Pakistan’s Prime Minister Urges Facebook to Ban Islamophobic Content in Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

The world of technology is often heavily impacted by political realities all around the world, and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that many of the tech companies that are relevant in this modern day and age have this level of influence as a result of the fact that they provide platforms for content and dialogue and major events around the world can have an impact on what content is being shared and what conversations are being had.

The situation in France is quite dire after a Chechen Islamist extremist radical beheaded a French school teacher for showing cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad in an attempt to teach his students about freedom of expression. France’s president Emmanuel Macron responded to this by encouraging the usage of this cartoon, and some have heavily criticized this as encouraging Islamophobia in a nation that already has an ongoing problem with this particular kind of prejudice.

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan which is arguably one of the most powerful Muslim country in the world due to its nuclear arsenal, has sent an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg urging the Facebook CEO to implement a ban on content that could be deemed Islamophobic in some way, shape or form. This came after a recent announcement from the social media platform that it would be removing any content that cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Holocaust, one of the worst cases of genocide in human history and one that had a severe impact on the world’s Jewish population that can still be felt to this very day.

Imran Khan’s case for the banning of Islamophobic content is that it further radicalizes Islamists and pushes them closer towards acts of terrorism which Pakistan has often suffered from over the past few decades making it difficult for the country to progress in a stable manner.

A spokeswoman from Facebook spoke to Reuters and responded to this open letter, acknowledging that Islamophobia is a problem much like any other form of hate speech against a specific group of people. The spokeswoman said that Facebook would ban and remove such content wherever it was found, although Facebook might not be taking it as seriously as holocaust denial due to the wider implications of this kind of phenomenon.

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / reuters

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