According to The Associated Press, the Pakistani government has reached out to the major social media networks Facebook and Twitter to help eliminate what it considers blasphemous content by pointing out who is making it.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that an official from Pakistan’s Washington embassy has reached out to both companies to identify Pakistanis both in the country and abroad who have circulated material deemed offensive to Islam. So far, Pakistani authorities have identified 11 people they will seek to question over their social media activities.
It should be noted that blaspheming against Islam and its prophet can carry a death sentence.
While Facebook has said that it considers every request of it made by a government very closely, the company has said it will do so with the privacy of its users in mind.
“We disclose information about accounts solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law. A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or other formal request may be required for international requests, and we include these in our Government Requests Report,” which is publicized each year, it said in a statement.
While Facebook’s response was diplomatic, they have refused to give the Pakistani government information about a fake picture of a Pakistani judiciary that marred his character.
Rumors have circulated that come March 22, the Pakistani government will block Facebook from use within the country because of a rise of “blasphemous content,” according to MonthlyBrands. These rumors have begun floating due to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan threatening to block social media sites should they continue to host offensive content.
Twitter declined to comment.