Protest by Indonesian Islamists accuses Facebook of discrimination

From Reuters - January 12, 2018

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Several hundred Indonesian Islamists held a protest rally outside Facebooks headquarters in Jakarta on Friday, accusing the social media giant of discrimination for blocking some pages operated by hardline groups for allegedly spreading hate.

The protesters, many dressed in white and including members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), marched from amosque to Facebooks offices in the capital of the worlds biggest Muslim-majority country.

We want to remind Facebook to remain neutral and balanced, Slamet Maarif, a spokesman for FPI, told reporters.

There are many accounts that spread hate about Islam, ulamas, that are allowed to operate. There are accounts that talk about Islamic humanitarian aid, those are blocked, said Maarif, adding that the group still planned to use Facebook and intended to open new accounts.

Facebook said its policy was to delete content that violated its community standards.

Our community standards are made to prevent organizations or individuals that urge hate speech or violence against those who hold different views, said a company representative, who declined to be identified.

A spokesman for Indonesias communications ministry, Semuel Pangerapan, said, We have never requested that FPIs accounts be closed.

Some Islamist groups in Indonesia use social media extensively and FPI usually has about 100 accounts on Facebook, as well as on other social media platforms such as Twitter.


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