Video: evidence of social media giants coordinating alternative media account deletion

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It may have escaped the notice of many social media users, but after varying degrees of censorship of alternative media by social media giant Facebook – accounts removed from users’ ‘follows’ and ‘see first’ feeds, difficulties in opening pages or sharing posts, ‘shadowbanning’ – last week saw the censorship move up several gears when Facebook deleted around eight hundred media sites in a single day.

But there is also evidence suggesting that Facebook was not acting in isolation – and that the Twitter accounts of many of the same media sites were also suspended or removed on the very same day.

US comedian and activist noticed the ‘coincidence’ and commented on it during his Redacted Tonight show – and described his conclusion:

Facebook conspired with Twitter to shut down a large swathe of alternative and independent media ON THE SAME DAY.

Previous measures implemented in one area by Facebook to remove or deprioritise independent news from users’ feeds were soon activated in others, so UK followers of independent news can take no comfort in the fact that this first phase only seems to have affected US outlets.

For Lee Camp’s full (8m 30s) video, click here.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

This is a serious issue for freedom of information and speech – Camp called it a ‘full-on fascist take-over of thought‘ and many will find it hard to disagree with him. The Establishment is desperately unsettled by the surge in independent thought and information.

It’s more important than ever to find ways to propagate independent news that do not depend on corporate platforms – and to raise awareness of the attacks at government and corporate levels that are taking place on media that genuinely try hold power to account.

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    1. No idea, wouldn’t know where to start! If anyone has experience/skills, let me know

    2. No need. There is an open source alternative to fb called diaspora*, but people are reluctant to use it because it has not yet reached critical mass. Check it out and persuade your friends to use it, it is distributed software so you have complete control.

  1. Thanks for raising this. The Corporates cannot be separated from government. The actions taken by FB and Twitter last week are on behalf of the US government who seem angry and scared by dissident sites. We need a “Peoples FB” fast. We need a Labour government even faster to stop the Tories doing this here. The EC is up to the same tricks too so don’t think that remaining will be the Land of Milk and Honey.

  2. If, instead of paying our TV licences, all we lefties paid that same amount to fund our own TV channel outside territorial waters I think we could afford the infrastructure.
    Remember Radio Caroline?

    Closing these left wing accounts and leaving only the right wing narrative might just possibly have the opposite effect to that intended – it might actually wake up the fabled ‘silent majority’ to what’s really going on and build our base rather than protecting neoliberals from criticism.
    Young people, as the biggest users, will obviously see this for what it is – a move by the wealthy to pull up the ladder behind them.
    Do you think the 1% smell revolution in the air? They should.

    I’ll be surprised if the hacker community isn’t already girding its loins to fuck up some genuinely evil monsters.

    Seems like this might be where we make a stand.

    1. ‘Caroline the Sound of the Nation, man that’s groovy’. The Marine Offences Act that became law 14th August, 1967 was brought in to censor Freedom of Speech; as the ‘Pirates’ challenged the monopoly of the BBC. It is no coincidence that the best music ever made happened in 1967 (OK that’s open to debate!). It was not only illegal to broadcast offshore, but advertisers were fined. What was most sinister was the fact that DJs, or anyone working on board ‘pirate ships’ had their passports revoked, rendering them stateless & technically unable to set foot in any country. You could be a mass murderer, but not have this inflicted on you.
      The state is well aware of the power of the media & the ‘democratisation process’ of social media that challenges the establishment. You need to be a fit & proper person to be allowed to hold a license to broadcast; persons such as Rupert Murdoch & Richard Branson. The same restriction does not apply to the press. Freedom of speech is an illusion if you do not have a platform. To paraphrase Voltaire, ‘Imay disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death for your right to say it’. Today, Je suis Charlie Ebdo.
      I have had my FB account closed (thank God); blacklisted by the BBC & accused of being a Russian Troll. Whose been talking?

      1. You’re right, it’s hopeless and we’re doomed.
        I surrender.

        Actually I believe only British subjects are in peril from the Marine Offences Act, but what would be so bad about being a political prisoner of a Tory government?

        The voters might start wondering why the Tories need to crush even peaceful opposition.
        Think they could win an election with political prisoners in jail?

      2. Be fair. The notion that Radio Caroline was a revolutionary force is a bit far-fetched. Look where most of those DJs went.

        It was a battle between new capital and establishment capital.

        Don’t get sentimental.

    2. RH, if your comment was for me – hard to know on this platform – I made no such connection and am under no such illusion.

      The ability to broadcast our own narrative is the thing.
      It’s much more difficult to prevent the propagation of radio waves than it is to control the internet – and people like TV.

