Stop Facebook from banning Progressive Writers in Pakistan Now

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Freethinkers and liberal writers are playing a pivotal role in bringing social change and accountability in nations which have a history of authoritarian rule and suppression of thought. By writing about extremism in third world societies and authoritarian policies of the state on Facebook, they are highlighting the importance of rational thought, humanism and human rights, including freedom of expression. In a country like Pakistan, social media activism has led the way for progressive, humanist, and liberal values in the midst of tyranny, fear, and terrorism. The progressive/liberal writers who frequently get banned have no place in mainstream media as it has been completely captured by state institutions.

However, the opponents of such ideas as freedom, liberty, and free speech are constantly harassing such activists. Within Pakistan, anti-liberal circles have made it their mission to suppress any voices of reason that speak out against the status quo. In addition to physically attacking and harassing progressive writers fundamentalist groups made up of vigilantes associated with madrassahs and extremist organizations are constantly and falsely reporting Facebook profiles of leading progressive writers. They exploit the profile reporting mechanism of Facebook and use group/bulk reporting on profiles which causes Facebook to temporarily ban the accounts of social media activists. The problem with Facebook is that: One, humans do not evaluate posts. It all depends on frequency of reporting. That means, if a group of fanatics’ gangs up against you and their number exceeds the critical threshold, the software automatically blocks you.

We urge Facebook management and Mr. Zuckerberg take immediate notice of false reporting and shutting down of profiles of progressive social activists in Pakistan and all over the world. We propose that progressive writers with over 10,000 followers be reviewed in depth by human eyes before a ban is imposed upon them. 

Let us join hands to defeat the forces of darkness!!!



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