Human rights activists have a beef with Facebook.
Hundreds of people affiliated with the protest group called the Syria Campaign gathered outside Facebook’s London office this morning to demand the social media giant return money spent by Syrian tyrant Basher Al-Assad’s regime for sponsored posts that promoted elections in the war-ravaged nation, activists claimed.
The brief protest featured activists dressed as Facebook staff members. They held placards reading “Open for Business in Syria” and large pictures of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Assad. Activists said the protest was shut down by Facebook security officers.
Facebook did not return requests for comment.
Facebook told the English Guardian newspaper that it would no longer run the Assad pages, according to activists.
Syria is currently embroiled in a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 and displaced over 2 million. It shows no sign of abating.
The social media company has taken heat from activists in the trouble-plagued Middle East before. Activists in Iran, for example, said it is now a crime to access Facebook with stiff prison sentences if caught. They said Facebook allows members of the Iranian regime to have Facebook pages while common Iranians are forbidden from doing so.
A Facebook user from England visiting family in Iran was sentenced to 20 years in prison for posting on a Facebook page the regime doesn’t like last month. Family members of the woman, Roya Nobakht, said she has been beaten and brutalized in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Seven other Iranian’s, mostly students, received stiff prison sentences in the same trial.
In the case of Nobakht, Facebook did not return requests for comment.