Google Suspended Tarek Fatah’s Account For About An Hour

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2:58 pm 11 Jan, 2017

The Google account of noted author Tarek Fatah was suspended on January 11 for a brief period. Fatah, a critique of Islamic radicalism, reported it on Twitter.


The account was restored after about an hour.


Fatah blamed the suspension on Islamists. He was recently not allowed to speak at the Calcutta Club on Balochistan and Kashmir issues in West Bengal by the Mamata Banerjee led state government.

Previously, too, Fatah has been barred from speaking against radical Islamists and Pakistan’s atrocities on Balochistan on various fora.

When a Twitter user adviced Fatah to write his views on a website of his own, Fatah said that he has one but Islamists use various methods to attack the site.


The question is: how can Fatah’s Google account get suspended?

Google can suspend anyone’s account if it violates its Terms of Service. Google’s terms of service vaguely tells a user not to “misuse our services”.

Misuse of services might mean any of the following:

1. Misrepresenting oneself or impersonate someone else through email.

2. Sending emails to those who do not wish to be mailed.

3. Sending emails to a bunch of addresses who are not known to the sender.

4. Sending, uploading or distributing any unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent, infringing, obscene or otherwise objectionable content.

5. Transmit content that may be harmful to minors.


This poses another question: Did Fatah violate any of the terms?

Like Facebook, Google gives the user the means to report phishing or block someone for unwanted emails or if the addressees feel “harassed”. It is likely that if too many people report an account, Google might suspend it.


In that light, it is likely that certain Islamists posing as liberal ideologues may have reported Fatah’s Gmail account leading to the suspension.

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