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TV Reporter Fired for "liking" Facebook post

Kabul, August 2, 2013

An Afghan TV reporter of Channel 1 was fired from his job after he "liked" a Facebook post about the channel’s management.

Rohullah Arman told Afghanistan Journalists Center that he lost his job after he “liked” a friend’s Facebook post regarding the "government’s decision in including the name of Andi Wilmers into the No Exit list, due to corruption."

"The Technician manager, Andy Volmerz showed me a post on Facebook and asked me, ‘Is it you who liked the post?’ I replied yes. Then he angrily said ‘you are fired and no longer at your job.’" Mr. Arman said.

According to Article 45 of Afghanistan Media Law; works and materials which are considered libelous/defamatory to real and legal

persons and cause damage to their personality and credibility are prohibited to broadcast.

But as the users usually misunderstand the meaning of Facebook ‘like’, they have different interpretations of it.

"I didn't betray the organization or a real person, nor did I write any comments; I just liked a post and it was my right." Rohullah Arman added.

In response; 1TV said in a statement and said there is no official and truth-based evidence that can prove Rohullah Arman’s accusation saying he was fired by liking a facebook post posted by the 1TV.

"In deed he we fired from the TV based on his low-capacity, long-lasting absence, misusing and sharing information outside of the office." The statements added

But the reporter rejects TV's statements, and says if these allegations were true, he would have received a warning letter before firing from his job.

In accordance to Afghan law the channel 1TV is highly committed in security the rights of employees working with the channel. Whatever claimed by Mr. Arman is completely biased and based on his own personal claims.

AFJC calls the firing of the reporter as an act against Afghanistan laws and asks the station’s management to clarify their decisions to the public.

The social media has been rapidly growing in Afghanistan, allowing people to express themselves and their thoughts freely. According to estimates there are nearly a 750,000 social media users in Afghanistan most of whom use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Networking with people from different circles is now an important part of many Afghan youths’ lives. And the social networking sites like Facebook makes this interaction even easier.

Afghan social media users marked the last week of Saratan of solar calendar (23-29 July) as the ‘social media week’ in Afghanistan for the second year. The government is yet to recognize this week.