Facebook Censors Left-Leaning Pages and Alternative News Services

August 8, 2016

Facebook Censors Left-Leaning Pages and Alternative News Services

UNITED STATES — On July 31st, Facebook suspended the Facebook page for Infoshop.org, after several months of suspending page admins for posting various memes, graphics and updates.

At the same time, Facebook has been suspending other left-leaning pages and suspending personal account privileges for admins associated with those pages. The page for Red & Black Anarchists, which had over 95,000 fans, was totally suspended several weeks ago. The same thing happened to Solarpunk Anarchists and other political web pages. The exact number is unknown, as page and account suspensions interfere with the ability of people to announce these suspensions or communicate with each other.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2016, Facebook suspended and sanctioned a member of the Infoshop News collective over the posting of a meme image that Facebook claims is a violation of its “Community Standards.” This person lost their ability to participate on Facebook for one month. The meme depicts some ISIS fighters with the text “Don’t Like ISIS? Join Them and Change It From Within.” The suspended admin says that the meme was posted as a criticism of progressives who continue to urge leftists to support Hillary Clinton.

On July 31st, another active admin was suspended for a month for posting a meme depicting various racist and exclusionary signs that were used in the past. This was a historical montage about racism, which has been shared by other pages and individuals. Given that Infoshop.org is an anti-racist project that has expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the posting of this meme has to be seen in that context.

This meme also led to Facebook suspending the Infoshop page, so none of Infoshop’s 28,000 followers could see or interact with the page. A spokesperson with Infoshop.org, Nestor Goldman, said that the Infoshop Facebook page recently reached six million in “reach” according to Facebook’s metrics. He said that much of this relates to recent news events, especially concerning the Black Lives Matter movement.

Goldman says that the censorship may have been instigated by people who are upset that Infoshop uses a Black Lives Matter graphic as the page profile icon. Incidents of reported images, hate emails and other activity seems to increase when this image is used as the profile icon. Goldman stated that Infoshop is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter movement, but they support the movement and report on it as a news organization.

Infoshop News is one of the oldest online news websites, run by anarchists, having published continuously online since 1995. Infoshop News is a project of Infoshop.org. Over the past two decades, Infoshop has covered many of the social movements around the world, reported on activism on many topics, and published original investigative journalism, analysis, and opinion.

All attempts by Infoshop volunteers to appeal these suspensions and the “unpublishing” of their page, have been met with silence from Facebook. Infoshop reports that similar pages which have experienced censorship also can’t communicate with Facebook.

The images in question and further information can be found at these pages:

Facebooks Censors, Shuts Down Infoshop Facebook Page

Stop Facebook Censorship


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