Occupy London has become the latest antiestablishment group to face the ban hammer at the hands of overzealous moderators at Facebook.
On Thursday, administrators for the leftist activist page, which had more than 150,000 followers, were informed that their page had been unpublished due to a violation of Facebook’s “community standards.”
The censorship follows a period of “continual removal of posts related to Palestine”, one administrator told reporters. It also follows a recent announcement that the Atlantic Council, a political decision-making body of NATO, would be hired by Facebook to “combat election-related propaganda and misinformation” on its platform.
Thecanary.co reports: One of the administrators took to Twitter to announce the closure:
facebook has apparently removed @OccupyLondon 's 151k strong page, without explanation. Again.@OccupyNN @OccupyDemocracy @OccupyWallStNYC @AnonUKRadio @TheCanaryUK @RealMediaGB @davidgraeber @chunkymark @DonnachadhMc @TheMendozaWoman @JamieKelseyFry
— Ann Narkeh (@AnnNarkeh) August 16, 2018
The web page has been around since 2011, with over 150,000 followers.
A post raising awareness of a “threatening letter” targeting a Muslim family is what appears to have triggered Facebook’s actions.
A spokesperson for the Occupy London page told The Canary:
It feels like censorship. For months, we faced removal of posts related to Palestine. Perhaps once every few weeks or so, a post would be taken down and admins for the page were frozen out of their personal accounts. Then, today, Facebook unpublished the entire page.
The page has long been a free space where all views are tolerated even if we do not agree with them ourselves. We play a role in continuing the work of the Occupy Movement, and promoting activism and journalism which challenges the economic and political order. We promote the values of equality, love, cooperation, and peace. It is chilling to have our platform removed unilaterally and with no transparency whatsoever. We want to see our page back up with immediate effect.
Facebook ‘unpublishes’ other left-leaning or Pro-Palestine sites
In March, the Safa Palestinian Press Agency‘s page, with 1.3 million followers, was shut down by Facebook. Safa also reported [Arabic] that around 100 other accounts of activists and journalists were also shut down.
The Intercept reported in 2016 that Facebook was “collaborating” with the Israeli government on censorship. And in 2017, the Intercept reported that Facebook was “Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments”.
On 13 August, meanwhile, left-leaning Latin American news organisation teleSUR also had its Facebook page shut down. And Facebook temporarily “unpublished” the Venezuelanalysis.com page a few days previously.
.@facebook has shutdown our page in a flagrant act of political censorship. Coincidental that we were unpublished after we posted a brilliant piece demolishing the MSM's appalling coverage of the assassination attempt against @maduro_en? Please RT to demand our page be restored! pic.twitter.com/GUmNsma46K
— venezuelanalysis.com (@venanalysis) August 9, 2018
Both sites are known for their criticisms of US foreign policy. TeleSUR also publishes views that are critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people.