Facebook – CPI calls for online protest after Facebook imposes restrictions on pages of party leaders
After some CPI leaders faced restrictions on posting content on Facebook, the party has called for protest against the alleged restriction on expressing dissent on the social media platform.
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Former Kerala Minister Mullakkara Rethnakaran’s verified Facebook page has been ‘blocked’ by the social media platform. Former Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, Pannian Raveendran too is facing similar issues with his social media handle.
The social media wing of the left parties has called for a virtual protest against the alleged attempts by social media platforms to silence dissent.
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Senior CPI leader Mullakkara Rethnakaran started his Facebook page in April 2020 during the first wave of Covid-19 in the country. “Over the last one year, I have been interacting with the public through my page. Beyond expressing my opinion on political and other social issues in a decent language, I have never posted anything provocative or hurtful to anyone”, he says.
Since the beginning of this month, Rethnakaran has been restricted from posting content in his Facebook page. The restriction was imposed for allegedly violating the community standards of Facebook. However, the quality section of the page does not flag any such issues, ‘Your page has no restrictions or violations,’ read the quality section. After repeated e-mail communications, Facebook has informed Rethnakaran’s that ban cannot be lifted.
“When they say that the community standards have been violated, they must explain in which post had the standards been violated… If this is a restriction, similar to the one imposed on poet Sachithanandan, then it is unfortunate. The beauty and soul of democracy lie in the freedom to dissent. Whether it is the government or social media that intervenes in that right, it is unacceptable”, he told India Today TV.
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Another CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, a former member of Parliament too faced a similar ban. His page has remained inactive since the first week of June this year.
“The last post available on the page was on June 6. It was critical of BJP with reference to their election defeat and involvement in the hawala loot case. Since then, I haven’t been able to publish anything on my page. I usually type content and publish it on the app itself. Since June 6 none of my posts are getting published and Facebook is unable to explain what the issue is,” Pannian Raveendran said.
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