  3. My FB account was also suspended at the same time. When I contacted FB Help, I was informed that this was because I’d broken it’s rules. I was not, however, told which rules and I’m certain that this wasn’t true.

    FB invited me to open a new account, which I did. It was a complete nightmare, as I had set-up several Groups and a Page and was admin on others. I had to inform all my co-admins and friends I could remember. My original FB account was still visible but I was no longer in control of it and many friends were suspicious, believing me to be a troll.

    1. Kafkaesque, isn’t it?
      If it ever did get to court they’d be forced to argue that a rule infraction may at the same time be serious enough to justify closing the rule breaker’s account without warning(?) – and yet trivial enough that the culprit is immediately invited to open a new account.
      They’d deserve to be laughed out of court.

  4. I’ve never read FB’s rules and without specialist knowledge of the law, probably both here and in the US, it wouldn’t do any good.
    In all probability there’s nothing that can be done but maybe they didn’t cover themselves against censorship of political opinion that breaks no laws.
    It wouldn’t be the first time the judiciary has stood up to the establishment instead of for it.

  5. 3 letters: RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. RSS is how we follow people on the internet — AND is also the foundation of the business model that sites like Facebook and YouTube use. By appropriating RSS — FB’s “feed” or YouTube’s “subscribe” they keep users on their sites consuming advertising. Otherwise, they’d do what I do and use an RSS reader to have COMPLETE control over feed info. This is the thing that Facebook is messing with to control what you see. BUT, because FB et al have made RSS feeds the foundation of their business model, it has been degraded elsewhere. Many people don’t know it exists; many sites don’t offer RSS feeds. Skwawkbox does. That’s how I get it.

    SOLUTION: embrace RSS. Use it as a reader to control what you see, and use it as a site owner to make sure people can subscribe directly to you, rather than relying on Facebook. It can be used for Vimeo to subscribe to video feeds, or most blogs. Podcasting relies on RSS. There are tools to consolidate feeds, filter them, mash them together, and republish them in a different form. RSS is the real meaning of “follow”

    One of the creators of RSS was a child prodigy named Aaron Swartz. He got mixed up with activism to prevent copyright fraud against the public and was hounded to suicide by US authorities.
    More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS
    FWIW, on Mac and iOS, I use Reeder.app

    1. Hey Brad, this is really useful info for a non techy person like me and probably loads of others. Do you mind if I share your comment? Ps. yes, I remember reading about Aaron Swartz, poor kid.

    2. Just looked it up and recognised the little logo from years back when IE was the only browser I knew. Never used RSS though – scared I’d end up spending my whole day online.
      I’ll give reeder a try on the ipad now I’m retired – thanks for the heads up Brad.

  6. zuckerberg = Proper wrong’un. Perhaps THE greatest threat to democracy and social cohesion. Just everything about him is wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG.

    No redeeming features at all. Willing to sell you & your details out for the ‘protection’ of worldwide governmental & corporate dispensations. Took his 30 pieces of silver…and shamelessly keeps doing so.

    Whatever happened to Anonymous?

  7. On another note, I see yet another frankenfield diehard – Wirral Borough Councillor – moira ‘magda’ mclaughlin has left the party, citing: “hard-left bullying, intimidation and vilification”. (Amongst other whinges) as the reasons.


    Magda (As in magda goebbels, such is her fanaticism for frankenfield) is a previous contributor to this site; so if you’re reading this, then DO turn it in magda, ffs.

    Anyone unawares what bothered to take the blindest bit of notice of you’d think the red army were about to storm the town hall bunker at any second. You can drink all the kool-aid you like, but don’t be trying to poison the innocents with it…

  8. ‘Anonymous’ set up their own individual zuckerberger free site called ‘Minds’. There’s an app for it too (for most devices) it’s not as fully developed as fb or twitter, but it’s there. Also, ‘Bambuser’ has been used in the past by known activists – that time a few years ago when disabled people camped outside the dwp head office and were physicaly assaulted – many of us watched that happen. (long before fb decided to implement ‘live broadcasts’).
    Both of the mentioned outlets are reliable and there for us to use – which we should.

  9. Join diaspora* (the asterisk is required) it is a fb replacement using free software that cannot be controlled by the establishment.

    1. Even if diaspora* and some others can’t be controlled it’s the activists using it and those who read and reblog them that the establishment wants to shut down.
      Is there any reason the Tories wouldn’t blackmail, say, our internet service providers – as they almost certainly blackmailed Facebook – with threats of punitive taxes and other costs if they don’t shut down users on Tory blacklists?

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