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Last week, Facebook blocked 103 assets – including accounts, groups and pages – allegedly run by Pakistan army. Facebook Inc. claimed that the accounts were involved in ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ (or spam). Facebook also said that the accounts attempted to seal their identities but the investigations found out that they were being run by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations department employees. The tech giant also removed hundreds of pages run by the Indian National Congress and 15 pages run by an IT firm in India. The mass blockings have come just ahead of the Indian elections and many are blaming the Indian government of having manipulated the move. However, there has been a growing number of complaints received online of harassment of rights activists and journalists from accounts claiming to be run by army officials. Certain accounts with display pictures of army officers are often seen abusing and issuing treason certificates on Twitter and other social platforms. Pakistan army hasn’t responded to the claim made by Facebook as yet. However, its supporters believe that the statement issued by Facebook Inc. is an attempt to malign Pakistani military. Cartoon by Afraid Canvas

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Naya Daur