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Censorship Social Networks

Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page 677

Posted by StoneLion
from the never-again-until-the-next-time dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "Facebook is back in Pakistan today. A day after Bangladesh banned the social networking site, the Pakistani government lifted its ban after officials from Facebook apologized for the 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' page and removed it from the site. The page caused outrage and protests among Pakistan's Muslim population, and led to the ban two weeks ago. A spokesman for Pakistan's office of information technology said Facebook assured the government 'nothing of this sort will happen in the future.'"
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Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page

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  • pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:36AM (#32406840) Homepage

    way to cave face book. please move your hq to islamabad.

    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:50AM (#32407000) Homepage
      Not even something like this? [facebook.com] and that's just with a 10 second search.
    • Re:pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:50AM (#32407002)

      Exactly.

      We just became a little more Islamic fundamentalist by giving into their way of life, rather than standing up for freedom.

      Facebook, you suck.

      I'm so tired of people bending over for Muslims and their way of life. Muslims will NEVER give us an inch, so we we give up our freedom? What a shit deal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cduffy (652)

        sed -i \
          -e s/Islamic// \
          -e 's/[.] Muslims/. Fundamentalists/' \
          -e s/Muslims/fundamentalists/

        With those replacements made, is the position espoused something you would support? Why or why not?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by siride (974284)
          For me, yes. Any fundamentalist ideology is extremely dangerous to peace and sanity.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Of course. However the discussion here is decidedly about MUSLIMS. Does that make you uncomfortable? Why or why not?

          8===> O:

          ^^ That is Muhammad sucking cock. Does that make you uncomfortable? Why or why not?

          I could go on all day you want to be troll.

    • Re:pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:48AM (#32407648)

      I have just one question.

      Am I the only one who doesn't give a flying fuck about what facebook censors, as long as it doesn't affect me?

      It's not like it's a fundamental need. If they ever bother me, I'll stop using it.

      I'm not interested in what they do with the info I post, as I consider it about as secure as screaming that info in a train station. I'm not interested in whether they cave in to fundamentalist claims, nor any other kinds of claims; I don't use it as a platform to spread my religious disbeliefs. I'm simply not interested on the politics of Facebook.

      Just as I wouldn't care if gmail decided to write "ISLAM IS THE BEST!!!!1111 lololol" in every mail sent by someone in the middle east. As long as I find it useful I'll use it. As soon as it bothers me, I'll stop using it.

      Would you care if the S of slashdot was actually a picture of a million diminute swasticas?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bbbaldie (935205)
      What the world needs is more people with thick skins.
  • Why, why, why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DogDude (805747) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:40AM (#32406898) Homepage
    Why do all of you Facebook bitches still use it? It's like Facebook is an abusive husband, and y'all just keep going back again and again.
  • by Jawnn (445279) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:41AM (#32406906)
    So as soon as the furor has died down, and the controversy is no longer driving as much traffic to Facebook as Pakistan's ban reduced it, Facebook decides to "do the right thing". The right thing, that is, to make the numbers.
    I rather enjoyed deluding myself that Facebook was standing up for free expression, denouncing idiotic religious extremism, etc., but I now realize the folly of that thinking. Thank you, Facebook, for restoring my faith in the utterly amoral nature of American business.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:53AM (#32407026) Homepage Journal

      So as soon as the furor has died down, and the controversy is no longer driving as much traffic to Facebook as Pakistan's ban reduced it, Facebook decides to "do the right thing". The right thing, that is, to make the numbers.

      Yes, Facebook sure has done all they can to eliminate the group. [facebook.com]

      I rather enjoyed deluding myself that Facebook was standing up for free expression, denouncing idiotic religious extremism, etc., but I now realize the folly of that thinking.

      That was pretty silly given that Facebook's founder thinks his users are idiots.

      Thank you, Facebook, for restoring my faith in the utterly amoral nature of American business.

      Maybe Zuckerberg thinks it's holy to make money.

      • ...from search.

        Yes, Facebook sure has done all they can to eliminate the group.

