Facebook Opens Doors To A New Way of Suppressing Information, Activists Constantly Banned

Suppression of information has existed for quite some time.  It used to be easy for the billionaires of society to control the message that got out.  You had Fox News on the right and MSNBC on the left, but in reality they were all just a system of controlling what gets out and what does not.  This has worked quite well for them…until now.  In this day and age, people are switching away from traditional media and into the realm of social network sites like Twitter and Facebook to get their news.  Sites like Addicting Info, from which you read this post, can then get the full story and share it and people will actually be able to access it and find it easily.  Articles are shared on Facebook as quickly as a press of a button.  But this creates obstacles for the people who want to control the message.  So what do they do now?  Well, in some instances, they take the source of information out.

I started posting videos on March 1st, 2011.   At the time nearly everyone was locked out of the Wisconsin Capitol, a handful of people, myself included, remained inside.  No one on the outside knew what was going on inside.  No one on the inside knew what was going on outside.  So I started making videos, soon being the only person in the Capitol posting videos from the inside in almost real time.  I would record a video and immediately post it.  My videos spread like wildfire, getting thousands of views.   But I managed to slide under the radar at first.  Then came March, the bulk of the people had left the Capitol.  There were days when I would be the only person inside that wasn’t a lobbyist (with the exception of the Solidarity Sing Along, but people didn’t stay real long after the sing along back then).  I shamed an old man who said he hopes I drive my Segway off of a railing and after that the legislators knew me.  The man, it turns out, was some sort of lobbyist.  That week I was called “The Big Bad Wolf” and “Public Enemy Number One” in an interview by Scott Walker.  And along came the trolls.

It seemed almost instantly, I was being pegged as a target of the Wisconsin GOP.  Online trolls would comment on my posts in flocks.  I would post a video and get 50 slanderous comments.  They said I was a woman beater, a deadbeat dad, that I lied about my medical issues, that I was mentally challenged, anything and everything they could think of that someone may believe they accused me of.  All of these rumors are false, but they say them in the hopes someone will believe them.  Tim, Tom, Jim, James, Jimmy, and any other derivative with the last name of Parent, known trolls.  Matt Wynns, known troll.   Mary T. Goodman, known troll.  Jerry Fletcher and Will Jenkins.   This is just a few of them.  But no doubt, no matter what I posted, they would turn up in flocks, any hour of the day and night.  Some are real people, some are based off of real people, some are completely fake.  Most come from an IP address not even in this state.  All are hired by someone.

This is a job.  Post and spam a person’s Facebook articles and posts for a profit.  Some get paid up to $20 an hour.  There is one individual who has at least fifty fake profiles that he uses to spam Wisconsin activists.  It’s not hard to find these services.  A quick google search pulled this up real quick.  But they seem to have taken an even lower form of low.  Trolls are now having activists removed by filing fake Facebook complaints.  That is right, people are suppressing information in Wisconsin by actively reporting people they deem to be a threat on Facebook.   I myself have been reported and banned for one to three days for simply posting “Good job” or “The majority of Wisconsin doesn’t like Scott Walker.”  People have been reported on pages for saying nothing more than my name and have been reprimanded by Facebook.  The strategy is simple and Facebook lets it continue.  If someone reports something as abusive to Facebook they don’t actually look at it, they just remove it and warn the person who posted it.  If you get enough you are not able to dispute them at all, and with no admin contacts and no one at Facebook actually looking at the posts reported as “abusive,” the person gets blocked.

They have not succeeded to take my account down yet, but likely one day they will.  They did, however, succeed in taking down Stephanie Leigh, partially at least.  She has been banned and unable to post since October 12th.  Her comments were not in violation of the terms and conditions of Facebook.  But enough reports said they were and there was no means to dispute it so her account was locked.  She can now “like” comments and send private messages but that’s it.  She cannot communicate with the list of family and friends she has been accumulating for years.  All she did was run the page “I will get more “Likes” than Scott Walker“.  This was a Facebook page and after the usual rounds of threats and harassment we all get they filed a bunch of fraudulent reports and Facebook banned her.  Suppression of Information is a new low.  Anyone with money can now buy the suppression of the message delivered by anyone they choose.  We cannot stand for this and we must call for Facebook to change these policies and allow an appeal process or someone to look before banning someone.  Otherwise we will set up a situation in which social media goes to the highest bidder as well.

Jeremy Ryan

Executive Director

Defending Wisconsin PAC

[email protected]

[Editor’s Note: Donations made through this post go to the author, not the website]

Note: Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people about what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. His full-time activism is completely funded by the people. If you would like to help out please click here.