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Facebook censorship! Kashmir posts deleted?

fACEBOOK Activists and academics in Kashmir are a harried lot. They are complaining that the social media website Facebook has been censoring posts on Kashmir.

Recently the valley was shrouded in a bloodbath with nearly 48 protesting people dead and a curfew had been imposed in the area. Security measures had been tightened, vigilance increased and Facebook monitored. The posts of Indian-administered Kashmir on Facebook have been removed and profile pages of people posting permanently deleted.

Calling it as ‘violation of community standards’, Facebook has removed all posts regarding the glorious valley, Kashmir. The academics and activists are miffed and have hurled accusations at the Silicon Valley giant, for censoring their posts. The users who were using Facebook to update posts on Kashmir violence and flashing these posts in US, Britain, Pakistan and India have had to give up their Facebook accounts for good. Their profiles have been deleted completely by Facebook.

The region has seen a lot of unrest and there have been protests against the Indian adminitration, by the Muslims living in the area. Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter started the wide-scale protests in the area. People are protesting against the Government forces.

Huma Dar, an academic and professor at the University of California Berkeley, who basically belongs to Kashmir had posted a few pictures of Burhan Wani and his funeral’s video. Facebook had immediately disabled her account and refused to reactivate it.

Professor Dibyesh Anand of London’s Westminster University also reported a similar experience. His posts of the actions taken by the Indian security forces to deal with the unrest were also removed twice. He was miffed and stated that Facebook had apologized to him but “they blocked a second time within a day, again for 24 hours for a mild post. When a conspicuous number of posts relating to Indian state violence in Kashmir get removed by Facebook and profiles of academics and writers blocked, it is clear that there is censorship,” confirmed Anand.

Almost three thousand people including hundreds of Police personnel have been gravely injured in the violent clashes and Srinagar’s hospitals are overflowing with patients requiring immediate attention of the medical fraternity. No mobile networks, curfew, suspended internet and restriction of the pen are the status in the valley. Complaining about the removal of her posts, Mary Scully, a social activist based in US stated, that hers had been deleted after Facebook cited community standards.

Now a petition for investigation has been started urging Facebook to understand that “None of the posts removed have violated Facebook’s community standards of hate speech or incitement to violence but have only portrayed the violence being perpetrated against the Kashmiri people,” this is what the petition states. Facebook maintains a staid silence on the account, so its wait till more!

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