        When I saw the news, I checked, and the group appeared to be gone. However, by finding a URL to access it, I was able to see it. So it looks as if what Facebook has done is ensure that the group doesn't appear in search results unless you're already a member or have "Like"d it.

        Sneaky. I wonder if it will be enough to keep the followers of the invisible sky wizard in blissful ignorance?

    • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:53AM (#32407032)
      If a newspaper in Denmark, a prominently non-muslim country, can't do the same without being subjected with worldwide cannon fire from muslim authorities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy), what are the chances that a website in a muslim country would fare any better?
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:44AM (#32406928) Journal

    The world is full of these types now in our age of appeasement. Another repeat of history is almost due. And after such a short time, while people are still alive from the last time this happened. UGH! Sickening!

  • What are the rules? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg (148257) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:46AM (#32406946) Journal

    First Facebook redefines its privacy policies making private data public.

    Now it yanks a political expression page because the page offends another group.

    One might be inclined to think Facebook Zucks.

    • by canajin56 (660655) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:10AM (#32407204)
      Well, except on May 24th the creators of the "Everybody Draw Mohammad" page deleted it themselves. Note that although the Slashdot summary says Facebook deleted it, the actual article only quotes FB as saying "The page has been removed" without ever declaring that they did so themselves. The stated reason is it became a 24/7 job to delete the endless flood of people calling for genocide against the muslims, and people posting gay porn of Obama and Muhammad (roughly 90% of the image submissions), or posting Muslims being disemboweled by assorted Aryan Americans. (I'm sure they were also tired of doing the converse). Naturally, pulling the page caused those same people to turn their hatred on the creators, calling them secret Muslim terrorists, and expressing murderous outrage that they ever dared to censor in the first place.
      • by jmichaelg (148257) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:43AM (#32408180) Journal

        Do you have a reference that FB had no role in yanking the page? This article [huffingtonpost.com] says:

        Pakistan lifted a ban on Facebook on Monday after officials from the social networking site apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents, a top information technology official said.

        Further in, it continues:

        Facebook assured the Pakistani government that "nothing of this sort will happen in the future," Malik said.
        Officials from the website could not immediately be reached for comment. They said earlier the contents of the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" page did not violate Facebook's terms.

        Maybe Malik got his facts wrong or he's outright lying but given FB's recent mendacity about what is and isn't private, it's hard to know who is telling the truth.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:46AM (#32406952)

    Yeah! Selective censorship fixes EVERYTHING! Just cave into the most aggressive believers, and you tend to generate more aggressive believers.

    So, what happens when 1000+ pages are now created, celebrating Draw Mohammad Month, Draw Mohammad Brunch, Draw Mohammad Restaurant, Finger-Paint Mohammad with your Toes, Bake a Mohammad Cake, etc., etc.

    If you ban all mockery of religion that gets offended, then many religions will suddenly decide to get offended - and many groups will decide to define themselves as religion in order to get the censorship ability.

    There's always going to be overlap between validly interpreting religion as an outsider, and taking an insulting view from the perspective of an insider - making that perceived insult a crime is equivalent to making observations as an outsider a crime. I am not prohibited from drawing Mohammad. Creating a system where I am prohibited is saying my view isn't as valid as the aggressive believers in that space.

    Ryan Fenton

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dosun88888 (265953)

      [i]If you ban all mockery of religion that gets offended, then many religions will suddenly decide to get offended - and many groups will decide to define themselves as religion in order to get the censorship ability.[/i]

      We kinda missed that boat, though. To get people to give a crap what your group says about anything you need two things.

      1) Ability to do a lot of damage.

      2) A lot of followers.

      3) The reputation of being completely unreasonable.

      If you're just a psycho with a few people in the club they'll ta

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015)

        If you're just a psycho with a few people in the club they'll take you out like you're a Branch Davidian. If muslims never killed people or hijacked planes nobody would give a crap about them. To be fair, if the christians never had the crusades nobody would give a crap about them either.

