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

Author: November 13, 2011 8:22 pm

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.

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11 Comments

  • I am currently locked out of Facebook other then ‘liking’ because I supposedly have malware when my AVG says I’m clean – I do make political statements which never, I’m sure, are popular. I’m pro Israel and a conservative Christian. There are no faces in any help department behind Facebook, that I can find but all is monitored that I know by actions happening in real time.

  • Nothing unusual here. This has been standard practice for Republicultists for several years now, and the companies can’t do anything about it without compromising their legal position and being sued out of existence. It’s a standard “conservative” approach akin to voter suppression tactics, agents provocateur, etc. They cannot win on the merits, they cannot win fairly, so they find ways to game the system or cheat, knowing that we who support government of laws and fair play cannot or will not fight them on their level.

  • Not an freakin’ surprise, everytime I used to tweet against Viacom or another major media company, including a certain Japanese company thats been trying to pull an Viacom on Youtube. The tweet will disappear, sometimes forever.

  • Second Amendment Democrat

    And just a reminder, they DO consider what they are doing making war on us…

  • Second Amendment Democrat

    Regardless of the Facebook/social networking issue, there remains the fact someone is deliberately defaming you. This is actionable. Get the ip info from WHOIS and contact legal representation (or if you can’t afford legal help, send over a half-dozen large friends. They only need to talk, no violence, nothing illegal. Just remind them that you know who they are and where they are, and if necessary, a full legal challenge will be forthcoming, with the attendant publicity.)

  • Let me see, Zuckerberg who is like 3rd in line after god in terms of accumulated wealth ( have you heard of the one percent?) has a site that automatically tracks and reports traffic, some of us use it to post ideas, or anger at someone else’s idea and occaisionally those get targeted for comments and even deleted. Well who thinks that as the shit gets nearer the fan that whole “social movement” sites won’t be shut down, or even all of facebook? Along with the cell phones (ala Bay Area Rapid Transit demo). Organize on facebook while you can but don’t forget for a moment how to talk to people directly, face to face. Every occupy movement needs a meeting place for a flash mob gathering if the systems are shut down. Or maybe Anonymous can figure how to keep FB open if the authorities ask Zuckerberg to shut it down!

  • While on one hand I agree with you completely, I just wanted to note that Facebook is a for-profit business that owns some web pages, the use of which some label a “social network” (rather than other less romantic terms like “mass-marketing tool”) as a revenue stream. There is no motivation for them to have a policy that might be difficult for those who fund them. For one thing, they are too big now. Most users just want to post their silly updates for their friends to see and could care less about what it means to society as a whole. So those who would join a boycott would be an insignificant minority. At least that’s what Facebook is counting on,

    This is a perfectly example of why everything can’t just be handed over to the private sector and we just hope it all goes ok. Something I know you know but many Americans just don’t seem to get.

    • The ebb and flow of internet trending being what it is, facebook has at best a year or two more of being Top Dog, and they know this, which is why they keep switching around how you use it–they know people will get bored, develop remote apps to connect with what they want to see (sans the FB-controlled ads), or just wander away to a new way to network.

      In the meantime, as an activist, protect yourself by maintaining a reliable network of primary sources, and don’t sweat the trolls.

    • elisa in new york

      Thank you Mike S for your informative & truthful post.

  • what “they”won’t stoop to, and FB needs to stay neutral if you are not violating any terms of use. First years and years of suppressed news on mainstream news, now banning activists from posting on FB, you kidding me, where is there free speech? Only at demonstrations, rallies. This is what is despicable, the suppression of news. OWS never even hit mainstream until over a week into the demonstration, then as it spread, some mainstreamers were starting to report on some of the stories, but still held onto their twisted beliefs that somehow thousands of Americans without jobs (not deadbeats) or education loans in the triple digits were the enemy. No, what is the “enemy” is Multimillionaires, Fed Reserve, Wall street conglomerates, bans too big to fail (bailout) tax evaders, corporations and private multi-million, billionaires controlling media. Well, guess what, enough people now know what the real issues are and I hope deep in my heart Real Change is made for the benefit of hard-working Americans. Our jobs are in China and India, Mexico, etc which those huge companies should pay tariffs to the hilt to import to the USA, while companies who create jobs, keep them in the USA should be given subsidies, for the sake of the nation. Keep twittering and Facebooking. I was there two times in Feb and March, 6 hour drive from T.C. MN, didn’t get paid a cent, spent money in a hotel, but was part of the movement which I heartily subscribe to.

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