Facebook to help Pakistan combat online blasphemy

Last week, a Civil Society filed a petition in Islamabad High Court to shut down Facebook temporarily in Pakistan until the blasphemous content is removed.

Earlier today, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said that Pakistan will lead the Muslim community and take action against blasphemous content on social media platforms, which he termed as a conspiracy against Islam.

As for whether Facebook and Twitter will play ball - FB says, "We disclose information about accounts exclusively in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law".

Pakistan has asked Facebook and Twitter to help identify users in violation of its strict blasphemy laws.

"Facebook and other social media plat forms should share all information about the people behind blasphemous content with us", he said adding that they can take extreme steps but it will not solve the problem.

"We can not put a handle on things until Facebook and these other websites help us, but when it comes to uploading done from within Pakistan, we have almost pinpointed from where it is happening through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other intelligence agencies".

"Ridiculing a religion in the name of freedom of expression should not be allowed", he said, adding that intelligence agencies were investigating to identify elements involved in blasphemous activities.

The minister said every option will be used to remove blasphemous material from Facebook and other social media websites under the directions of Prime Minister.

Authorities in Pakistan have already identified 11 people suspected of blasphemy and would seek the extradition of anyone living overseas.

"Since this has become an global issue, I have also asked the FIA to find good legal counsel on the matter".

  • Leroy Wright