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A large number of social media users from Afghanistan were told that, if the “Sanction Pakistan” hashtag remains a viral trend on Facebook for the next 96 hours (or four days), Facebook will temporarily or permanently block accounts of its Pakistani users.
A Facebook spokesman told FactCresindo that the reports were incorrect and that Facebook had not made such a decision to block Pakistani users from using their services.
FactCrescendo is an independent fact-checking that is approved by the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN)
A large number of Facebook users have shared posts claiming that, as a response to the “Sanction Pakistan” campaign, Facebook will ban the accounts of Pakistani users if the hashtag reached a certain milestone.
This rumour started spreading on August 8, 2021, when a number of big Facebook pages from Afghanistan started making this false claim, encouraging followers to participate in the campaign.
A Facebook page called Kabul Media, using the hashtag “Sanction Pakistan” wrote on August 5 this year: “Facebook says if this campaign continues for two more days, they will block the internet, bank accounts and Facebook profiles of Pakistanis.”
The above Facebook post had been shared around 100 times before it was deleted.
However, many more Facebook pages and profiles copied the misleading message and spread it further.
The “Sanction Pakistan” campaign
Afghan users widely have been posting on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag “Sanction Pakistan”.
Hundreds of comments using the same hashtag can be seen on the official Facebook pages of US President Joe Biden, the White House, Boris Johnson and a number of other government officials.
Afghan government and media officials have also recently taken part in the campaign. The campaign comes as the Taliban have recently seized five key Afghan cities. The war and the rise of the Taliban have worried many Afghans.
Fact Crescendo, in their fact-checking investigation, found out that the claims are false. A Facebook spokesperson also dismissed the rumours. According to the Facebook spokesperson, Facebook has not made any decision regarding baning the accounts of their Pakistani users as such.
Rumours are about Facebook suspending accounts of its Pakistani users in response to the “Sanction Pakistan” campaign are false.