Eight whistleblowers prosecuted under the Obama administration: Where are they now?
One month before the U.S midterm elections, Facebook deletes over 800 pages and accounts claiming they consistently displayed “spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
The 559 politically-oriented pages and 251 accounts were all American. Among the blocked pages are Nation in Distress, Right Wing News, Reasonable People Unite, and The Resistance.
Facebook explains this action in their official statement:
“People need to be able to trust the connections they make on Facebook. It’s why we have a policy banning coordinated inauthentic behavior — networks of accounts or Pages working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing. This year, we’ve enforced this policy against many Pages, Groups and accounts created to stir up political debate, including in the US, the Middle East, Russia and the UK. But the bulk of the inauthentic activity we see on Facebook is spam that’s typically motivated by money, not politics. And the people behind it are adapting their behavior as our enforcement improves.”
Although the First Amendment does not apply to private entities such as social media platforms, many of the owners of these pages claim unjust censorship. They contest Facebook’s silencing, claiming they were simply expressing political discourse and not infringing Facebook’s guidelines, according to the Guardian.
The Guidelines on censored hate speech are defined by Facebook as “a direct attack on people based on — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.” They also define attack “as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”
72 percent of the public thinks it is likely that social media platforms, such as Facebook, actively censor political views that those companies find objectionable.
“The study demonstrates slightly differing responses on censorship among political parties, with a majority of Republicans and Republican leaners (85%) believing it is likely that social media companies engage in this behavior, with 54 percent indicating they find it very likely. A smaller share of Democrats – though still a majority, at 62 percent – also think it likely that social media companies engage in this behavior.”
Nevertheless, users are surprisingly accepting of this censorship– even those residing in countries where freedom of speech is paramount. However, the data also suggests that in places such as Europe many users support Facebook monitoring their speech if it for the right cause, such as protecting minorities or monitoring fake content.
Despite a growing mistrust of big institutions including technology companies and media outlets, most Facebook users say it is still benefiting them personally to be on the platform. 74 percent of Americans say tech companies have had a positive impact on their lives, and 65 percent feel they’ve had a positive impact on the nation as a whole.
The constant influx of information, from its’ 2.13 billion users, makes it certainly hard for Facebook to monitor all its content. However, the dilemma extends beyond this technological constraint. In giving a powerful company the power to decide what should be censored can easily silence voices that deserve to be heard.
In April 2018 users gained the ability to file an appeal if they believe their content has been unfairly removed. That appeal is then sent to a new human moderator, who will issue a decision within 24 hours. However, this did not help the 800+ pages claiming injustice this past November.
- Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus’s six-month prison sentence, concerns the international community14/02/2024 - 3:10 pm
The journalist Jamil Ahmed looks back at the case of Mohammed Yunus, Bangladeshi economist dreator of microcredit and “banker to the poor”.
- TRIBUNE. Opposition parties prevented from meeting in Bangladesh25/09/2023 - 10:14 am
Journalist Jamil Ahmed looks back at the historic citizen mobilization in Bangladesh, and the government’s assumed repression.
- MEETING. In Bangladesh, how “enforced disappearances” are becoming commonplace 28/08/2023 - 8:47 am
Marianne Initiative 2023 Laureate, lawyer Shahanur Islam is dedicated to the LGBTQI+ community and minorities in Bangladesh.
- Bangladesh: Where Freedom of Speech is Gradually Shrinking09/08/2023 - 8:58 am
Freedom of speech is the principle supported by individuals or communities to freely express their opinions without fear, without surveillance or under the obligation to accept the directives and approval of authorities. At present, various countries of the world are not following this principle. That is, they are not protecting freedom of speech. The South […]
- PORTRAIT. Farhad Shamo Roto, Ézidi “stateless in my own country”04/08/2023 - 8:00 am
Winner of the 2023 Marianne Initiative and founder of Voice of Ezidis, Farhad has never stopped fighting for his people and human rights.
- PORTRAIT. Tamilla Imanova: “It was impossible for the Russian people to remain silent.”25/07/2023 - 9:21 am
Winner of the 2023 Marianne Initiative, Tamilla Imanova talks to L’Œil about human rights defense and activism in Russia.
- Wagner : how was the mutiny treated by the Russian media ?03/07/2023 - 8:26 am
In Russia, how did the state media and the independent press analyse Wagner’s mutiny against Vladimir Putin this weekend ?
- PORTRAIT : “We didn’t do anything wrong, we just held our microphones and turned on our cameras”20/06/2023 - 9:08 am
Despite death threats and intimidation, Malian journalist Malick Konaté has never turned his back on his vocation: information.
- “The persecution never stops” : in Cuba, journalists muzzled by power15/06/2023 - 1:30 pm
Seasoned journalist and cartoonist, the Cuban couple Laura S. Pacheco and Wimar V. Fuentes agreed to tell us about their latest events on the island.
- CHOKRI CHIHI, exiled journalist: “In Tunisia, it’s a nightmare”14/06/2023 - 10:16 am
Chokri Chihi, a journalist who has been a victim of police violence for years, was forced to leave Tunisia to stay alive.
- Brazil : does Lula’s re-election mark the return of the free press ?13/06/2023 - 10:11 am
More than 150 days after the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, what has become of the press muzzled by Bolsonaro and his supporters?
- GUINEA. THE PRESS AGAINST THE MILITARY JUNTA10/06/2023 - 9:53 am
Journalist, TV host, producer and director of institutional documentaries and fiction, Alhussein Sano is a Guinean intellectual. He entered the media world with the creation of his production agency MAXI PLUS in 1995, and can look back on 28 years of journalistic experience. Now a member of the Maison des Journalistes, Alhussein discusses the weakening […]
- Woman, Life, Freedom : a misunderstood concept ?20/02/2023 - 3:10 pm
Journalist Adnan Hassanpour looks back at Charlie Hebdo’s January cartoons, which allegedly run counter to the “Jina Revolution.”
- Urgent. Journalist and old resident of the MDJ Mortaza Behboudi captured in Afghanistan06/02/2023 - 12:05 pm
Reporters Without Borders and 14 French media outlets are calling for his immediate release, as is the House of Journalists.
- Exclusive. Does the end of the war in Tigray mean the return of freedom of the press ? 24/01/2023 - 4:03 pm
After two years of war between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF, is a return of the press possible in the Tigray region ?
- Guinea. The Presse at the Front Against the Military Junta17/01/2023 - 10:35 am
Journalist, TV host and documentary maker Alhussein Sano talks about the weakening of press freedom in Guinea.
- SYRIA. The difficult integration of citizens-journalists in the media industry28/12/2022 - 3:26 pm
Since 2011, Syrians have been combining journalism with activism. A look back at ten years of struggle for press freedom with Manar Rachwani.
- IN IRAN, THE “JINA REVOLUTION” TO COMBAT ALL OPPRESSIONS07/12/2022 - 11:21 am
Iranian Kurdish reporter, Adnan Hassanpour looks at the origins and possible outcomes of the historic protests in Iran.
- Afghanistan: women’s journalists cry of alarm23/11/2022 - 10:32 am
“We were imprisoned for four hours, threatened and tortured. They forbade us to do interviews.” How do Afghan journalists defend their right to inform under the Taliban regime?
- War in Afghanistan : one year under the Taliban regime08/11/2022 - 9:57 am
More than a year ago, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. But their regime has ruined the country and broken human rights.