Myself and Niran (Account Manager at ECHOVME) were talking about the recent Gyaneshwari Express blast in India, he introduced me to the ‘MillatFacebook’. Puzzled me did a speedy web surfing and found MillatFacebook is for Pakistanis who are not able to access Facebook any more, or for Muslims who have abandoned the site as protest, an replica of Facebook called ‘MillatFacebook has been set up’.
I had this question running in my mind, MillatFacebook is just another ordinary Muslim community then why so much of fuss? There is a reason behind this: Access to Facebook was banned in Pakistan earlier this month due to a group promoting the portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad. Which is considered the ultimate profanity in Islam. Six young IT professionals from Pakistan’s capital Lahore, decided to launch their own version of the social networking site. Millat Facebook is envisaged as a site run for Muslims, by Muslims, but “sweet people from other religions” are also welcome to join in (not too sure of what does Sweet people mean, is there any eligibility criteria to be termed as sweet individual?). Below mentioned are my views on pros and cons of MillatFacebook:
Pros of MillatFacebook
1. Religious community, as it grows makes the perceptions and actions towards religion stronger.
2. Connects likeminded individuals.
3. No fear of getting banned as it is the parent body.
4. Penetration of Social Media might also go to rural parts of countries to the small Muslim communities as the part of supporting community or protest against bodies that have banned Facebook for Pakistanis.
5. Can be a reason to foster and implement computer education & internet usage in Muslim nations.
Cons of MillatFacebook
1. Though I do not support this fact there is a strong belief by many that origin of terrorism is from Muslim communities. This online community especially designed for Muslims and by Muslims may be keenly watched worldwide to track terrorists or conversations related to terrorism.
2. Such communities dilute Facebook population and gives thought to other religions to create one for them, thus loosing the essence of Social Media. As Social Media is people centric and not religion centric.
3. This community might be the reason to create many ‘Hate Groups’ and promote terrorism as the privacy policies, restrictions and governance of the community will not be as strong as in case of Facebook.
For ex: The fuck India community created by Pakistanis on Facebook can be reported under racist section by Indians or other people world-wide. Similar action of reporting might not be possible in the closed communities as ‘Millat Facebook’.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my thoughts as possibilities, it wasn’t intended to hurt any individuals’ feelings or religious communities.