NEWS > TECHNOLOGY > PERVEZ MUSHARRAF ASKING FRIENDS TO CHECK HIS WALL AFTER PAKISTAN BANS FACEBOOK
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF ASKING FRIENDS TO CHECK HIS WALL AFTER PAKISTAN BANS FACEBOOK
May 21 2010
Islamabad, Pakistan – There’s little doubt that we are smack dab in the middle of an information revolution. Like major ages before it – bronze, copper, industrial – our world is in the midst of changing in ways that we simply will not be able to predict.
One day our descendents will look on these years as the years that forever changed the way the world worked and the way people communicated with one another.
There are a few companies that are at the forefront of that revolution. One of the biggest in recent years has been Facebook which has been dramatically altering the way people interact and helping to at least set the stage for the full bred revolution that is likely less than a generation away. Facebook too has drawn older generations into the realm and though many of those people still feel far behind the rest of the world in terms of how they interact with the technology, they are still able to taste what the future will be like, even if it is in a limited capacity. Of course not everyone is behind the revolution including the nation of Pakistan which has now banned the website from displaying in their country, which has left many, including the former President Pervez Musharraf, unable to access their profiles or respond to wall posts.
“I acknowledge that we cannot allow extremists to utilize these new technologies to harm the people of other countries or insult the religious beliefs of a billion people but there comes a time when the cure can be worse than the disease. I believe this is one of these cases,” Musharraf stated after finding his access to the site blocked. “Many people use this website to keep in touch with loved ones and to communicate with friends that they might otherwise not be able to speak with. We must not allow those who would cause trouble to dictate the ways in which we live our lives, either in the real world or in the cyber world.”
A Pakistani court ordered the site blocked after a group advocating “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” grew in popularity.
“The reality is that communication of the type that Facebook uses is here to stay. Essentially, it is no different than many other web applications and doesn’t really do anything revolutionary in respect to changing the medium. What it has done though is refine the experience, articulate it a clear and very defined way but the communication is no different than BBS or IRC was in the past,” said Scrape TV Technology analyst Ken Kevins. “Because of that clarity and ease of use it has drawn all kinds of people and made it an almost essential tool for communication and so when that is suddenly ripped away it’s understandable that people are going to get a little peeved, which seems to be the case for Musharraf.”
Musharraf is currently the most popular Pakistani politician on the social networking site, something which has made his opponents uncomfortable.
“Obviously there are going to be political implications in this. Pakistan is a mess in many ways and has a very conflicted populace so if one person, particularly a former President, suddenly gains a great deal of popularity it is going to cause the ruling powers to be at least a little uncomfortable,” continued Kevins. “I can tell you from personal experience that it isn’t just the politics though. I remember a few months ago something was going on with my ISP and I couldn’t access the site for at least three hours and I had started to panic. Luckily everything was settled and I was able to get back on, but I sweated it out for even that small amount of time.”
Musharraf has given his password to a family member who lives abroad who has then been passing message along to him.
Martin Philton, Technology Correspondent