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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Facebook blocks live broadcasting of Pakistan BC on Kashmir

A transparency report Facebook released in November said 31% of the total 17,807 items banned worldwide in January-July was from Pakistan

Facebook has banned live streaming of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for news bulletins related to Jammu and Kashmir. Temporary arrangements have been made to continue live streaming of Radio Pakistan‘s bulletins on YouTube, according to Radio Pakistan and The Dawn.

Radio Pakistan has added screenshots of early warning messages received from social-media giant Facebook to its report. Facebook has warned the Pakistani broadcaster about the violation of standards on dangerous individuals and organisations.

The posts were specifically related to the news of the curfew imposed after the death of Hizb ul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in July and the death of its terror operative Zakir Musa in May.

On Monday in Islamabad, Firdaus Ashiq Awan, assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan for Information and Broadcasting Affairs, said Pakistan would have to distance itself from international social media platforms to become more self-reliant. Regarding Kashmir, he said, “As we have seen, every time we try to highlight human rights abuses on social media platforms, accounts are closed on platforms like Facebook.”

Firdaus Ashiq Awan questioned this, saying, “We have raised our voice against this earlier and will do so again in future and restore those accounts again.”

Facebook censored dozens of posts related to Wani’s death in 2016. In addition to photos and videos for posting about the valley, accounts of academics and journalists, as well as entire pages of local newspapers, were removed.

According to a recent transparency report released by Facebook in November, 31% of the total 17,807 contents banned worldwide from January to July 2019 was from Pakistan. Facebook banned 5,690 items of Pakistan during the first half of 2019. Earlier, 4,174 contents of Pakistan were banned during the second half of 2018.

Whenever the Indian government takes a major action in Jammu and Kashmir on a separatist leader, there are provocative posts from Pakistan broadcast through various local news channels and on social media. On 5 August, after the Indian parliament repealed Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan posted provocative content about the development that were plain lies. This is the reason Facebook is taking action on the propaganda of the neighbouring country.

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