        I agree. I've heard it said that a cult becomes a religion when it begins to kill people outside its own membership.

  • by bersl2 (689221) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:48AM (#32406986) Journal

    SLAY THOSE WHO INSULT FREE SPEECH

    Still, I'm sure that successful troll was quite successful.

  • Bans (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JavaBear (9872) * on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:49AM (#32406994)

    Religious views offend me, lets petition Facebook to remove all pages with offensive content!
    Why not? They removed pages that were supporting a political and religious viewpoint (free speech and cartoons) to cater for the views and feelings a single groups of people. What about my views, and those of everybody else?

    New rule for Facebook, if they want to play that game, is that in order to be perceived as being fair, they must necessarily remove any content that is offensive to some group or people.

  • by jbssm (961115) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:56AM (#32407060)

    For all of us that wanted to delete our FaceBook profile, but couldn't because FaceBook hides it and plays around with the options so that we cannot do it. Well, now you have the answer. Just put some pictures of Mohamed sodomizing some sheep or similar and voilá.

    Perhaps thins is one of this new privacy options Zuckberg talks about. "It's now possible to delete your own personal page." (Big cheers from the public)."

  • Americans (Score:4, Insightful)

    by br00tus (528477) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:09AM (#32407190)
    Americans arm and fund the Taliban and Al Qaeda to overthrow the secular Afghani government in the 1970s and 1980s. Then they invade Iraq, one of the few secular Arab countries left, whose constitution changes a country from what was nominally one following pan-Arab socialism (something it had been in the early days) to one that was officially Islamic. We keep hearing about how US intervention is against Islamic fundamentalists - yet to repeat, the US funded the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the the Iraq invasion changed the Iraqi constitution to one stating the country was an Islamic one.

    So the US is funding Israel, which just killed a number of people on a humanitarian flotilla delivering food to blockaded Gaza today, a flotilla on which there is a Jewish holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner and various European MPs. The US grabs Iraqis off the street and puts them in Abu Ghraib, forces them to masturbate and films them doing so (besides the one tortured to death). The forced masturbation is allowed to be done, but not broadcast on US TV because our good Christian values does not allow us to see what we are doing over there or something.

    So on top of all this bloodshed and mayhem the US causes in these countries, as their bodies pile up, Americans are now attacking their culture and religion. It is an attempt to dehumanize the people already being killed. If drones were not flying through Pakistan killing people, it would be one thing, but this Facebook thing is just another attack on all the blood and bodies Americans are stacking up in these countries. It has worked too - this sort of thing has stirred up fundamentalists in Pakistan, who just bombed some mosques of the moderate Ahmadis. So the usual US practice of getting rid of secular moderates and putting radical Islamists in charge is working.

  • Complaints (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mistralol (987952) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:13AM (#32407224)
    I am sure we can all probably find something on facebook that each individual on the planet would find offensive. Why don't we all email them now and ask that they remove it?
  • I'm a Muslim... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iftekhar25 (802052) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:14AM (#32407242) Homepage

    And even if I am offended (which I reserve the right to be), I don't think any of this should be happening (i.e., censorship). There has been defamatory material on the prophet for centuries, and in fact were around even during his time. This is nothing new; anyone as prominent as him had to have grown pretty thick skin to get anything done.

    His followers 14 centuries on, however, can't seem to follow in his footsteps even half as much as they claim they do.

    Every time something like this comes up, I try to dig a hole and disappear best I can. Yet another dysfunctional government like Bangladesh or Pakistan come up with a way to do their magical rabble-rousing and distract from the real issues at hand: economic development, education, and healthcare. All of which they are failing *miserably* at.

    This is all *political*. Almost all Muslims (both in the "West" and in the "East") have no beef with anyone or anything, and just want to go ahead living their lives. These idiots in government, who can't even ensure their citizens get basic utilities like garbage collection and electricity, are spending their energy on some drawings, which is perverse on multiple levels.

