Facebook under Govt scanner | ‘Seditious’, blasphemous matter to be blocked

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By: Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar, Nov 21: The Government is actively considering keeping social media Facebook under close scrutiny in Jammu and Kashmir. The development comes days after protests hit Kashmir against the blasphemous content pouring on the popular social networking website.
Official sources said that earlier the Government had considered banning Facebook in the valley.
However after taking into consideration several issues, the decision could not get through, they said.
“There were several opinions on banning Facebook. After deliberations on the subject we decided to keep vigil on the seditious, blasphemous and the matter that can vitiate the situation,” a senior official told Greater Kashmir.
Some Facebook pages, the official said, which were spreading ‘false information’ and ‘rumors’ will be blocked so as to avoid any law and order problem.
“Some so-called Facebook pages are there to spread disharmony and anti-state content. Such elements are within the society and their matter will be no more appearing on Facebook,” said sources.
Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar, Syed Ashiq Bukhari, said, “We will ban seditious material and take legal action against the persons indulging into it. The pages which are against religion and seditious will be barred.”
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted on the microblogging site Twitter that Facebook will not be banned. His reply surfaced following the reports suggesting that Government was contemplating to ban the popular website here.
“Stop the rumor mongering; Govt has no intention of banning Facebook. Only a request to block certain blasphemous pages has been made,” Abdullah posted on Twitter.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar, asserted that Government will keep watch on Facebook as it could trigger law and order breakdown.
“Complete ban can’t be imposed on Facebook. God forbid the recent protests could have triggered law and order situation. So we will keep watch on Facebook as law and order is related with it,” Sagar told this newspaper.
Besides, he said, Government is actively working to look for the group or person responsible for uploading the blasphemous content on Facebook.
“That person who uploaded the content will be identified. There will be some restriction as it hurt the sentiments of people,”he said.

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