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Censorship Social Networks

Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page 677

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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  • Why, why, why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:40AM (#32406898)
    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.
  • What are the rules? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:46AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:49AM (#32406990)

    while Israel has just boarded a flotilla of ships killing 19 people in the process for importing wheelchairs, cement and wood

    banning a webpage seems a rather trivial response in comparison

  • Sensitivity anyone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NervousWreck ( 1399445 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @10:58AM (#32407088)
    Now facebook will delete every nasty post anyone has ever written about me (like the ones complaining that I don't have facebook), right? Right? ... Oh, I forgot. I am just one mostly peaceful and law-abiding citizen, not thousands of armed and murderous thugs so I don't rate much sensitivity.
  • by Foobar of Borg ( 690622 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:07AM (#32407166)
    There are older depictions of Mo []. The ban on any images is in the Hadith, but not the Qur'an IIRC. IANAMS (I am not a Muslim scholar).
  • Memorial Day (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:11AM (#32407210)

    Funny that this insult is published on Memorial Day of all days... Never Forget.... riiiiight... Facebook is downright un-American... Damn them all to hell

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

    by Iftekhar25 ( 802052 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:14AM (#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:Score (Score:5, Interesting)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:39AM (#32407528) Homepage

    Why the cheap shot against the "left"? You could say I'm a "leftie" (especially by US standards), and I'm pissed off by this.

  • by Issarlk ( 1429361 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:40AM (#32407546)
    Vegetarians and christians probably can't ban Facebook from a whole country. That's the difference between them and Pakistan.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:44AM (#32407576) Homepage Journal

    ...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?

  • Re:pathetic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:57AM (#32407714)

    "What say I go to Alabama, defecate on a bible, wrap it in the US flag and burn the bundle. That's free speech isn't it?"

    Yes it is! Go do it; no one's stopping you.
    You might get charged with indecent exposure if you do the whole "defecate on a bible" thing in public, though.

  • by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <> on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:04PM (#32407784) Homepage Journal

    There are quite a few people taking your position in this discussion so I think it's important to address it seriously, instead of slamming you with down-mods (as it appears is happening). I understand that you want to be broad-minded and fair, concerned for others' feelings. I think that's commendable, though in this case misguided.

    Free speech is exactly my (or anyone's) right to say things that offend you (or anyone). Watch late-night TV in the U.S.. There are a large number of jokes made at the expense of religious and political figures: Jesus, the Pope, the President, etc. Few people get seriously upset at these jokes. The Internet is filled with hateful speech and shocking images, yet most people realize that these things are or were created by groups that don't share the same morals as those people.

    Compare that to places where there is a serious limit on speech. I have lived or spent large amounts of time in Korea, China, Laos, and Thailand, all of which have serious limits to free speech. Try insulting the Thai King on a street corner and see where it gets you, legally. No one is going to lynch you: you'll just be arrested. (No, I'm not a Red Shirt -- Thaksin was at least as bad as the current gov't). I was pulled in to an interrogation room in China because the government didn't like who I had been talking to. Don't get me started on Korea and its ID laws designed to chill free speech.

    Facebook is a private company. They can pull this page if they want to. I support their right to do so. It's a mistake, though, because it opens them to law suits for discrimination if they don't take a similar stand with other religious and pseudo-religious groups. It's silly to go down the road of removing anything that's offensive to anyone. Facebook could be left with no content at all.

  • Re:Face palm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <omestes@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:34PM (#32408566) Homepage Journal

    Yes, the US blocks sites it finds objectionable. They tend to be the kind that Americans would make death threats about.

    Could you cite this? I don't recall the US blocking any sites on a national level. I'm not saying that they haven't, but I have seen no evidence for it.

  • Re:pathetic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:58PM (#32408800)

    This attitude utterly disgusts me. You people are pathetic. "Not drawing pictures of Mohammed" (PBUH) takes away precisely one "right" of yours, the right to be an idiot with no sense of tact or respect.

