Facebook outage in Mauritius – it’s been censored!!!

An extract of an article from Le Mauricien of Thursday 8 November 2007:

FACEBOOK : accès bloqué pour cause de ” diffamation “

Les Mauriciens étaient incapables ce matin de se connecter au site Internet de réseau social Facebook (http://www.facebook.com). Dans un communiqué émis hier, le gouvernement, à travers l’Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), a demandé aux fournisseurs d’accès Internet de bloquer temporairement l’accès au public à ce site prisé par beaucoup d’internautes mauriciens.

L’ICTA affirme que le site ” is currently hosting contents of defamatory nature “, d’où la décision d’en faire bloquer l’accès. Selon Trilok Dwarka, Chairman de l’ICTA, une personne aurait usurpé l’identité du Premier ministre, Navin Ramgoolam, en créant un profil à son nom, comportant également sa photo. De nombreux commentaires diffamatoires auraient été publiés sur cette page. ” Selon la loi, l’ICTA est autorisée à prendre les mesures nécessaires en cas de diffamation “, précise le chairman. L’ICTA a pris contact avec les responsables de Facebook pour leur demander d’effacer cette page, et l’accès au site a été rétabli en début d’après-midi.

While I agree that it’s not ok for someone to be taking the mickey out of our Prime Minister, I think that the decision to censor the site is totally out of proportion; why is it that we could not access the site while facebook was “removing” the profile? Moreover, what if facebook had not removed the profile, would we have been banned from using facebook in Mauritius? Come on people!!!

Also, I’d like to point out that it’s not only Navin Ramgoolam concerned but there’s also the President of the Republic of Mauritius (who I think is above the Prime Minister in the Mauritian political hierarchy), the leader of the Opposition and the Minister of Culture (proof of all this below) and the profiles of especially the president and the Minister of Culture look far from being genuine!



So why is it that only the profile of the Prime Minister has been “removed”? Or are we are going to be banned from facebook for some more days while these profiles as well are taken care of!

Anyway it’s bound to cause a buzz in the blogosphere and it has already started: Avinash, Eddy, …

17 responses to “Facebook outage in Mauritius – it’s been censored!!!

  1. As you probably already know, everything politically-related in Mauritius is blown out of proportion. A simple thing as this got so much attention! Couldn’t they just report abuse to Facebook, get the IP of the person who first created the profile, and ask our local ISPs to track them?

    They might be in cyber or anything, but it’s worth a try, rather than banning a whole country from accessing a site. They are doing things the Chinese-way apparently, censoring stuff and all. So much for democracy.. 😦

  2. meme si j’admet que l’usurpation d’une identite est tres mauvaise, je ne pense pas que l’affaire en question aurait du etre traiter de la maniere dont elle a ete faite.

    Je pense que Navin Ramgoolam aurait du rapporter le blog en question comme tous le monde concerner par une telle action. C’est pas parce qu’on est premier ministre qu’on peut ce permettre tous.

    je pense que c’est une honte pour un pays democratique et supposer libre, de bloquer l’acces a un site pour une chose pareil.

    Je me demande, si on avait usuper mon identiter et que j’aurai demander a l’icta de bloque l’acces au site- Est-ce qu’il l’aurait fait?

    Est ce Navin Ramgoolam est au dessus du lot?

    Vive L’ile Maurice

  3. IMHO, Mr the Prime Minister, is just a weak being. Why should you fear about something that is totally. false? That’s the major question. In the process of cleaning up, entire Mauritius had to suffer. Isn’t it a wrong way of doing things?

  4. Mon cher matapan,

    Pouvez-vous m’expliquer ce que vous dites par ‘un pays democratique’? Je voudrais bien avoir une explication concrete.

    Deuxieme point:
    ‘Je me demande, si on avait usuper mon identiter et que j’aurai demander a l’icta de bloque l’acces au site- Est-ce qu’il l’aurait fait?’
    Eh bien, a qui le tort la dessus d’apres vous? Votre identite ne flotte pas necessairement sur le Net aussi facilement que ca.

  5. Well it seems that every one in the world likes to be the first in something. For mauritius we are among the first in the world for diabetes, and now i read in today’s newspaper that the same trend is going for AIDS…
    Now we can say that the GM is trying to prove that we can no more be considered as a democracy. We are close to be considered as “une republique bananiere” and people are still wondering what’s next?

  6. @ matapan

    Since they have not removed the faked id of the President of the republic, don’t think that ICTA would have done anything for us 🙂

  7. Is it the PM or ICTA? From what i’ve gathered it seems that it’s more ICTA than PM guilty for blocking facebook.

    I’d like some more news though

  8. Pingback: Helen Morgan - Snapperup of unconsidered trifles » Blog Archive » Facebook censored in Mauritius·

  9. It was not up for ICTA to block. It was the role of these whining citizens to inform Facebook, or that of the PM himself.

    Extract from the Terms of Use of Facebook:

    “impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;’

  10. Al Fred, si vrai mem to envi conne definition democratie, fer ene search lor google. 2008 et dimoune encore gopya coumsa…tsssssssssss

  11. the prime minister too sensitive miniters in other country they wont do things like that cause they are in democratic country

  12. Simply, where is the freedom of speech? its so weird that they have to ban something that everyone is using around the world to stay connected. People were talking about George Bush all the time while he was a president, did they ban anything such as facebook, no way! So just live with it..

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