Image by William Banzai
Social Media Censorship is Rampant
Acclaimed artist Anthony Freda told us:
They suspended my account for a period saying my posts ‘violated community standards’
I say they violate My community standards by spying on us, mining and sharing our info and keeping our biometric data in facial recognition systems.
When a user of the popular Infowars Facebook page uploaded an uncopyrighted image of Bin Laden, that Facebook account was temporarily suspended:
Facebook is now apparently censoring political posts which violate its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” as hate speech, after the social networking giant threatened to close radio host Alex Jones’ account over an image of Osama Bin Laden with the words “Al-CIA-da” written underneath.
Attempting to login to Alex Jones’ Facebook account, which has over 321,000 subscribers, Infowars staff were met with a message from Facebook denying access to the account until it was acknowledged that Facebook’s terms had been violated.
“We removed content you posted,” stated the message, underneath which was a black and white image of Osama Bin Laden with the words “Al-CIA-da” emblazoned across it. Facebook removed the image because it “violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
A secondary screen then warned that other infringing images should be removed if the account was to remain in good standing.
Since the image is not copyrighted, according to Facebook’s terms of agreement one can only assume that it was removed because it represented an example of “hate speech,” yet the picture was merely a commentary on the admitted fact that Osama Bin Laden was aided by the CIA during the cold war and that Al-Qaeda terrorists are now being supported by the Central Intelligence Agency in Syria and Libya.
This is, indeed, an admitted fact. Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets.
Many Americans will be offended by the allegation of the former FBI translator – who has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups, who the ACLU calls “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America”, and who Daniel Ellsberg says possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers” – that Bin Laden worked for the CIA right up until 9/11. But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have the right to say it (or that it isn’t true).
Maybe Facebook censors would have been happier if a younger Bin Laden was shown wearing an Al-CIA-da shirt? (It is a funny coincidence that – as the Guardian noted in 2008 – Facebook was largely launched with CIA and neoconservative money.)
William Banzai – who knows a thing or two about artwork, privacy and censorship – writes:
Several items of interest surfaced over the Christmas Holiday with regard to Social Media Strip Mining and data cloud euphoria:
1. Facebook’s privacy settings are evidently too complicated for Zuckerberg’s sister to navigate. Not surporising, they are not designed for anyone to successfully navigate. If you succeed in mastering Facebook’s privacy settings, you are in line for Krugman’s Nobel.
2. Our Congress, which always has our best interests at heart do they not, managed to expunge the provision of the NDAA which would have required a warrant for government access to our email accounts. Surprised?
3. Instagram, shifted into hyper-back-pedaling mode. Of course they want to convert user images to advertisements. Isn’t that what Facebook wants to do? Stripmining user privacy.
4. “Facebook’s New Motto: If it’s free, it’s not the First Amendment.”
I don’t mind that so many others use these services for seemingly inane purposes. Photo sharing is actually more engaging than sitting around watching TV when you get right down to it. It is two way communication.
What concerns me is the way these giant social media players are displacing other traditional channels of content sharing and distribution, yet they obviously consider themselves exempt from well worn principles of free speech, privacy, open access and fair use.
They cannot just say if you don’t like it go somewhere else. That’s not good enough.
You can’t deny access to so called “fringe groups” and allow mainstream political groups to remain ensconced.
That is not the level playing field of ideas envisioned by the First Amendment.
At some point, Facebook becomes a quasi-public space like Zucotti Park and they cannot just arbitrarily deny access to users without some form of due process.
Their perfect commercial world is a world bereft of unpopular ideas or political controversy.
A happy sheepful place.
5. It was revealed that plain old fashioned email marketing provides a higher retail ROI than social media advertising, which also came behind display ads and web search…
In the ultimate revenge, Freda created a picture parodying Facebook as the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Freda explains:
It’s a play on the mysterious 2001 monolith that appears to influence human behavior, including the triggering of the use new technology and weapons, etc.
And here are more illustrations from Banzai: