Inflammatory Facebook Pages Being Blocked In Valley: Govt. Official

Srinagar, Nov. 20: The Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to block Facebook pages that it considers a threat to the fragile peace in the Valley.
“There is a proposal to continuously monitor the social networking site to identify pages that carry inflammatory or blasphemous content,” an official said.
“Not just that, those who upload those pages will be identified and, if possible, action will be initiated against them. There are elements who (try to) disturb peace.”
According to the official, the government is even considering an outright ban on Facebook, which has been used to rally protesters, but has so far been held back by the fear of angering the Opposition People’s Democratic Party and separatists.
It was the police that recommended the blocking of Facebook pages after an “anti-Islamic” page triggered protests at some places on Friday, a source said. The page was later blocked.
“The government supports the move and plans to make this process (blocking such pages) a permanent feature,” the official said.
Jammu and Kashmir, which has been largely peaceful this year, had witnessed three summer unrests in the recent past when hundreds had logged on to Facebook to express support for these agitations. At the peak of last year’s summer unrest, several youths were arrested for“provocative Facebook postings”.
“This time it is the state government that is seeking to block objectionable Facebook pages. An outright ban on Facebook will be too harsh but can still not be ruled out,” the official said.


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