Indian lobbyists influencing Facebook, Twitter to gag Kashmiri voices, says Shehryar Afridi
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi has said that the Indian lobbyists and employees of Twitter and Facebook were influencing the social media giants to stifle the voices of Kashmiri activists which was a violation of UN conventions on freedom of speech.
The social media giants were abusing the freedom of expression of the people living under the brutal military occupation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK), Afridi said during a meeting with Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Maj. General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa here, a press release said.
“At a time when world talks about freedom of expression and freedom of speech, it is unfortunate that the voices of Kashmiris are stifled in the name of so-called ‘community standards,“ he added.
The Kashmir committee chairman said that the misuse of media tools like search engine optimisation, artificial algorithms and sponsored advertisements to suppress the voice of oppressed and deprived communities on social media was immoral by all means.
“It is a pity that the owners of the social media sites have given their Indian employees freedom to push Indian agenda on the social media sites and gag voices questioning the Hindu-Fascist agenda of India in Kashmir,” he said.
Urging the champions of freedom of expression and freedom speech to take cognizance of the gag, he said that millions of Kashmiris had been deprived of internet services while the world was a mute spectator.
“High speed internet services have been blocked for almost one year in Indian Occupied Kashmir while the human rights organisations have been silent over this infringement into the basic rights of the Kashmiri people,” he added.
Shehryar Afridi said that Kashmir committee would play a bridging role with all the state institutions to protect and promote the cause of Kashmir and it would eradicate the legal and technical hindrances in this regard.
He urged Pakistani and Kashmiri citizens to raise their voice on social media platforms for Kashmir as community mobilisation was the key to protest against the social media gags introduced by management of Facebook, Twitter and other tools. Meanwhile, the chairman PTA briefed Afridi on the measures taken by the PTA to protect rights of the social media activists. He said that Pakistan had been writing to social media companies about their double standards in community standards.
He said that Facebook and Twitter management’s have been suspending and blocking accounts of Pakistani Parliamentarians and civilians on posts on Kashmir and PTA has been lodging its protest to the management of the social media administration.