Facebook page that led to Pakistani ban removed

May 21, 2010 By CHRIS BRUMMITT , Associated Press Writer
Pakistani women participate in a rally against a Facebook page, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, May 20, 2010. Pakistan government ordered Internet service providers to block the social networking site amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash)

(AP) -- A Facebook page that was considered offensive to Islam and led to a Pakistani ban on the site has been removed, possibly by its creator.

Facebook said Friday it has not taken any action on the page, which had attracted more than 100,000 users and encouraged users to post images of Islam's , purportedly in support of .

Most regard any depiction of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous.

Najibullah Malik, the secretary at Pakistan's information technology ministry, said earlier Friday that the government had no option but to shut down on Wednesday after a court order to do so.

"We know some people are suffering because of this blockade, but we have to obey the court order in letter and spirit," Malik said.

Pakistan said it would consider restoring Facebook and other sites with related content only if they took down pages considered offensive to .

There was no immediate word on whether the government was lifting the ban.

The Facebook page, called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!," had declared Thursday as the day to draw Mohammed, so it was possible the creator took it down Friday because the page had served its purpose.

Other sites have also been affected in the country as officials scramble to block content related to the Facebook page. Wikipedia's English-language site and the Flickr photo-sharing site were also sporadically unavailable Friday.

It was not the first time depictions of the prophet have angered Muslims. In 2005, cartoons of Muhammad appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking protests and riots from Muslims around the world, including in Pakistan, where the protests turned violent.

There have been several rallies against Facebook in recent days.

Others - mostly members of the more secular, educated elite - accused the government of blocking freedom of expression and hurting small businesses that use Facebook for marketing. Many questioned need for the entire Facebook and YouTube sites to be blocked, instead of individual pages.

Explore further: Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Internet blockade in Pakistan continues

May 21, 2010

(AP) -- Pakistan acknowledged the "suffering" caused by its bans on Facebook and YouTube, but said it would only consider restoring the websites if they take down pages considered offensive to Islam, the ...

Pakistani court orders gov't to block Facebook

May 19, 2010

(AP) -- A Pakistani court ordered the government Wednesday to block Facebook because of a page that encourages users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, a senior legal official said.

Muslim concerns trigger Pakistani Web bans

May 20, 2010

(AP) -- Pakistan blocked YouTube and many other Internet sites Thursday in a widening crackdown on online content deemed offensive to Islam, reflecting the secular government's sensitivities to an issue that ...

Social networking aggregator sues Facebook

Jul 10, 2009

(AP) -- In a counter-punch to the world's biggest online hangout, a small Web company called Power.com has sued Facebook, saying it doesn't follow its own policy of giving users control over their content.

Recommended for you

Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

12 minutes ago

Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

1 hour ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

23 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

Oct 22, 2014

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

kellybriefworld
not rated yet Jun 23, 2010
It seems crazy that governments are going so far as to ban social media. As a young employee, I use facebook almost daily and it would be extremely frustrating to have that taken away from me. There are many benefits to using social media apps, and now they will not have that resource. I found a whitepaper created by Palo Alto Networks and they have a new software that has the ability to block certain parts of social media and leave beneficial parts accessible for users. You would think that maybe these social media banning governments would be interested in this, as well as businesses. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/bsrh9CFacebook