A Baroda based artist has been blocked by the Facebook for her Kashmir connection. The artist said that facebook has been frequently blocking and removing her posted content.
For Baroda based artist, Rollie Mukherjee, Kashmir has been the main theme of her work. The artist has been actively painting portraits of women holding the pictures of their loved ones who have been subject to enforced disappearance.
Since April 29, she has no access to the social networking site Facebook. “I have been posting my work of Facebook, regarding what has been happening in Kashmir.” Phenomenon like: ‘Half mothers’ and ‘Half widows,’ have been actively used in her paintings.
She has been lately attending some painting exhibition where she displayed her work. It was when these exhibitions ended in Kolkata, where she received appreciation, while some people opposed to her work.
“Most of the people appreciated my work there, but there were some people who protested,” Rollie said.
It all started when she posted some of her work on Facebook, and then according to her “some people ganged up against me, by abusing me online.”
“What has been happening in Kashmir,” Rollie says, “has deeply affected me as a human being, and to give vent to those feelings, as an artist, I paint.”
Rollie talks about much questioned ‘Free Speech,’ saying that it is her right to express, “people can agree, or they can disagree, but they cannot snatch my right of expression from me,” she said.
After April 29, Facebook is asking her to prove her identity before she can actually log into her account. “Every time I try to log in, Facebook is asking me to prove my identity,” she said.
Pertinently, many incidents have been reported in Kashmir where the posted content was deleted by the Facebook, soon after it was posted.
A cartoonist from Kashmir, Mir Suhail Qadri was also subjected to the same thing when his page was disabled for several days, when he posted his work that as per Facebook, was ‘objectionable.’
What experts reveal is that Facebook has to attend to the feedback they receive from other users.
“Some posted content is repeatedly reported by other users, with the result Facebook has to attend to the reported requests, and what happens is that Facebook either removes the content, or directs the user that has uploaded the content, to do the same,” said a technical expert.
Same thing happened with Rollie, that the content she posted on the social networking site was repeatedly reported, with the result Facebook took a decision, of blocking her account.
Legal experts have been voicing their concerns about the frequent restrictions imposed by social networking sites, saying that “given the fact there Right to Free Speech in place, Facebook cannot be the authority to decide what is right and what is not. It is the Court that can decide whether the content is objectionable, or not,” said Junaid Aalam, a legal expert. “Whatever it is, the Court of law has to decide the same and social networking sites cannot act as the Judge” he added.