As regular readers will be aware, during July and August the SKWAWKBOX came under a number of technical attacks, with sophisticated methods used to block access to its articles. There were three such attacks within the space of a week – each time after articles exposing smears by the Establishment and the Labour right were published and began to go viral.
One attack lasted over 24 hours.
Now the blog appears to be under a renewed attack with an apparently targeted ‘shadowbanning’ by Facebook – after a broader ‘ban’ caused new articles to be deleted immediately after posting affected a range of left-wing sites.
The broad issue was described by Facebook as a technical ‘glitch’ then said to be resolved. However, the SKWAWKBOX was affected by a far more specific phenomenon that resulted in follower after follower contacting the blog with messages like the one shown below to say that no new posts were reaching their Facebook feeds – even though they had prioritised SKWAWKBOX articles to ‘see first’ status:
The issue is not affecting other sites, as our friends at some of the other main ‘new left media’ sites confirmed:
Your engagements on Facebook fell off a cliff midway through 18/8 and haven’t been anywhere near the same since. Likes and shares have dropped by over 90%. We haven’t seen anything like that affecting us – someone has directly targeted your page.
The SKWAWKBOX has raised this issue with Facebook, but has not yet received a meaningful explanation, let alone a resolution of the issue.
Fortunately the overall reach of the page has been maintained, as other platforms and the support of readers have taken up the slack. But this means that without the ‘shadowban’, the number of people seeing the blog’s important information would be even higher.
But the reports from the blog’s Facebook followers mean that the platform is failing to carry out their instructions to ‘see first’ all new SKWAWKBOX articles and is depriving them of what they want to see – without telling them or explaining why.
It’s hard to avoid the impression that the blog’s effectiveness in challenging Establishment narratives has it in the crosshairs, so its readers’ support in propagating the information across all platforms is more essential than ever.
One practical step you can take if you’re not already doing it, is to use the follow-by-email option to ensure you’re notified of new posts directly – and then share them on your own social media feeds using the share options within each article.
In the meantime, efforts continue to make the availability of the site more robust and to find new ways to ensure it reaches all the people who need it – and contacts with Facebook are ongoing so the blog can keep upsetting the right.
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