Facebook Official Travels To Pakistan After Man Sentenced To Death For Posting ‘Blasphemous’ Content

(Photo: ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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A higher-up at Facebook met with a Pakistan government official Friday to discuss appeals from the country over removing content it deems blasphemous and an affront to Islam.

Joel Kaplan, vice president of public policy, engaged with Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, according to Reuters.

Khan reportedly said that the country believes in freedom of expression, but only to a certain degree. (RELATED: Facebook Ordered To Delete ‘Hate Speech’ After Country’s Green Party Leader Is Insulted)

“We cannot allow anyone to misuse social media for hurting religious sentiments,” Khan said, according to Reuters.

Facebook described the meeting as “constructive” and said it has a “deep commitment to protecting the rights of the people who use its service, and to enabling people to express themselves freely and safely,” in an email to Reuters.

The two parties convened after a Pakistani anti-terrorism court sentenced a man to death in June for allegedly posting content on Facebook that insulted Islam. While not the first such incident, including in the country, his judgement is believed to be one of the harshest ever.

Pakistan isn’t the only country that’s cracking down on citizens’ online conduct. Thailand sentenced a man to 35 years in prison in June for posting critical and purportedly disrespectful content about the country’s royal family on Facebook. A military court in Thailand’s capital convicted the 33-year-old man, identified only as Wichai, of 10 counts of lèse-majesté, the act of committing treason or insulting a monarch or ruler. Journalists were reportedly not permitted within the confines of the tribunal.

The mother of a 23-year-old man says the Vietnamese police detained her son some time last week because he posted anti-government material on the internet, according to a Reuters report published Friday.

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