A U.S. court ruled this week that Facebook has the right to block content without any explanation. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit against Facebook from Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a group that alleged its Facebook page was blocked for religious discriminatory reasons.
The group advocates for Sikh separatism and campaigns against the persecution of Sikhs for promoting their agenda in India. According to the group, the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the national Indian government have already both tried to shut down SFJ’s content in India, and they believe Facebook is working with government to oppress them.
“Facebook is an American corporation and owes allegiance to U.S. Constitution which promotes and protects free speech content and not accede to threats of foreign governments, but [the] ruling failed to cover any of the allegations of SFJ,” said SFJ’s legal advisor and attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. “If Facebook is a public company making billions of dollars in public money and they don’t want to give any explanation for why they blocked the content of a human rights group, then what is the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?”
The judge in the case said that Facebook is protected under the Communications Decency Act, which protects interactive service providers from being held responsible for their users’ content. However, there’s little doubt that SFJ will appeal the ruling, so this case could just be getting started.