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Indian in UAE jailed for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook status

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sentenced an Indian national to one year in jail for posting a “blasphemous and slanderous” status on social networking site Facebook, media reported.

The Dubai Court of First Instance found the 41-year-old man guilty of cursing Islam and the Prophet in his status update on Facebook after he watched a news bulletin about the Iraq war in July last year, Gulf News reported on Thursday.

Judge Ezzat Abdul Lat said the defendant would be deported after serving his jail term, according to the report.

The Indian was arrested after a fellow countryman lodged a police complaint that he received an image of the allegedly offensive Facebook status on WhatsApp. 

The court ruling can be challenged in a higher court within 15 days.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Facebook will not Remove Fake News – but will ‘Demote’ it

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had "entrenched deeply held beliefs

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The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.
The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem. Pixabay

Facebook has said that it will not remove fake news from its platform because it does not violate its community standards. Instead, it says posts that it deems to be fake news will be “demoted” in the news feed.

The social network is currently running an advertising campaign in Britain that declares “fake news is not our friend”. But it said publishers often had “very different points of view” and removing fabricated posts would be “contrary to the basic principles of free speech”, the BBC reported on Friday.

Facebook has been scrutinized for its role in spreading fake news after evidence emerged that Russia tried to influence US voters using the social network.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.

“We created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice,” John Hegeman from Facebook said while responding to CNN.

Also Read: Facebook Labels Russian Users as ‘Interested in Treason’

“We allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed,” a Facebook spokeswoman told CNN.

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had “entrenched deeply held beliefs”. (IANS)

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