Source: Pakistan Today
BY SYED M MURTAZA
Pakistan’s social media crack-down is officially aimed at weeding out blasphemy and shutting down accounts promoting terrorism, but civil rights activists say it has also swept up writers and bloggers who criticize the government or military.
In light of this, A senior Facebook official met with Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, to discuss a demand that the company prevent blasphemous content or Pakistan would block its users from the site’s access.
The meeting comes after a Pakistani counter-terrorism court sentenced 30 year old man Taimoor Raza who was accused of making negative remarks about religious figures, as part of a wider crackdown.
Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy met with the interior minister, who offered to approve a Facebook office in Pakistan, given that the country has an estimated 33 millions of the social network.
Khan said Pakistan believes in freedom of expression, but that doesn’t include insulting islam or stoking religious tensions.
We cannot allow anyone to misuse social media for hurting religious sentiments – Khan said
Facebook met with Pakistan officials to express the company’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of the people who use its service, and to enabling people to express themselves freely and safely – the company said in an email.
Facebook said that the meeting was “important and constructive” and that they were concerned over the recent court cases and made it clear that they would apply a strict legal process to any government request for data or content restrictions.