Facebook ban: major businesses, NGOs affected

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By: Jahanzaib Haque/Naureen Aqueel

More than 38 major businesses and NGOs in Pakistan have been hit by the nationwide ban on popular social networking website Facebook.

Companies like uFone, Mobilink, Zong, DELL Pakistan and Pepsi Pakistan that have active Facebook pages with the number of members lying between 10,000 to 99,000, have been cut off from what was otherwise an easily accessible audience for marketing purposes.

Additionally, at least 500 companies in Pakistan having a Facebook presence are currently suffering as a result of the ongoing ban.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms used by corporate and community organistations to connect easily with their targeted markets. Information about new products and services, events and community-based development projects are often communicated through Facebook pages.

Using Facebook pages has been so effective that some small companies have carried out their businesses solely by marketing on Facebook. Many local companies also use Facebook ads which can be obtained at a low cost to reach out to wider audiences.

All such activities came to a halt with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) ban on Facebook throughout the country. Companies who had already bought ad space from Facebook for a specified number of days have lost out on their investments as the Pakistani market will be unable to see the ads on Facebook till May 31.

There is some good news for these companies and NGOs as Facebook has opted to remove the offending page which had begun this controversy, but it remains to be seen whether the ban on Facebook will be removed or extended beyond May 31.

Below follows a list of businesses and NGOs affected by the Facebook ban. The list has been obtained from:

http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Internet_censorship

Business Pages (Commercial pages. Includes services.)

NGOs/ Community-Based Organizations’ Pages All non-profit, advocacy organizations)

Organizational/ Institutional Pages (Universities, governmental agencies, utilities, etc.)

  • LUMS — 3,533 members –University
  • IBA — 1,186 members – University
  • Karachi University — 738 members — University
  • NED — 3,823 member — University
  • Mehran University
  • KESC-Official — 5,000 members — Karachi Electric Supply Corporation uses this page to stay in contact with consumers

Government Pages

Originally published in The Express Tribune.

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