    The minority here is basically speaking for the majority. And honestly... the majority (like me) are looking to dig their own holes as well. We don't want to stick our heads out because we don't want the confrontation. This isn't something we particularly care about. I honest to goodness don't want to argue about the merits and demerits of my faith with some of the slashdotters on here, who are convinced that Muslims "don't belong."

    But someone's gotta say it. Most of us are not like this. Most of us just want to get on with our lives. Please don't let the vocal minority dominate the debate. This is political distraction tactics and has little or nothing to do with free speech, Facebook, or the prophet.

    • Re:I'm a Muslim... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vic.tz (1000138) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:43AM (#32407568)
      Not to volunteer you for anything, but your demographic (passive, reasonable Muslim) is exactly who we need to speak out against this nonsense. I believe what you're saying is true, but based on 95% of media coverage, it would be easy to mistake the minority for the majority.
      • Re:I'm a Muslim... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Iftekhar25 (802052) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:45AM (#32408202) Homepage

        I agree with you on that but it's during these times that Muslims least want to be identified as such. Muslims watch the same news you do and we have a pretty good idea what's going through the average person's mind. And it's not your fault either, that's the admission: if I was not a Muslim I'd be pretty mad at Muslims too (in fact even as a Muslim I'm fairly annoyed).

        And so the moderates are kind of, I feel from personal experience, in limbo. Now is the worst possible time I can imagine to have to admit being even remotely associated with people I deeply disagree with and, in fact, have very little in common with.

        It's really a weird spot to be in. They're a half a world away, I disagree with them (and honestly kind of dislike them), but somehow I need to dissociate myself from them.

        It's an unenviable position to be in for any reasonable person, Muslim or not. All reasonable dialogue is drowned out by shouts of exclusion from both sides. The best time to talk is usually after the full-throated yelling has ended, and is best demonstrated by actions rather than words.

        These things really set back that long term, grassroots dialogue back. Depressing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Khashishi (775369)

        It seems like the active, crazy Muslim population hates the passive, reasonable Muslims even more than they hate atheists. They'll totally murder you for being the wrong kind of Muslim.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RyanFenton (230700)

      >> I honest to goodness don't want to argue about the merits and demerits of my faith with some
      >> of the slashdotters on here, who are convinced that Muslims "don't belong."

      Oh please - you belong as much as any of us non-rational beings. You very well may hold faith in the ultimate truth of the universe - just as the stories held by the raelians or even the ancient Greeks may truly be the true story of the universe... they're just not rational stories.

      But it IS important as a story! We all ten

    • i agree 100% with you that economic development, education, and healthcare are far more important than rabble rousing

      however, what i see that you don't is that if those issues are ever going to be addressed, it will be done by YOU

      you are the majority? then you solve your problems in muslim communities. do you want to know why the muslim world has the problems you dislike? i'll tell you why:

      "Almost all Muslims (both in the "West" and in the "East") have no beef with anyone or anything, and just want to go ahead living their lives."

      no, you can't go on living your life. you are part of the problem BECAUSE YOU DON'T SOLVE THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

      you don't have the right to just go on living your life. you have the RESPONSIBILITY to clean up your community. if that doesn't cdome first, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE UNMOLESTED. not by the west, but by the lunatics in your own community. clean them up!

      if the demagogues are in charge, it is because the majority, you, let them be

      you are to blame. because you don't understand this IS your problem

      as the obvious reciprocal corollary, as an american i loathe gw bush and the tea party morons with every fibre of my being for being the ignorant propagandized sheep they are. and i will do my best to make sure these crackpots and assholes do not get power in my country again

      now i am asking you to say the same about your lunatics

      and if we fail, god save us. if we are the moderate middle in this world, it is our responsibility to keep the keys of power out of the hands of the stupid and the evil, in BOTH our communities. and if we don't, god save us all, because it is nothing but suffering for all of us

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xarvh (1244438)

      Probably you moderate Muslims should stop being so passive, stop hiding and reclaim your religion from the loonies that hijacked it.
      Disappearing every time the crazies go insane is the last thing you should do.
      Take the responsibility of your beliefs and confront the crazies, as a Muslim you are in a better position to do it than anyone else.

