Facebook vs Kashmir.


FACEBOOK often struggles with its principles regarding freedom of speech for users versus its bottom line, which requires keeping powerful stakeholders happy.

This appeared to be on display once again on Monday, when the company blocked live streaming of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation's news bulletins highlighting Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

As reported by Radio Pakistan, Facebook had been sending messages since May warning the PBC of violating 'community standards on dangerous individuals and organisations'.

The company's spokesperson later clarified that the PBC's access to Facebook Live was only temporarily restricted pending review.

Nonetheless, there is a broader pattern, since the death of Burhan Wani in 2016, of Facebook methodically censoring news and opinion on the Kashmir crisis.

Based on news reports and details shared by users, censorship activities occur in short, sharp spikes around current events connected to India. It is reasonable to assume that this policy is set in place through lobbying by India, one of Facebook's critical markets.

The question of who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter; which struggle is legitimate and which is not, comes down to who has more sway with the social network, which is largely determined by size and scope of the market, not by higher principles or nuanced examination of the issue at hand.

It is true that Facebook is facing a Herculean task trying to...

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