Pakistan has launched official complained with Facebook for blocking the accounts of Pakistani users who are posting material in the support of Kashmiri people and against Indian atrocities and occupation. Major General Asif Ghafoor, the DG ISPR said the following on Twitter yesterday, “Pakistan authorities have taken up the case with Twitter and Facebook against suspending Pakistani accounts for posting in support of Kashmir. Indian staff at their regional headquarters is the reason.”
Facebook champion itself for respecting the freedom of expression and free speech. But on Kashmir it has double standards. Facebook and Twitter has in fact become the tool to spread one sided propaganda and point of view of Indian government on the social media. Facebook is curbing the free speech and freedom of expression like the mainstream media. Social media giants are neither free nor fair when it comes to reporting on US, Israel and India.
For Facebook, anything contrary to the official Indian state propaganda and narrative on IOK is harmful and fall under the category of extreme ideas. Anything which support the legitimate cause of Kashmiri struggle to won their freedom and rights is dangerous for Facebook to publish and stare. Just the use of term IOK is not suitable to be used on Facebook. All these decisions are being taken by the people sitting in board room of Facebook. So handful of board members will determine what is right or wrong for the social media users. This is called censorship and that is what Facebook is doing.
Kashmiris have been blocked from mainstream Indian media. Their voices have not been heard through the mainstream media. Kashmiri voices must hear. Social media is the only platform for Kashmiri people to express themselves and raise their voices. But Facebook is also blocking them. But Kashmir needs to be heard, however it can be, and we all need to pay a bit more attention. Facebook too needs to pay more attention to Kashmiri voices. Don’t kill their voices, instead let them speak and express themselves.
One is free to criticise and to spread misinformation and fake news on social media regarding Russia and China. But when it comes to India, Israel and America then even the facts and truth becomes harmful. Facebook has two faces, one is for India, Israel and America and the other for Russia, China and Kashmir. Hypocrisy is at its best.
Over the last one week, multiple Pakistanis have taken to twitter to report that accounts were being suspended after they posted about Kashmir. The Indian government officials have admitted, on social media, to putting pressure on Twitter to suspend accounts tweeting in favour of Kashmir and against the Indian occupation regime. Hundreds of social media accounts of Pakistani users have been suspended or blocked by Facebook and Twitter in last two weeks.
Thousands of accounts have been disabled to share content and tag friends on their accounts. I am also victim of this censorship by Facebook. After writing couple of reports and articles against the Indian atrocities, repression and brutal use of force in Indian occupied Kashmir; I cannot share content and tag friends on my Facebook account.
Facebook is using the worst kind of censorship to hide the truth and facts regarding the situation in IOK. Facebook and Twitter is allowing the Indian government and its supporters to spread all kind of misinformation and propaganda but blocking and censoring the alternate views.
Facebook and Twitter are not allowing any content regarding Kashmir for promotions. Facebook is specially censoring the pro-Kashmir and anti-India content. Both the Facebook and Twitter are violating the freedom of expression and free speech. Facebook is using the censorship to stop the independent views and news on its platform.
The Indian government officials have admitted, on social media, to putting pressure on Twitter to suspend accounts tweeting in favour of Kashmir and against the Indian occupation regime.
Facebook has the greatest number of fact checking partners in India, followed by the United States, according to the Poynter Institute. The numbers, Poynter said, are a reflection of where the majority of Facebook’s users are situated. There are 250 million Facebook users in India. India and America are business hubs for Facebook. So the business interests are much more important for Facebook and twitter than the gross violations of human rights, democratic rights and economic rights.
Facebook is clearly working to protect the Indian interests in occupied Kashmir to get more business from Indian market. Indian money is much more important than the lives of Kashmiri people. Facebook and Twitter knows that India has blocked internet, communications and media in IOK. Social media is the only platform where the plight of Kashmiri people can be shown and shared. So Facebook and twitter is helping the Indian government to suppress on line freedom of expression.
Facebook is acting like vigilante for the Indian government; taking out everything it doesn’t want known. Facebook is not only blocking articles, news reports, posts, pictures and videos but also deleting pages and removing contents. Facebook has introduced the censorship regime likes of authoritarian governments. Free speech is the essence of democracy and so is opposition to war, colonialism, and occupation. Facebook must be exposed for the worst kind of censorship to please the Indian government.
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13 November, 2019