Facebooks Censors, Shuts Down Infoshop Facebook Page *UPDATED*

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This meme resulted in a month suspension.

**UPDATE July 25, 2016**

Facebook continues to ban and censor admins of various anarchist and left-wing political pages. One of the main moderators of the Infoshop FB page is on week two of a month ban. Another Infoshop admin just finished a week ban. During that week, we could not post to the Infoshop page or answer messages.

It has come to our attention that this problem has been growing across other anarchist pages. Last week, Red & Black Anarchists, which has 95,000 followers, saw it's admins banned and the page cannnot be accessed via Facebook. Social Anarchist News informed us today that their main volunteer has been sanctioned for a week by Facebook. Other pages have seen an increase in sanctions and suspensions of volunteer administrators.

Emails and messages to Facebook by admins of these pages are consistently unanswered.


Facebooks Censors, Shuts Down Infoshop Facebook Page

by Infoshop News
July 19, 2016

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 his ability to participate on Facebook for one month. The meme depicts some ISIS fighter with the text "Don't Like ISIS? Join Them and Change It From Within."

The next day, Facebook suspended and sanctioned another Infoshop News volunteer for one week, over the meme posted below. That person had already experienced a three day suspension the previous week. The suspension of the two most active members on the Facebook page effectively shut downs that social media outlet for our project. This comes at a time when the page reached 6 million people last week (according to Facebook's metrics).

Facebook has been suspending admins of left-leaning pages on a frequent basis this year. Infoshop volunteers received similar bans in May, over meme posts that were not a violation of Facebook policies, although they may have been disliked by people with different politics. We were suspended for days and a week. Facebook suspensions increase in length after each incident, so an admin may be blocked for one day (even if they didn't post the image), then a week, and now a month.

All attempts by Infoshop volunteers to appeal these suspensions and the "unpublishing" of our page, have been met with silence from Facebook. We understand that similar pages that have experienced censorship also can't communicate with Facebook.

 It appears that these suspensions have gotten worse, because Facebook users are abusing the FB flagging service to cause problems for pages they disagree with politically. We've noticed that we are subjected to more reporting and suspensions whenever we are using a "Black Lives Matter" icon for our profile pic. We are not affiliated with Black Lives Matter, but we support that movement. This doesn't sit well with some people who see our content shared, often by people hoping to instigate a hostile response to us. People who are opposed to our politics, follow our page, and then "report" our postings as "graphic", "spam" and "copyright violations."

This meme resulted in a one week suspension for an Infoshop volunteer.

We are not the only left-leaning Facebook page that has experienced suspensions over political speech. It has become quite common this year. We are hoping to organize with similar projects that have been censored. We have created a blog (http://stopfacebookcensorship.infoshop.org/) as part of our response to Facebook's censorship.

By Facebook's own metrics, Infoshop's page was reaching around six million people this past week. This is mostly due to various political developments in recent weeks, especially the anti-police brutality protests in numerous cities. But with a "reach" that large, it means that people who disagree with our politics are seeing our postings more often. These people are the types who are inclined to coerce dissenters into shutting up, which is why they are using the Facebook system to censor us.

Infoshop has also "unpublished" our page after the May suspensions. People can still see and interact with our page, but we cannot add new administrators or change admin permissions. As a collective, it is important that we be able to share duties and ability to post updates to our page.

A suspension severely limits your ability to interact with anybody. A suspension basically puts your FB experience into "read only" mode.

  • You can read your newsfeed and stories posted to friend's profiles and pages
  • You can't post updates, pictures, or anything to your profile or to any of your pages
  • You can't post comments anywhere
  • You can read messages sent to you, but you cannot respond to them
  • You can't like or emoji anything
  • You can't chat
  • You get notifications about everything. As interactions with your most recent posts taper off, Facebook decides that you've lost interest and sends you more notifications about activity on pages you manage
  • FB keeps asking you to spend money to promote posts and buy advertising
  • May affect log-ins on third party websites which ask you to log-in with your Facebook account
  • You can't wish anybody a happy birthday
  • You cannot like pages or follow people
  • You can't RSVP to any events
  • You cannot change your profile picture or profile bannerY
  • You can join events
  • You can't post to a group, even an inside group for the collective that manages the page.

Stop Facebook Censorship: http://stopfacebookcensorship.infoshop.org/blogs-mu
We are looking to work with similar pages censored by Facebook

Infoshop: Infoshop.org
Infoshop News: news.infoshop.org

This was posted in May 2016 and Facebook suspended an Infoshop volunteer for several days.

This was posted in May 2016 and Facebook suspended an Infoshop volunteer for one week.

What a page admin sees when Facebook suspends you. The first sign of trouble is that Facebook logs you out of your account (often in the middle of the night).

All of the images that resulted in suspensions came from third parties. Infoshop creates our own memes, but these memes have been posted on other pages and personal profiles with few problems.


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