Pakistan demanded to link the mobile phone numbers of Facebook users to new accounts on its main service but the social media giant has rejected the demand. The officials had requested to control fake accounts that according to them have been used to spread hate speech. WhatsApp – another service owned by Facebook other than Instagram and Facebook Messenger – already had the requirement.
Will Pakistan prohibit use of Facebook?
Last week, the social media giant met with the local authorities, almost a month after a man was sentenced to death in the country for posting blasphemous material on the social media giant. The public prosecutor, who was involved in the case, said that he believed it was the first time the death penalty had been awarded in a case related to a social network.
Mr. Chaudhry Nisar – the Interior Minister of Pakistan threatened earlier this year to block any social media platform permanently if it refused to co-operate with his anti-blasphemy crackdown. Recently, the minister met with the public policy chief of Facebook – Joel Kaplan – to discuss the matter. In 2012, the country blocked the micro-blogging site ‘Twitter’ for a short time after some users encouraged others to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad. (Drawing images of Prophet Muhammad is forbidden under Islam.)
A government spokesman recently said “Facebook had promised to look into the government’s concerns on a priority basis.” A spokeswoman of Facebook, however, spun the proceedings saying that the social network met with Pakistan officials to express the company’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of the people who use its service, and to enabling people to express themselves freely and safely. It was an important and constructive meeting in which “we raised our concerns over the recent court cases and made it clear we apply a strict legal process to any government request for data or content restrictions,” said the spokeswoman.
Facebook planning to invest half billion dollar in New Mexico
The social media giant is planning to invest over half-billion-dollar in New Mexico to build a data center that will have an area of around 17 football fields. Early Tuesday this week, the office of Gov. Susana Martinez announced that the social networking site will be doubling its investment in the state with planned expansion of its data center under construction near Los Lunas currently. Los Lunas is actually a rural area that is just outside of Albuquerque, the largest metropolitan area of New Mexico.
The governor has praised the announcement of Facebook and has said that the social networking site is among the key partners of the state as it continues to work to diversify its economy. In a statement, the governor said, “New Mexico’s powerful incentives are bringing more opportunities to our state — once again ahead of schedule with more jobs and investment than initially anticipated.”