26 March 2017
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  • » 03/17/2017, 10.26

    PAKISTAN

    Islamabad asks for help from Facebook to block online blasphemy



    The Government asks for experts to track user comments. The social media giant, however, wants to protect the rights and privacy of its users. The unstated goal is to control the activities of dissidents, including the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped last month.

     

    Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The government in Islamabad has asked Facebook to collaborate in the fight against the blasphemous comments on its pages.

    Yesterday, the Interior Ministry spokesman said that the social media giant has agreed to send a team of experts to investigate offensive remarks about Muhammad. But while the Pakistani authorities expect collaboration, the Facebook management is more cautious and has not confirmed the dispatch of experts.

    Indeed, France Press reports that Facebook has only said it will consider Islamabad’s requests, always keeping in mind "the goal of protecting the privacy and the rights of our users."

    The issue came to the fore this week when the High Court launched an investigation into the content published on social networks that might be offensive to religious feelings of Muslim believers. Specifically under review are the online activities of the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped in January and who reappeared after a month of imprisonment and torture.

    Ever since the story of dissident intellectuals came to light, most likely made to disappear in order to silence their criticism of the extremist circles in the government and armed forces, critics complain about abuse of control by the authorities. Not only that, they often consider the accusation of blasphemy, which in Pakistan is punishable by the death penalty, is being used to suppress minorities.

    The premier Nawaz Sharif has come out in support of the  judges investigation, stating that anyone who insults Mohammed "commits an unforgivable offense." Previously, however, he said that soon Pakistan will be "friend of minorities", enhancing dialogue and inter-religious harmony between the communities.

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    See also

    20/05/2010 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
    Pakistan: after Facebook, the blasphemy law also blocks YouTube
    The Telecommunications Authority decided to close the website that allows the sharing of videos. Behind the decision, the transfer from Facebook to YouTube of material that offends the prophet Muhammad. Some Wikipedia pages also obscured.

    30/08/2011 UZBEKISTAN
    Tashkent launches 'state-run Facebook'
    Mulogot, Uzbekistan’s first social network, is born. Sponsored by Government, it aims to keep a closer control of Internet users. Activists: Karimov fears Arabic style revolution.

    04/10/2012 INDIA
    India: Blog, Facebook and Twitter, the new frontier for evangelization
    Fr. Errol Fernandes SJ, an expert in communication and new technologies, says new technologies are among the "best tools" to get in touch with others. Not surprisingly, he notes, Benedict XVI has chosen the theme " Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization " for the next World Day of Social Communications.

    04/07/2016 14:20:00 CHINA
    China launches crackdown against spreading of fake news from social media

    The Chinese government already exercises widespread controls over the internet and has sought to codify that policy in law. Officials say internet restrictions, including the blocking of popular foreign sites like Google and Facebook, are needed to ensure security in the face of rising threats, such as terrorism, and stop the spread of damaging rumors.



    10/01/2014 SAUDI ARABIA
    Twitter's growth among Saudi users "highest in the world"
    A study shows that the number of users rose by 45 per cent between 2012 and 2013. Religious figures have the most followers. Fundamentalist theologian Mohammad al-Arefi ranks first with 7.5 million followers, but three moderate Muslims follow.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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