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.
Wow… instead of responding to the appeal I submitted, @Facebook appears to have completely deleted my page. 4 years of work, 70,000 followers, completely gone, and I can't find any record that it ever existed.
— Rachel Blevins (@RachBlevins) October 20, 2018
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.
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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