Facebook is a great way to connect with old friends and to network for various causes, but there is also a drawback when people rely on it exclusively for whatever reason: Facebook sometimes disables users’ accounts and closes groups and pages for reasons of their own which may or may not be justified.
Once a person discovers that they are unable to post, even if their account is only shut down temporarily while facebook updates it site or performs maintenance, it is inevitable that somebody will raise a ruckus about a “conspiracy” against them, often citing their political or religious views as the reason they were shut out. When a person’s favorite facebook page or group is no longer operational, the same histrionics often ensue.
Often, the hysteria is unwarranted.
Conservatives and Liberals (and everyone in between) alike complain about being “censored” by facebook and no matter what the political ideology of the creators of the deleted content come from, claims of “censorship targeted towards (insert ideology here) conspiracy” almost always follows. I looked into this, and you can too, the “unfair” removal of profiles/groups/pages/posts happens to content from all over the political and ideological spectrum; it is NOT confined JUST to Conservatives or Liberals or Christians or Muslims or any other group. Complaints about it abound from all walks of life and all over the world.
Here are a few things everyone needs to know about facebook:
Facebook is a privately owned company whose customers are its paying advertisers, not the people who use it for free. We are simply the target audience provided by facebook for those ads.
As a private company they can do whatever they want with regards to what content they’ll allow.
If enough reports/complaints are filed against a page/profile/group/post, facebook tends to automatically delete first and investigate later (and only if the removal is protested).
Accounts can be disabled if users trigger automatic spam detectors within facebook’s program, even if the user is not actually spamming but just happens to make a lot of posts, send a lot of messages and/or add a lot of friends in a short period of time.
Facebook users agree to abide by facebook’s terms of service and facebook reserves the right to do pretty much whatever they want to our stuff.
Facebook insists we use our real names; “fake profiles” can be removed and often are.
We don’t have any legal “rights” or constitutional protection on a privately hosted website.
There are procedures you can use to appeal a banning or deletion by facebook, such as sending emails to facebook’s administrators and stating your case.
Yes, it’s frustrating and often seems illogical and unfair when certain people/groups/pages/posts are removed by facebook, but the fact of the matter still remains that they own the platform, not us, and they can remove whatever they want to remove.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to maintain resources off-site from facebook to preserve your connections and information. Learn how to contact your friends and associates by alternate means, such as their phone numbers or email addresses. Back up anything of importance that you post to facebook such as your pictures, videos, and things you have written that you’d like to be able to use elsewhere, so that if for some reason you are shut out of your facebook account, these things will not be lost to you. If you run a facebook group or page, consider making an independent blog or website devoted to the same cause or subject as your facebook page or group, that way, if your page or group is disabled by facebook, all your hard work will still be preserved and your message can still reach your target audience.
Just because facebook has removed posts/people/pages/groups that happen to belong to a particular ideology or point of view does not necessarily mean that a conspiracy to silence a certain viewpoint is afoot. Before you don a foil hat and rail about how “they” are out to “get” you, you may want to look closer at exactly what has happened and see if it is not something that can be easily remedied. It’s also a good idea to not give all the power and control of your networks and content to a third party server. A little common sense can go a long way and can spare people from a lot of heartache and anxiety.