Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Facebook to ban Islamophobic content on its platform. He also wared of a spike in radicalisation amongst Muslims.
PM wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Twitter. He said “growing Islamophobia” was encouraging extremism and violence worldwide, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.
“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” PM said.
Facebook is already updating its hate speech policy to ban content that denied or distorted the Holocaust.
“One cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others,” PM said.
He added, such a stance was “reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalisation”.
In response, a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters the company opposed all forms of hate. It did not allow attacks based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.
“We’ll remove this hate speech as soon as we become aware of it,” she said in a statement. Facebook spokesperson added Facebook had “more work to do”.
Facebook’s last transparency report for the six months to December 2019, showed that Pakistan was the source of the second highest number of requests to curb content after Russia.
The most requests for the removal of content relating to Islam came from Pakistan, exceeding other Muslim-majority countries.
On Sunday, PM said French president had “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not allowed in Islam. Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher beheaded recently. He had showed cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a class on freedom of expression.
Tens of thousands of people protested in Pakistan last month when his cartoons were republished by the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
PM, in his address at the 75th UN General Assembly session, had highlighted the recent incidents of Islamophobia and urged the international community to take all necessary steps to universally outlaw wilful provocations and incitement to hate and violence. He also proposed to declare an international day to combat Islamophobia.
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