Discrimination by Facebook


CERTAINLY propagation of fake news should be discouraged on the social media without any discrimination but it is really unfortunate and condemnable that those presenting facts to the people by using different platforms are being deprived of their freedom of expression.
The latest victim of the discriminatory action is Radio Pakistan as the Facebook has blocked the national broadcaster’s live streaming for highlighting Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir. Radio Pakistan is the mother of all media outlets in the country and is regarded one of the most credible sources of information not only in Pakistan but also abroad, and this is the reason that often the national broadcaster is quoted by several foreign media. The very action of Facebook against Radio Pakistan is totally uncalled for and it appears that the Facebook and Twitter have become hostage in the Indian hands. By choking the voice of Radio Pakistan, which was only presenting facts about actual situation in the IoK, Facebook has proved itself standing with the oppressor rather than the oppressed. Apart from Facebook, Twitter has also been seen in the past suspending accounts of those trying to project the true face of India before the world. In fact, Pakistan leads in number of censorship requests sent to Facebook. Of the 17,807 content restrictions made by Facebook globally, the highest number – over 31% – of the requests originated from Pakistan between January and July 2019. Facebook restricted 5,690 items within Pakistan during the first half of 2019, as compared to 4,174 pieces from the second half of 2018. Twitter has also faced a lot of criticism over removal of hundreds of tweets critical of the Indian government’s policies in occupied Kashmir. Firstly, our authorities concerned should immediately lodge strong protest with the administration of these social media platforms and get the accounts restored especially the live streaming of Radio Pakistan’s bulletins on Facebook as it is truly highlighting the plight of innocent Kashmiris by reaching to millions of followers. As also pointed out by Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan while addressing a news conference on Monday, Pakistan has to move away from international social media platforms in order to become more self-reliant. We will rather suggest that the Muslim countries should join hands and develop their own social media platforms to effectively raise the voice of oppressed people.

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