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Journalist threatened on Facebook

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - 11 August 2011 - With the growing number of social media users, the misuse of this media has also been increasing. Derogatory remarks insulting or defaming individuals are increasingly appearing on social media, in particular Facebook.

Freedom Forum was recently informed that a journalist in Siraha, a district in the southern plain of the country, was threatened by an armed group.

Santosh Yadav, a reporter for the national daily "Rajdhani", published in Kathmandu, was threatened by the underground armed group Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (Rajan Mukti group) on 8 August 2011.

Yadav told Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk that an individual named Vaskar Mukti, who claims to be a key member of the group, wrote on Facebook, "Mr Santosh, I've heard that you are working for the police administration. We are sure you played a role in the arrest of Morcha's leader, Jaymukti. Contact us soon, otherwise the high command of the Morcha will come after you."

According to the Facebook profile, the message came from the username [email protected]

Yadav denied Mukti's allegations. He further said that the local daily "Anukalpa", where he also works as a reporter, had recently reported on the arrest of Jaymukti by the police.

"With the use of social media like Facebook to issue threats, insult and defame, authorities may respond harshly against users of social media, thereby increasing the likelihood that freedom of expression will be curtailed," said Freedom Forum Chairman Taranath Dahal, adding that the users need to use social media in an appropriate manner.

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