Young Journalist body condemns Facebook Censorship in Kashmir

Appeals Information & Broadcasting Ministry to intervene into the matter

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Srinagar, April 26: The Jammu and Kashmir Young Journalist Association (JKYJA) has strongly condemned the fresh drive of censorship launched by social media giant Facebook in Kashmir under which many user accounts aimed to curb the sane voices raised especially by journalists, social activists and other people from different walks of life were disabled even without assessing any genuine reasons.
The body comprising of hundreds of young journalists from state’s both provinces Kashmir & Jammu in a statement issued here termed the curbing of sane voices by Facebook on its platform as sheer condemnable. The statement said in its fresh drive the 10 yrs existing user account of eminent young journalist, social activist and founding member JKYJA Bilal Bashir Bhat was strangely disabled by Facebook along with other dozens of professional pages having around 100K followers.
The JKYJA spokesman said, Bilal Bashir Bhat being among the saner voices of Jammu and Kashmir would use this platform to spread positivity in trouble-torn society on different fronts and blocking his account with a reason “it hasn’t followed the Facebook Terms” is unacceptable and unjustified.
Most recently, Facebook on similar lines permanently blocked account of prominent journalist and well known humanitarian Rameez Makhdoomi.
The JKYJA said it is not first time Facebook has blocked the accounts of journalists and activists but in past too. It said that for the larger interest of its credibility we demand Facebook to restore all the accounts banned in such manner particularly of Bilal Bashir Bhat.
The JKYJA spokesman added the government is committed to the freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the Constitution of India as such Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India should intervene in the matter so that the attempts to distort to the status of freedom of speech in the country and hollowing the fourth pillar of democracy are stopped.