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Kashbook: Kashmiri teen's Facebook-lookalike beats social media ban

Unlike Facebook, this site works without a VPN, so people can easily access it all times

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 


Against the backdrop of a ban imposed in Jammu & Kashmir by the state’s Mehbooba Mufti’s government, a Kashmiri teenager has launched his own Facebook-like social network,

Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg’s global giant Facebook, Zeyan Shafiq’s aims to connect people in the Valley at a time when there is a clampdown on internet services.

From Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Shafiq had started work on the website in 2013 in collaborated with his 19-year-old friend Uzair Jan.

Catch News quoted Shafiq as saying in an interview that the website didn’t take off initially as it was of no use back in 2013. With the recent ban, he received an email expressing the need for a home-grown social platform for Kashmiris. This gave him a true reason to rework and relaunch the website.

The website even has an Android app, and an iOS app is a work in progress. Within a week of its launch, has already gained a lot of popularity with more than 1,500 users logging into in.

In the Catch News interview, Shafiq also said: “A special feature of the site is that it works without a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and people can easily access it. So this way, all Kashmiris can be connected to one another.”

Additionally, the creators have worked hard to make sure the site is always accessible. Every time the website gets blacklisted, they spring into action, change the server, and allow users to access at all times. In this way, they have overcome the shortcomings of Facebook, too.

One of the most important services is also that provides a market for buyers and sellers to boost their business and sell their goods. This feature has been added to promote Kashmiri goods and services.