To tide over the social media ban imposed by the government in Kashmir, a 16-year-old boy from the valley has developed a new social media platform which works without a VPN connection.
The Android app named ‘KashBook’, which is referred as Kashmir’s own Facebook developed by a student of Class 10 Zeyan Shafiq, has already attracted more than 1500 users.
The site was launched in 2013, but the presence of Facebook created a hindrance. But the site was relaunched after the social media ban in the last month.
The government on 26 April, had banned all social media in Kashmir claiming that these sites were allegedly misused by “anti-government elements”. The ban includes Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, QQ, WeChat, Ozone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram and Reditt.
“The government has blocked access to all the social networks and they are blocking VPNs too. So, when they’ll block the whole access to social media then how will people from valley stay connected with each other? KashBook is the answer to social media gag,” Shafiq was quoted by Times of India.
“Two days back there were some 130 users. Today we have 1,500-plus users,” Shafiq said. The youth is poised to launch the app on iOS platform soon.
On the portal, users can add people and chat with them, post messages along with many features which one finds in other social media websites. There is also a market for buying and selling.
Some of the people in valley have also found workarounds like using proxy connections to access social media services under the ban.