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Journo's letter to Facebook after he gets blocked for exposing media hoax

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Bhopal: A journalist who exposed the hoax about a Qatar princess that was published in a section of media, has been blocked by the Facebook.

The journalist has now written an open letter to Facebook, calling the ban on him as 'undemocratic and unfair'. In the letter he writes that while big media groups that fell for the hoax--that a Qatar princess had sexual encounter with seven persons, were exposed by him, the action was taken on him.

The newspaper reports carried photograph, which was not that of the princess but of a businesswoman. Mohammad Anas, who lives in Allahabad, in his posts on social media wrote that it was unethical, as photographs of women can't be published with such reports. Besides, the news was fake and the photograph was also wrong, which affected reputations of women. 

Also, he wrote about the trend of link-baits where sensational and often misleading headlines are given by established media houses to get attention for their content. He has mentioned this in the open letter written to Facebook authorities, urging them to reflect on their policies that are soft on erring 'big media' houses but target common user who exposes malpractices.

One of the English dailies that published the story, expressed regret. The other, a prominent Hindi daily, carried news on its website but it hasn't expressed apology. Anas lives in Allahabad and sent us the letter. In wider public interest, we are reporting it. Some users are trending Anti-Democratic Facebook in the form of the hashtag #antidemocraticfacebook on Twitter. stand on the issue

It is important to clarify that stands for journalistic ethics. We stand against unverified content, inappropriate language and fake images--either by individual users or big media houses. And we are against any campaign that tarnishes anyone's reputation. 

One media group accepted mistake and published corrigendum. This was the proper thing to do. The aim must not be to target and tarnish image of any media house, journalist or individual user but it is necessary to evolve a process to ensure that the media remains credible, responsible and earns respect for its work.

We are not carrying names just to garner attention or to strike down when someone is at fault. However, as media proliferates, the social media giant needs to also reflect on how to tackle the issues. This is a wider debate and needs constant reflection on part of journalistic fraternity as well as by Facebook authorities. Ethics must be same for all and standards maintained should also apply similarly to all, by editorial in media houses and the Facebook.