Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Facebook is banning leftwing users like me – and it’s going largely unnoticed | Akin Olla

Facebook placed a number of leftwing organizers on a restricted list during Biden’s inauguration. It’s part of a much bigger problem

In response to the fascist riot at the US Capitol, Facebook engaged in a flurry of dangerous and misguided corporate authoritarianism. I, along with a number of other leftwing organizers, was deemed a threat to the inauguration of Joe Biden and placed on a restricted list that limited my ability to communicate with others. My account could no longer create Facebook groups or events, two tools that I’ve used over the last decade to coordinate protests and build entire organizations. I was also banned from commenting in Facebook groups, liking Facebook pages, and messaging Facebook pages. The restriction was to be removed the Saturday after the inauguration, but it only fully ceased apparently after public backlash. This is part of a long history of Facebook treating leftwing activists as if they were far-right extremists, and a pattern of silencing those who speak out against racism and fascism.

Facebook’s latest sweep went relatively unnoticed by most media outlets and was simply framed as a restriction of events in and around Washington DC leading up to the inauguration. Gizmodo was one of the first publications to pick up the story but the majority of its article barely mentions the fact that leftwing users in the United States were targeted and effectively silenced. Most of the relevant content of the article was pulled directly from a blogpost from Facebook itself. Gizmodo, like most other outlets that reported on the decision, seemed to imply that these bans were a net positive and, if anything, a little later than it would have preferred.

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