Trends

Why Facebook Taking Down A Farmer Protest Page Is A Big Deal!

Facebook faced severe backlash after taking down a farmer protest page in the midst of the ongoing peaceful farmer protests against the new farm bills.

Ever since the Government announced the New Farm Bills 2020 in September, they have been met with protests and dissent. The farmers and people alike think that these bills will mostly favour the government and not the farmers, who these very bills are designed to favour. Over 3 lakh farmers participated in the ‘Dilli Challo’ protest march at the Delhi border. While these protests were peaceful and garnered the support of people from all around the world, the police would use tear gas and water cannon to stop them from doing so. The farmer’s main plea to the government is the rollback of these farm laws to ensure that their livelihood is not at the hands of greedy businessmen.

What is the farmer’s protest page?

In support of this movement, Kissan Ekta Morcha is the official Facebook and Instagram page which aimed at educating the masses about the farm bills. These accounts are run by 25 online and 35 offline volunteers who monitor online discussions and counter ‘fake news’ about the farmer protests and instead spread awareness about it and try and garner more supporters for the cause and information about the whereabouts of the protests. Their pages gained a lot of traction and had lakhs of followers within just a few days.

Their Instagram page
Their Facebook page

What did Facebook do to the farmer’s protest page?

However, on Sunday Facebook disabled their page for a few hours before putting it back up again after an ‘internal review’ that brought outrage on social media. According to Baljeet Singh, the head of this cause “The page was taken down for being in violation of the social media website’s community standards. We had posted clips countering Narendra Modi’s speech from day before yesterday,” Singh told HT. “Each of his lies was countered with facts and examples. Subsequently, we started a live broadcast with {Swaraj India’s} Yogendra Yadav and in the middle of the broadcast, the page was taken down.”

Social media was quick to notice the page being unpublished and soon Facebook received a lot of backlash. However, they re-published the page and a company spokesperson issued a statement saying “We’ve restored Kisan Ekta Morcha’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kisanektamorcha) and regret the inconvenience caused.”

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav goes onto Twitter to say "In midst of a Facebook Live I was doing from Kisan Ekta Morcha's page, we get a notification that the FB page has been unpublished. There must be something about farmers that this govt is particularly scared of & something about this govt that Facebook is particularly scared of.”

Why is Facebook deleting the farmer’s protest page problematic?

This page was the farmer’s way of reaching out to the masses to spread awareness as well as accurate information about the protests. Disabling this page which in no way has incited any violence or hate speech, can be seen as an authoritative way of the government to not only control their own narrative but also any sort of dissent that goes against it.

BJP has openly supported the farm bills and their ties to Facebook India are well known and strong enough to try and control and delete any sort of opinion that is not in their favour. In fact, Facebook India was under a lot of scrutiny recently because of its lack of action against BJP leaders who openly indulged in hate speech and targeting of specific communities.

While some may say this is an outreached way of looking at a simple logistical error on Facebook’s end, the facts are hard to ignore. The taking down of a public page which only supported the cause of the farmers who have a right to protest to protect their only source of livelihood can definitely be seen as a way of the government trying to take away their freedom of speech.

Trends

Why Facebook Taking Down A Farmer Protest Page Is A Big Deal!

Facebook faced severe backlash after taking down a farmer protest page in the midst of the ongoing peaceful farmer protests against the new farm bills.

Ever since the Government announced the New Farm Bills 2020 in September, they have been met with protests and dissent. The farmers and people alike think that these bills will mostly favour the government and not the farmers, who these very bills are designed to favour. Over 3 lakh farmers participated in the ‘Dilli Challo’ protest march at the Delhi border. While these protests were peaceful and garnered the support of people from all around the world, the police would use tear gas and water cannon to stop them from doing so. The farmer’s main plea to the government is the rollback of these farm laws to ensure that their livelihood is not at the hands of greedy businessmen.

What is the farmer’s protest page?

In support of this movement, Kissan Ekta Morcha is the official Facebook and Instagram page which aimed at educating the masses about the farm bills. These accounts are run by 25 online and 35 offline volunteers who monitor online discussions and counter ‘fake news’ about the farmer protests and instead spread awareness about it and try and garner more supporters for the cause and information about the whereabouts of the protests. Their pages gained a lot of traction and had lakhs of followers within just a few days.

Their Instagram page
Their Facebook page

What did Facebook do to the farmer’s protest page?

However, on Sunday Facebook disabled their page for a few hours before putting it back up again after an ‘internal review’ that brought outrage on social media. According to Baljeet Singh, the head of this cause “The page was taken down for being in violation of the social media website’s community standards. We had posted clips countering Narendra Modi’s speech from day before yesterday,” Singh told HT. “Each of his lies was countered with facts and examples. Subsequently, we started a live broadcast with {Swaraj India’s} Yogendra Yadav and in the middle of the broadcast, the page was taken down.”

