Blocked by Facebook

I was hoping I have arrived!

I want to collect my badge of honour, but not quite yet. My website jrbpublications.com has been blocked by Facebook. I was getting the warning that Facebook was unable to scrape (whatever that means) my URL as the website was blocked, when I posted on my Facebook page something with a link to my website. But maybe it is premature to collect my badge of honour, for by way of experiment I have just posted on my Facebook page and included a link to an article in my blog, and it was allowed, so maybe the dastardliness of my misdemeanors may not YET warrant permanent suspension and getting that badge is something I have to work on, although they still don’t give the nice preview that I used to get whenever I posted a link to my website in the past but others do get!

I was notified that something was afoot when a friend (check out here for his website) with an interest in Bible prophecy tried to post a link to my article on the prophet Daniel on his Facebook page and, to his consternation, given if there had been anything controversial it may be our belief that Daniels prophecies were for real and hardly a Facebook concern one would of thought, found the link to my website had been blocked. Moreover, mine is but one example of Facebook censorship that my friend cites. It seems that the common fact in all these take downs were the posts were conservative leaning and critical of the sort of leftie, liberal, luvvie ideology that one imagines Facebook chiefs subscribe to. The other common factor was that these posts have violated Facebook community standards (whatever that means) and while Facebook invite those they block to post their objections, they are not given meaningful explanations.  

When it comes to upping the ante, I am pretty convinced, while Facebook censorship has been going on for some time, that is what is happening. Moreover, it is something I have been aware off for the past three years at least (along with similar actions by other big tech giants like Google) but it has increased of late. Even today, I read on the Facebook page of a group I am part of (but I won’t give the name for obvious reasons), which among other things is inclined to the belief that Q-Anon is the real deal, there are complaints of posts being taken down. Also today, one organization that regularly posts, and one of their posts today is Christian ministry helping people with unwanted same-sex attraction suspended from Facebook. It doesn’t stop there – increasingly I am finding when people post something that challenges the official narrative, such as the hot topics of the hour, like 5G and Corona virus, even if it gets past the censors, often there are warnings added to the effect that what is being posted is fake new. One also wonders, since it happens, what algorithms are employed to cause shadow banning.

There will be some reading this who will echo the sentiments expressed and others who may come up with platitudes like “so what”, “you probably deserved to be banned” and “Facebook is a private entity and can do what it wishes”. My concerns are manifold. Firstly, we are in a culture war and that war is hotting up e.g. evidenced by what is going on in America ahead of next months presidential election, and imho Facebook are on the wrong side of that war. Secondly, Facebook (just like Google and its subsidiary YouTube) are in effect public utilities and them banning those they disapprove of helps create an unlevel playing field. Thirdly, my heart felt plea is “wake up people” and is why I post as I do on my website that has been drawn to the attention of Facebook. Like with all wars, there will be winners and losers and, because the stakes are high, it is not one I am about to retreat from. As for the Facebook strap line, I would add the caveat: “providing you accept our ideology”.

Addendum: whenever I post a new article to blog, I generally post a link to it on my Facebook page. I did so here and found, once again, I was blocked and the word “spam” as well as violation of community standards was used. Further to the earlier attempt, I posted a related meme followed by the text I had tried to post earlier, by way of experiment. It seemed to work! It appears, one way to get round being blocked by Facebook is to devise strategies for circumventing whatever algorithm they happen to employ, as well as include the website link in one of the comments boxes.

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