Will it be a hard blow to Facebook? To cut the long story short, it all started when Facebook started a contest called Everybody Draw Mohammed Day to create caricatures of Prophet Mohammed that was perceived as an insult to the Muslim community. In fact, as an aftermath of that, the site has been banned in Pakistan.
In yet another development, more than 2.5 million users, possibly spearheaded by the creators of a Facebook clone named Madina, have threatened to disjoin the site and move to the latter. An interesting note about the site is that it claims to abide by the Islamic principles and encourages unity among the community. Not only this, it also discourages female users to use their real pics in their profiles. However, Madina looks like a direct lift from Facebook considering the page UI (just a difference in color) and the contents.
The spark got ignited as the former has removed some popular pages such as Facebook.com/Rassoul.Allaah–with 1,600,000 Likes,Facebook.com/Logo.Ramadan–with 600,000 Likes,Facebook.com/Love.Mohammed-with 200,000 Likes and Facebook.com/Quran.Lovers–with 70,000 Likes. Following this, this group of users has set a deadline of 21st July, 2010 to reinstate those pages, failing which they will sign off permanently from Facebook.
They are also demanding the inclusion of a “Term of Use” that will illegalize disrespect towards Islam community and also to disable any page, group or event that may hurt their sentiments. They also called the team irresponsible and blamed it that it spreads hatred and hostility among people despite the world class communication skills classes that the founder has attended.
Objecting to these, a spokesperson of Facebook said, “The pages were removed because they were used for spamming users, a practice that’s against Facebook policy. And these pages were not removed because of content violations”.
Consequently, there may be a big tug-of-war between Facebook and Madina considering the fact that neither Facebook has replied to their demands nor has it reinstated the aforementioned pages till now. In my opinion, it may consider reinstating the pages because 2.5 million users is not something small. The balls in Facebook’s court now