'Kisan Ekta Morcha' page was blocked by automated systems, restored in 3 hours: Facebook

Facebook on Monday said agitating farmers' page, Kisan Ekta Morcha, was blocked by automated systems on Sunday but was restored in less than 3 hours.

Farmers unions had on Sunday alleged that Facebook had blocked their page, Kisan Ekta Morcha, at the Central government's behest after they published a video countering its claims on farm laws.

Baljeet Singh, who termed himself the head of IT wing of the agitation, said: "The government is afraid of the farmers."

The Facebook page was later restored, reports said.

In a statement on Sunday, Facebook said, "As per our review, our automated systems found an increased activity on Facebook page 'Kisan Ekta Morcha' and flagged it as spam, which violates our Community Standards. We restored the page in less than 3 hours when we became aware of the context."

"The vast majority of our work fighting spam is done automatically using recognizable patterns of problematic behaviour. For example, if an account is posting over and over in quick succession that’s a strong sign something is wrong," the statement issued by a Facebook spokesperson said.

"We also rely on our human review team to work on cases where human expertise is needed to understand the context of a particular situation. In Q3, 2020 out of the 1.9 billion pieces of content removed globally for violating our policies on spam, we restored 74.9 mn pieces of content globally when we identified issues ourselves," the statement further said.

The protests by farmers camping at the borders of the national capital entered the 25th day on Sunday.

The farmers, on Sunday, had warned the government that they will make all the toll plazas free in Haryana between December 25-27 and will undertake a relay hunger strike.

Their day-long 'relay' hunger strike began on Monday at all sites of protest on Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Protesting farmers will participate in the hunger strike in batches and the first has 11 members, according to farmer leaders.

Thousands of agriculturists, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting against the laws for the last over four weeks at various border points of Delhi and demanding that the legislations be repealed.

Several roads have been shut due to the agitation and the Delhi Traffic Police has been updating commuters on open and closed routes.

Farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The three farm laws, enacted in September, have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The Centre has repeatedly asserted that these mechanisms will remain.

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