Oct 06, 2018

Facebook in Sri Lanka controlled from Ireland Featured

A team from the Face Book Ireland office has been deployed to control hate speech published by Sri Lankan FB users that could lead to racial clashes and this team is said to be controlling the political views expressed over FB against President Maithripala Sirisena and his family members as well, reported the ‘Anidda’ newspaper.

The report further said, this team has suspended even paid FB posts carrying the photos or names of President Sirisena, or other family members such as his daughter Chaturika.

The method used by FB in posting paid posts is to pay a few dollars that these posts would be published as news feeds of other FB accounts. 

Even if these posts are not those that instigates racial tensions, FB has decided not to post anything political that is with regard to the President or his family. 

Instances where FB posts were banned:

In addition, there were several instances where FB posts containing political views were been banned. 

Due to the clashes that occurred in March in the Digana and Theldeniya areas the Presidential Secretariat intervened and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission blocked the access of Face Book and several web sites. 

Thereafter discussions were held between FB representatives and the government and the Sri Lankan government made a request to establish an FB office in Sri Lanka in order to control such malicious posts. However, FB had turned down this request and instead had agreed to set up an office for this purpose in Dublin, Ireland and recruit several Sri Lankans and entrust the examining of Sri Lankan FB accounts to this unit. 

Currently, all complaints regarding FB posts are being examined by this group. 

Policy of not getting into a clash with the government:

Expressing his views to the ‘Anidda’ newspaper, a technical representative who has connections with FB said that Face Book had not agreed to conduct the control of accounts from Sri Lanka and for the Sri Lankan Government to intervene.

The action taken by FB to control the posts published criticizing the President could be perhaps the FB management’s policy of not getting into a clash with the Sri Lankan Government, it said. 

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