Facebook has banned National Dastak, the website that specializes in news related to Dalitbahujans, from sharing its links on its own Facebook page. While expressing its support for the democratic voices from India’s deprived sections, Forward Press stands with National Dastak.
Facebook has enforced a temporary ban on National Dastak on sharing links from its website and YouTube channel. The social media website sent the following message to National Dastak: “Your Page has been temporarily restricted for causing people to like or engage with it unintentionally in a misleading way. Our Page Terms that: ‘Pages must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.’ All Pages must comply with the Facebook Page Guidelines.”
Following the ban of National Dastak, messages have been posted on Facebook both against and in support of the ban. Those posting in support of the ban have accused National Dastak of following certain politicians’ lead, publishing misleading information to fulfil the political aspirations of its editors as well as plagiarism. However, we shouldn’t forget that India is a democratic nation and our Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar has granted us freedom of expression. Our Constitution and legal system also has provisions of lawfully restricting this freedom of expression. If this freedom has been misused, we have the courts’ doors to knock on. The manner in which Facebook has cited its own rules to defend its action against National Dastak amounts to unauthorized intervention on our Constitutional right to freedom to expression, and we condemn it. We would also like to know how many of Facebook’s employees in its India offices believe in Phule, Ambedkar and Periyar’s ideology.
Forward Press holds the view that in a nation as diverse as India, where there are social, educational and economic inequalities between different castes and communities, there cannot be one set of impartial community standards. Hence, we, at Forward Press, would like to request Facebook to immediately lift the ban imposed on National Dastak, and to set up a cell representative of India’s social diversity to take a call on the so-called community standards and to encourage freedom of expression. -Editor, Forward Press
Forward Press also publishes books on Bahujan issues. Forward Press Books sheds light on the widespread problems as well as the finer aspects of Bahujan (Dalit, OBC, Adivasi, Nomadic, Pasmanda) society, literature, culture and politics. Next on the publication schedule is a book on Dr Ambedkar’s multifaceted personality. To book a copy in advance, contact The Marginalised Prakashan, IGNOU Road, Delhi. Mobile: +919968527911.
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