamed live on Facebook with the “cat filter” turned on, giving him on-screen whiskers and ears.

The online stream of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa lawmaker Shaukat Yousafzai speaking with journalists went viral on Friday after a member of his social media team accidentally activated the filter on the social network. Comments started pouring in as Facebook users noticed pink cat-like ears and whiskers had appeared on the heads of the minister and two accompanying officials.

There’s “a cat in the cabinet” one said. Others were more literal: “Shaukat Yousafzai looks like a cat—Meow meow meow.”

The video—seen by an AFP reporter—was deleted from the official Facebook page of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which is in power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, minutes after the press conference concluded.

Images from the press conference were still available on social media.

Yousafzai confirmed the incident and told AFP it happened by accident. “The cat filter was turned on by mistake,” Yousafzai said, adding “let’s not take everything so seriously.”

“I wasn’t the only one—two officials sitting along me were also hit by the cat filter,” he joked.

The livestream continued with the whiskers and ears in place, even after the error was pointed out by users. A press statement, issued by the PTI social media team said the incident happened because of “human error.”

“All necessary actions have been taken to avoid such incidents in future,” it said.

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