    • Re:I'm a Muslim... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nixbox (797731) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:27PM (#32409064)
      I am a Muslim and completely agree with what you said. The irony is that the Prophet was maligned, harmed and thrown stones upon, his response was always peace but the Muslims who claim to be defending the Prophet actually abuse people on facebook pages and forums. The question I ask is this. Does any of this result in something constructive? I don't think so, I have seen more people uttering bad words, being violent (which by the way is un-islamic). So what is the point? If the Prophet was alive today, he would never even heed to these things. I do acknowledge that as a Muslim I get offended about such things, but there is a way to express one's views. Most of the Muslims today do not think about the outcome of what they are doing. I think that banning these websites actually spreads it out more, because people who had never even known about it would come to know of it. We as Muslims have let a bunch of people get hold of the leadership of our countries and they are doing nothing for us. They just gobble up more money and deprive people of their basic necessities. The biggest Jihad is to stand against these Muslim leaders and demand our rights. If we as a people unite, these leaders cannot do anything. We have inflicted the current situation upon ourselves, by letting them take hold of our freedom.
  • by mccarrot2 (1366095) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:30AM (#32407428)
    I was a member of the group, and I hadn't looked at it a week or so. Last I saw though, the admins were saying they were going to voluntarily take the site down because they had made their point and that it was too time consuming to keep up with cleaning up the posts/links/porn people were posting to the page. Some folks offered to take over admin so that the page wouldn't be destroyed. I never checked back to see what happened.

    Personally, I'd like to see the apology to Pakistan from facebook, because it sounds a little too good to be true.

    P.S. The first time the page was removed was May 20th, 2010. Here's the wall quotes from a group admin from May 22th, 2010:
    "This page was removed two days ago, after one of our moderators had his email and skype hacked. His personal data was revealed. He then got scared and deleted the page, the blog and the emails. The rest of us, are now back without him after he backed out. This is another scare tactic from the Islamic extremists. We won't fall. Pictures you were unable to post on the 20th? Check the forums for interviews." "A great big thank you to the facebook-gang for restoring the page. A great big thank you to all freedom lovers out there. Now we have new persons to handle the media and we will soon release some info about the past few days. And to all of you: One can never beat freedom of speech, opinion and idividuality, because they are all basic human rights."
  • First and foremost, Facebook's T&Cs outranks free speech. It explicitly states:
    • You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
    • You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.

    Draw Muhammad Day isn't about us standing up against terrorists. It isn't even about standing up against Islamic fundamentalists. It's about blatant bigotry. I'd venture to say most (if not close to all) people who participated did so out of pure hatred and with complete ignorance. This certainly violates Facebook's terms.

    Fighting hateful behavior with more hateful behavior is sophomoric. While I really wish I could be defending free speech here, there has to be a point where I draw the line. If Draw Muhammad Day was a peaceful, public demonstration where people where drawing the prophet hugging pandas and sniffing roses, this post would be quite different. Unfortunately, that's not the case. People where being intentionally hurtful on a publicly-accessible, corporate-owned website. Facebook did the right thing.

    • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:39AM (#32408150)

      What? Free speech sometimes means offending people! You don't support all free speech, you don't support free speech at all! What's next? Should Slashdot automatically delete this post for calling you out as the freedom-hating douche-bag you are?

      Do you think I'm being deliberately offensive? The words you have said here are much more offensive than mine. But I haven't been dishonest by covering up my harsh words with flowery language. You don't want to protect people from offense, you want to prevent people from openly expressing their honest opinions in favor of your sanitized version of communication.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal (464142) *

      Fighting hateful behavior with more hateful behavior is sophomoric.

            And to paraphrase Clausewitz, war is won by the most violent. While no one is shooting anyone over this (yet), acting mature will not work when dealing with loud-mouthed ideaologues who will take any opportunity to strip you of your rights (while at the same time granting themselves more political power). Stand up, or shut up.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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