In Kashmir, Facebook faces criticism for blocking profiles, removing posts

Facebook says community standards prohibits content that praises or supports terrorists, terrorist organisations or terrorism

Written by Sofi Ahsan | Srinagar | Updated: July 19, 2016 10:56 pm
Kashmir, Kashmir unrest, facebook censorship, kashmir censorship, kashmir militants, burhan wani, kashmir terrorism, islamic terror kashmir, kashmir human rights violation, kashmir freedom of speech Paramilitary soldiers walk back towards their base camp on the ninth straight day of curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir, Sunday, July 17, 2016.  (Source: AP Photo)

Amid information clampdown in Kashmir, Facebook has faced allegations of censorship in Kashmir as users have reported removal of their content and alleged the social network has disabled their accounts for posting “pro-Kashmir” updates and photos.

A number of users including a local English daily posted screenshots of the Facebook messages informing the netizens their posts have been removed for violating Facebook’s “Community Standards.” Users keeping militant Burhan Wani’s photos as profile pictures also complained the social media website had taken down the pictures.

A video of Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s arrest by the police last Wednesday posted by a local daily Kashmir Monitor was removed for violation. “The day after we uploaded the video a message was received the video has been removed. It was surprising because this has never happened before,” said Mubashir Bukhari, a journalist with the paper.

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Dibyesh Anand, a professor in International Relations at University of Westminster said he was blocked from posting on Facebook last week and after he complained he was told the post was accidentally removed by a member of their team. “Facebook deleted a perfectly polite post for “violating Facebook community standards” and blocked me from posting for 24 hours. My hypothesis is that it is highly unprofessional “super patriotic” Indians working in Facebook who are responsible,” Anand wrote on his profile.

Facebook also disabled the account of Huma Dar,a lecturer at University of California, Berkely for her pro-Burhan posts. “Facebook censors news from besieged #Kashmir, takes down articles & pictures, and disables accounts! #BurhanWani,” Dar posted.

A Kashmir-based satire page Jajeer Talkies with 27500 plus likes was also blocked on July 13 and later restored albeit without any content. “The accounts of all 3 admins were also disabled, giving us no chance whatsoever to appeal or respond to this deletion,” a petition, put up the owners on asking for full restoration of the page, reads.

An email query regarding the “censorship” sent to Facebook went unanswered.

Facebook has faced criticism for removing the user content. “The way Facebook has been taking down some posts related to Kashmir and even blocking certain accounts, it seems Mark Zukerberg has taken over as the Thanedar (SHO) of some police station in Kashmir,” Tariq Jameel, a user posted.

Authorities in Valley have suspended the mobile services including internet and banned newspaper publication in Kashmir. BSNL broadband is the only internet service working in Valley.


Responding to the story, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Our Community Standards prohibit content that praises or supports terrorists, terrorist organisations or terrorism, and we remove it as soon as we’re made aware of it. We welcome discussion on these subjects, but any terrorist content has to be clearly put in a context which condemns these organisations or their violent activities.”

The story has been updated to include a quote from Facebook.