    Not being allowed to draw pictures of Mohammed takes away the right to say anything anyone might find offensive - unless, of course, you are suggesting that Muslims should have special privileges in this regard?

    If you've got a really good reason to draw a picture of the prophet, other than something along the lines of "I have a misguided idea of what free speech means, and I want to be offensive for a laugh" then I'd love to hear it.

    Free speech means that neither I nor anyone else need to justify us drawing pictures of Muhammed, nor any other expression, to you or anyone else. That is what "freedom" means: I can do what I want, not what you graciously allow me to.

    I'm a British atheist. What say I go to Alabama, defecate on a bible, wrap it in the US flag and burn the bundle. That's free speech isn't it? That's me exercising the right of a person living in the US isn't it?

    No, it's me being an offensive dick for the sake of it. I'd get lynched, and rightly so. Grow up, the lot of you.

    No, you wouldn't be lynched. You would be told you are an offensive dick, and possibly sued if you did this in public for the defecating in public part. If some mentally disturbed individuals were to take violent action against you, they would then face charges for their criminal behavior.

    It is you who needs to grow up, and realize that murdering someone because he offends you is not acceptable.

  • Re:pathetic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:53PM (#32409286)

    I'm an American atheist. I served in the military to defend the country, not the flag, and understand the difference as did the Founders.

    Bring on the flaming turds of Free Speech!

    (E-hugs Brit Freethinker buddies.)

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @03:50PM (#32409902)


    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.

    Facebook isn't known for being freedom promoting to begin with. It reduces privacy, it's ALWAYS been like this. If you want to fight the terrorists then target the terrorists directly, no more of this inane and in my opinion useless ridicule on facebook. That does not really attack the problem directly. I suppose it could serve useful if its put up just to measure the reaction but the problem is not Islam, or Muslims. People who blame the religion are part of the problem.

    The problem is extremism. To believe that we should attack Islam is a flawed strategy. Attack extremism. There are better ways than this facebook protest even if you have the right intentions.

  • Re:Damn right! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @03:56PM (#32409982)

    Batshit crazy Christian fundamentalism very rarely surfaces these days in terms of actual laws

    Christ. +5? I remember now why I rarely visit Slashdot. Haven't heard of "don't ask, don't tell", chuckles? The Moral Majority? How's that agnostic president working out for you? American politics are shockingly religious by European standards. Your adolescent use of the "not as bad as the worst" rationalization doesn't alter that, nor your ignorance in the assumption it's innate to Islam instead of an abuse of Islam. FFS, the Christian hate that pours from your 9/11 comment, and again ignorance about the outcry in support of the US from Islam countries when it happened, support you blew away along with countless innocent Muslims since, directly contradicts your argument. Dim fuckers like you scare the shit out of rational people.

  • Re:pathetic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @04:17PM (#32410254)

    I never said they violated the law or even close.

    No, but you did write that they were violating the right to free speech, mangling an important concept every american should understand.

    If indeed the people took their own page down, then shame on TFA for saying otherwise.

    From the Guardian, "Facebook officials tell the Associated Press they played no role in the removal of the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page". Multiple sources are good.

  • Re:pathetic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @04:29PM (#32410394) Homepage

    This has come up as an issue because of political cartoons referencing Mohammad for completely legitimate reasons. The nature of political cartoons as a speech medium basically requires caricatures or personifications of famous people in order to make a point. In the case of the Jyllands-Posten [] cartoons, the point was the censorship of dialog about Muslim and how it relates to modern Danish living. Compare the outrage and censorship of those pieces, to how we treat other [] major [] public [] figures [], and you'll find that a definite double standard is being applied. Christians, [] Jews, [] Hindus [], etc deal with blasphemy all of the time in western cultures. Part of freedom of expression involves dealing productively with not liking what other people might say.

    Which is not to say that political cartoons haven't become superficial in the last 30 years. But the medium requires pictograms, and the legitimate representations of those particular players is essential to the communication. If you can't draw Mohammad in a political cartoon, you can't critique Muslim culture.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.