Social media was quick to notice the page being unpublished and soon Facebook received a lot of backlash. However, they re-published the page and a company spokesperson issued a statement saying “We’ve restored Kisan Ekta Morcha’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kisanektamorcha) and regret the inconvenience caused.”

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav goes onto Twitter to say "In midst of a Facebook Live I was doing from Kisan Ekta Morcha's page, we get a notification that the FB page has been unpublished. There must be something about farmers that this govt is particularly scared of & something about this govt that Facebook is particularly scared of.”

Why is Facebook deleting the farmer’s protest page problematic?

This page was the farmer’s way of reaching out to the masses to spread awareness as well as accurate information about the protests. Disabling this page which in no way has incited any violence or hate speech, can be seen as an authoritative way of the government to not only control their own narrative but also any sort of dissent that goes against it.

BJP has openly supported the farm bills and their ties to Facebook India are well known and strong enough to try and control and delete any sort of opinion that is not in their favour. In fact, Facebook India was under a lot of scrutiny recently because of its lack of action against BJP leaders who openly indulged in hate speech and targeting of specific communities.

While some may say this is an outreached way of looking at a simple logistical error on Facebook’s end, the facts are hard to ignore. The taking down of a public page which only supported the cause of the farmers who have a right to protest to protect their only source of livelihood can definitely be seen as a way of the government trying to take away their freedom of speech.

Trends

Why Facebook Taking Down A Farmer Protest Page Is A Big Deal!

Facebook faced severe backlash after taking down a farmer protest page in the midst of the ongoing peaceful farmer protests against the new farm bills.

Ever since the Government announced the New Farm Bills 2020 in September, they have been met with protests and dissent. The farmers and people alike think that these bills will mostly favour the government and not the farmers, who these very bills are designed to favour. Over 3 lakh farmers participated in the ‘Dilli Challo’ protest march at the Delhi border. While these protests were peaceful and garnered the support of people from all around the world, the police would use tear gas and water cannon to stop them from doing so. The farmer’s main plea to the government is the rollback of these farm laws to ensure that their livelihood is not at the hands of greedy businessmen.

What is the farmer’s protest page?

In support of this movement, Kissan Ekta Morcha is the official Facebook and Instagram page which aimed at educating the masses about the farm bills. These accounts are run by 25 online and 35 offline volunteers who monitor online discussions and counter ‘fake news’ about the farmer protests and instead spread awareness about it and try and garner more supporters for the cause and information about the whereabouts of the protests. Their pages gained a lot of traction and had lakhs of followers within just a few days.

Their Instagram page
Their Facebook page

What did Facebook do to the farmer’s protest page?

However, on Sunday Facebook disabled their page for a few hours before putting it back up again after an ‘internal review’ that brought outrage on social media. According to Baljeet Singh, the head of this cause “The page was taken down for being in violation of the social media website’s community standards. We had posted clips countering Narendra Modi’s speech from day before yesterday,” Singh told HT. “Each of his lies was countered with facts and examples. Subsequently, we started a live broadcast with {Swaraj India’s} Yogendra Yadav and in the middle of the broadcast, the page was taken down.”

Social media was quick to notice the page being unpublished and soon Facebook received a lot of backlash. However, they re-published the page and a company spokesperson issued a statement saying “We’ve restored Kisan Ekta Morcha’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kisanektamorcha) and regret the inconvenience caused.”

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav goes onto Twitter to say "In midst of a Facebook Live I was doing from Kisan Ekta Morcha's page, we get a notification that the FB page has been unpublished. There must be something about farmers that this govt is particularly scared of & something about this govt that Facebook is particularly scared of.”

Why is Facebook deleting the farmer’s protest page problematic?

This page was the farmer’s way of reaching out to the masses to spread awareness as well as accurate information about the protests. Disabling this page which in no way has incited any violence or hate speech, can be seen as an authoritative way of the government to not only control their own narrative but also any sort of dissent that goes against it.

BJP has openly supported the farm bills and their ties to Facebook India are well known and strong enough to try and control and delete any sort of opinion that is not in their favour. In fact, Facebook India was under a lot of scrutiny recently because of its lack of action against BJP leaders who openly indulged in hate speech and targeting of specific communities.

While some may say this is an outreached way of looking at a simple logistical error on Facebook’s end, the facts are hard to ignore. The taking down of a public page which only supported the cause of the farmers who have a right to protest to protect their only source of livelihood can definitely be seen as a way of the government trying to take away their freedom of speech.

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