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IPFS News Link • India

India bans 22 social media sites in Kashmir over alleged abuse videos

•, Aijaz Hussain

Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have banned 22 social media sites in an effort to calm tensions in the disputed region after videos depicting the alleged abuse of Kashmiris by Indian forces fuelled protests. But the sites remained online Thursday as the local telecom company struggled to block them.

The government said Wednesday that the one-month ban was necessary for public safety because social media were being "misused by anti-national and anti-social elements."

"It's being felt that continued misuse of social networking sites and instant messaging services is likely to be detrimental to the interests of peace and tranquillity in the state," the public order said.

Pranesh Prakash, policy director for the Indian advocacy group the Center for Internet and Society, called the ban a "blow to freedom of speech" and "legally unprecedented in India."