zahid lilani

Can 2 Million Pakistanis Change Facebook Policy?

There are 2 Million+ Facebook users in Pakistan according to Facebreakers. A Pakistani court on May 19th, 2010 decided that they would place a ban on Facebook until the end of the month. The ban was in response to a Facebook page called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” to be held Thursday May 20, 2010.

It is been vastly reported (TechCrunch | Al Jazeera) that 45 Million Pakistanis use Facebook which doesn’t make sense because according to most recent internet usage statistics, Pakistan has roughly littler over 18 Million internet users. My number, 2 Million seems more in line with reality. So now the questions becomes, Can 2 Million Pakistanis Change Facebook Policy?

Personally, I think Pakistan and the Lawyers involved with all this are simply over reacting and wasting time. This ban is not going to make a dent in Facebook’s popularity or bring about any change in their policy. This is what Facebook said about this whole controversy:

While the content does not violate our terms, we do understand it may not be legal in some countries. We are investigating this. In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries. –TheBigMoney

Unfortunately, Facebook practices double standards. As soon as a Pakistani blogger named Farrukh Zafar created a facebook event page in response to the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” titled “Everybody Ridicule & Draw Holocaust Day” calling people to draw the sketches of the Holocaust, Facebook took off that page within 20 minutes of an action alert issued by Jewish Internet Defense Force.

[ad#left] This shows that Facebook prefers one side over the other but I honestly don’t care. With all that Facebook has been doing with the Privacy of its users lately, it is no surprise that it happens to be struggling when it comes to making policies and sticking to it.

I don’t think there should be a “Draw a Mohammad Day” or “Ridicule Holocaust Day.” All this leads to chaos and more animosity. I think Gandhi said it best when he said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

The world would still be rotating around the sun if South Park makers hadn’t embarked on their journey to touch a hot button topic in the Islamic world. Muslims don’t depict the Prophet in images in either positive or negative light and neither should the rest of the world.

UPDATE: Facebook page that led to Pakistani ban removed