Thursday, 20 May 2010

The latest from the Facebook

As reported in Herald Sun (Australia), "Facebook is disappointed at being blocked in Pakistan over a contest that encourages users to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed and may make the offending page inaccessible to users there."

Either it has been reported that way or it is really so lame. "We are very disappointed with the Pakistani courts' decision to block Facebook without warning, and suspect our users there feel the same way," Facebook said according to the news report. Maybe some users feel that way but most I know are appluading the ban (a good place to get an idea of general reaction is one of the recent posts on Teethmaestro Blog).

I also happily accepted the ban at least till May 31 but there is something about this recent statement from Facebook which makes me feel I can go along with a permanent ban. The Facebook representative is reported to have said, "We will take appropriate action, which may include making this content inaccessible to users in Pakistan."

Wow! So it is wrong if my own government prevents me and it is right when Facebook does the same! If it's going to be someone else's decision how I access the Internet then I prefer it to be my government rather than Facebook.

Facebook still did not agree to remove that "offensive page". It is simply offering, oh so graciously, to make the page invisible for Pakistani users. Worse than having that page in the first place, actually, because it means that the page stays there but only Pakistani users become unable to notice it. That is a huge concession Facebook people are asking for themselves and yet making it sound as if they are offering a favor.

Something else in the Facebook statement is even more dubious. Reportedly the statement from the Palo Alto, California-based social network said, "We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others..." (Sounds like Ms. Anne Patterson announcing before the world that the US authorities have "no definitive knowledge" about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's children). The statement goes on to say, "We don't typically take down content, groups or pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas."

But sometimes they do. Not very long ago they took down the page of People's Resistance, a broad-based Pakistani group working for the restoration of judiciary in Pakistan. Facebook removed that page (not just making it inaccessible in Pakistan). It also sent warnings to the group. (Read about this on Teeth Maestro).

So, Facebook does not "typically" do that but "a-typically" it removed a page that was calling for peaceful restoration of judiciary in Pakistan. That stupid contest of May 20 is a big deal but restoration of judiciary in Pakistan is a trivial matter that Facebook team did not even mention it while making these blanket statements?

Facebook might be disappointed with the Pakistani courts' decision but many Pakistani users were disappointed with Facebook already, and after reading this statement I feel: social media network, my foot! Is this the kind of people I would like to trust for my social media networking?


Thinking said...

hmm...Shafique Sahib...this is very low of FaceBook to react in this way...

I also decided to delete my facebook account when I can access it again...

But here deleting your account from FACEBOOK would not bring any difference I guess...because...this is what WEST isolate us...because first they took our freedom and sense of security now they are attacking our dignity...

Soon...we will became insane due to lack of social relationships.

I think...its time to turn back to our own literature and history to revive what we have lost...during the exposure of west.

Long ago...there were Muslims who are the ruler of the world...what had they their books...what had their course books contains...? We should bring that back into our education system...hmm

ReeBz said...

Social media network, my foot! Is this the kind of people I would like to trust for my my social media networking?

My foot Too! Damn!! i hate FACEBBOOK! i hate it so much that i'm going to put a permanent ban on facebook for myself. and all of my friends have same views.

Thats so amazing,If we are banning the page then its bad, but if you do the same then its an offer!! Oh i HATE facebook even more now!!

Facebook is disappointed by the courts decision cause obviously its going to cause them a loss.But this offer is to save their future in PAkistan. Simply they are trying to say that if such stupid pages are made invisible to PAkistan, then there will be no loss for FB and no protests in Pakistan!!

I hate this freedom of speech.Few western are getting offended by a pic on my blog with a placard"freedom of speech is western terrorism" and demanding removal of my blog from the blogger, well they are offended by such a harmless picture, where is my right of freedom of speech and freedom of opinion!?
Even some of them threatened me that i can lose my one arm if i ever try to slap them on their face to explain them what is freedom of speech!?( i quoted M.Rizwans comment which he left at ur first entry)
DAMN! i hate them ALL!

Muhammad Hamza said...

What does Facebook think,we can't live without it.No way.I'm gonna delete my account today.
Wonderful post with very relevant information.

Connie L. Nash said...

Helpful research for which I'm most grateful, Shafique Sahib!

And your anger -even hate is so understandable, ReeBz and others.

I awoke wanting also to reconsider and may delete my account as well. I am also refusing to use facebook indefinitely and wanting solidarity with you at RR.

Meantime, I'm wanting to get time to write, send and post an Open Letter MANY places addressed to Facbook, the US government, my own and others' sites...

The one caution I want to make here is this:

REMEMBER, there are MANY of your relatives here: by blood, religious and related (by nature and by heart) some who chose to be here and some WHO DID NOT.

Plz find ways, Facebook or not, to NOT allow this kind of power to FORCE isolation.

This world and the US don't need to be isolated from Pakistan nor Pakistan from the World and the US.

Neither should your kindred - and I consider myself one - be thus isolated...

We NEED one another more than ever...let's not let the newly arrived military bullies (who may be behind some of these sorts of attempts at isolated us) force Facebook and other groups into this obscene action without regret or reverse of arrogance.

Do remember also there are other options beyond Facebook. And perhaps someone in your nation might use this as a means of beginning an Eastern-based social
networking system that will be more accessible, much more courteous and ethical and less controlled by the West? IF so, I'd love to sign on now.

Connie L. Nash said...

I would love your input and/or suggestions if you'd like to contribute to this OPEN LETTER. More the better. Just remember it's going to go MANY places.

Connie L. Nash said...

Since I found the Honour Prophet Muhammad Campaign, I decided at least for now to encourage this positive "witness" on fb and elsewhere before I decide what else to do.