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Pakistan asks Facebook to link accounts to mobile numbers

ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan has recommended the Facebook management to connect opening of a Facebook account to mobile number to overcome issue of fake accounts.

Facebook has designated focal person to coordinate with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for prompt action against any reported material.

“Facebook reiterated their commitment toward removal/blocking of the blasphemous and objectionable content and assured that they will improve the cooperation and response time”, a PTA official told APP.

Mobile numbers are verified through biometric verification system in Pakistan.

Currently Facebook account is opened through an e-mail, but could overcome its issues of fake accounts if all existing and current accounts are verified with phone numbers”.

PTA has received more than 6,000 complaints online which were reviewed and 350 of them contained blasphemous content that were ultimately blocked.

12,977 URLs of blasphemous content are blocked so far.

PTA has established a web analysis cell where 25 personnel are working solely on identifying unlawful content on internet including the blasphemous ones.

Since February 2017, 137 blasphemous links have been blocked by Facebook administration for viewership in Pakistan.

Facebook was also asked to help Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Pakistan by providing them with the requisite data that they asked for.

Facebook, in response said that it received around 1,000 requests in 2016 from Pakistan and about 70 percent of them have been complied with and that they will continue to support such requests.

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