Kerala

‘Freethinkers’ lose page, again

‘Freethinkers,’ one of the most active Facebook groups in Malayalam, was removed from the website on Tuesday evening, apparently owing to mass reporting.

The webpage, which contains open discussions on religion, science, politics, culture, and arts, was taken down for the fourth time. As in the previous three cases, the group started a >new page with the same title and within 24 hours, 15,000 members have rejoined. The group has 1,06,000-plus members at last count. “Though we got a message from Facebook that our group was violating the site’s terms of use, it did not specify the alleged violations,” says Farmis Hashim, an administrator of the group.

“None of the administrators received any warning before the page was removed. The group strictly follows the Facebook terms and policies,” he added.

What bothers the administrators most is the loss of a lot of “fruitful discussions and saved documents for reference.” Though a large section of the group members submitted mass petitions to Facebook, the group was not restored. The administrators suspect that the takedown of the page was due to a mass report campaign by ‘religious or political fundamentalists.’ The group should have been given an opportunity to know why its page was withdrawn, they said. The Facebook group was started four years ago to promote freethinking rationalism, scientific temper, humanism, and spirit of inquiry, as is announced on the home page. “Our group conducts science seminars and study classes across the State and offers assistance to the needy,” says Mr. Hashim adding that ‘FT We Care’ is a registered organisation of freethinkers.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:24:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/freethinkers-lose-page-again/article6289044.ece

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