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  1. 4
    Jul 19, 2016 at 6:09 am
    India/China/stan should give Independence to Kashmir; Why 1.2 Billion people in India have to suffer just to promote 2 million Brahmin/Pandit hegemony in Jammu Valley?
    1. ت
      Jul 19, 2016 at 11:16 am
      من انگلیسی خوبی ندارم lt;br/gt;به برادرانم در کشمیر میگویم برای شما خون گریه کردن درست می باشد برای پیروزیتان دعا می کنم و شرمنده ام که دولت ترسو ما هیچ حرفی نمی زند ولی بدانید مردم ایران و رهبر انقلاب با شما هستند lt;br/gt;ما از دولت جدید که به سر کار است ناراضی هستیم
      1. A
        Jul 18, 2016 at 6:47 pm
        This is my roo-Kashmere post.
        1. V
          Jul 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm
          Facebook should be sharing data of these hidden sleeper cells of terrorists with Army, IB and NIA so that they can be eliminated and sent to give company to Wani
          1. A
            Aiswarya Lekshmi
            Jul 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm
            Indian Express giving the above mentioned sites publicity under the pretext of reporting .
            1. D
              Jul 19, 2016 at 3:19 am
              Bhai facebook to remove kiya hai .Donald trump ko ane do phir tumare baap yaad ayenge. Muslims are biggest problem to world peace.
              1. S
                Jul 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm
                If they fear militants and support them then they should fear by Indian Army should be deeply embedded in their heart. Let Indian Government solve this problem like Naxalite in Bengal and militancy in Punjab was solved. If they don't fear law then they won't abide by it. And remember communists were a part of naxal.
                1. D
                  Jul 19, 2016 at 2:55 am
                  "My hypothesis is that it is highly unprofessional “super patriotic” Indians working in Facebook who are responsible,” Anand wrote on his profile."lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;How is this guy a respectable professor? Who makes such an unsubstantiated, scurrilous charge against a complete group of people? On one hand, he asks for fair treatment of 'patriotic' Kashmiris, but in the same breath insinuates that Indian professionals are to be blamed with absolutely no proof? What a hypocrite!
                  1. H
                    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm
                    It is a conflict between a secular, pluralistic and democratic India and Islamists. No non-Muslim has any issues in JandK. What binds all separatists together? It is Islam and its totalitarian doctrine nothing else. Islam does not allow dissent and concepts like freedom, civili rights, democracy and right of self determination are man made and outrightly incompatible with Islam which offers in form of Sharia laws the family social financial and governace aspects of life for Muslims. Muslim separatists should be treated same way as Islam treats its enemies. Kashmiri muslims should move to stan. Why they claiming freedom on social media? Is it approved by Sharia?
                    1. K
                      Kamal Chenoy
                      Jul 19, 2016 at 6:04 am
                      The fact is that Kashmir has got a raw deal. In the Indus River Waters Treaty, there was no provision for Kashmir to dam waters for generating electricity. Article 370 which is part of the Indian Consution gave Kashmir most powers excluding defence, foreign affairs and communication. Though Article 370 is part of the instruments of Kashmir's accession to India, none of the Rightist or centrist parties are willing to implement Article 370. This has led the Kashmiris to demand Azadi or total independence. The brutal suppression of protest in the Valley with 42 killed and 100 blinded is a crying shame. Is this Indian democracy? Surely not. But the Kashmiris are more and more alienated from Indian rule. It is high time to have wide ranging talks with the Kashmiris and settle on unprecedented autonomy with most powers granted to Kashmir, as promised earlier. Nothing less will be acceptable. Later even that will not be enough.
                      1. N
                        Jul 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm
                        If you like you be under british rule...move to UK
                        1. N
                          Jul 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm
                          we have to kill all the kashmiri traitors....
                          1. N
                            Jul 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm
                            Well done Facebook. Thank you for showing that you can choose between right and wrong and that you can also contribute to the well being of a nation. Thank you again
                            1. N
                              Nouman Zakir
                              Jul 20, 2016 at 3:34 pm
                              1. R
                                Jul 19, 2016 at 7:47 am
                                My name is Rahul Pandit, My home town is pulwama kashmir. I also left with my family when most of pandits decided to leave kashmir, as we were told that there would be war in kashmir. We keep blaming kashmiri muslims for our exile but the truth is we left kashmir because jagmohan then Governor of JandK told us to do so. Ther are few kashmiri pandit who keep manufacturing lies about kashmiri muslims for their own intrest. It really sadnes my soul when we hear them. I visit kashmir often to see my uncle. It really surprises me to see the love and affection of my kashmiri muslims friends towards me... We should stop spreading lies againest kashmiris in order to curp them.. I still have my property there. Some people sold. Lets open our eyes and show guts to face truth, if we dont do it now, I am afraid it would not be late when these pseudo nationalist devide this country into peices....
                                1. S
                                  Sarfaraz Abbasi
                                  Jul 20, 2016 at 5:54 am
                                  As usual for Indian media, this story is another lie - no proof has been included in this pathetic article. India media will publish such articles, to only flatter their uneducated Hindu extremists.
                                  1. S
                                    S.K. Express
                                    Jul 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm
                                    Good effort by Facebook. It is high time that those who use free social media for their hateful campaigns through lies, deceit, and half-truths are stopped.
                                    1. S
                                      Syed Aftab
                                      Jul 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm
                                      Dear Rahul, It is very surprising to hear the truth from a Pandith , as no one has dared to speak the truth. My dear Kashmir is your home as it is mine. We heartily welcome you and others who left valley... My mom always talk about her friend Rashi who use to spend most of her time with her. My mom further stated " we both used to invite each other to festivals like Hehrat and Eid. No matter whatever happen in Kashmir, We want you all back... You all are an nondetachable part of Valley... Please come back...Live among us as you use to....A bullet coming towards you will have to face us first.....Blessings
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