Facebook Targets Liberal Website And Fan Pages, Allows Blatant Racism

Author: September 10, 2012 3:38 pm

People have often speculated about whether or not Facebook has a political bias, and now we may have indisputable proof that they do.

Wednesday evening I was enjoying watching the President Bill Clinton’s DNC speech in my hotel room. I was on vacation for the week, and I had just had a great meal with my brother and his family, whom I hadn’t seen in 4 years, and I sat down on my laptop to check my Facebook, which I hadn’t been using the 3 days prior. I was chatting with the editors of this site, when an alert popped up. “Please log in to continue.”

I’ve seen this alert before. It’s usually accompanied by an e-mail which says that one of Facebook’s terms of service has been violated. These warning are generally very vague, and Facebook doesn’t offer any way to challenge the warning. I went to the login screen, and this was the notification I received.

Of course, I was upset. I started my profile over 2 years ago, and in that time I’ve connected with over 5,000 people with similar political views. When something like this happens, and Facebook thinks you’ve violated their terms of service, it’s usually accompanied with an e-mail containing a screenshot of the content, so I immediately checked my e-mail. There was nothing.

Now I’m starting to get stressed out. Was I hacked? Did I violate some unknown rule of Facebook that got me removed? Or was I targeted? I generally try to stay away from the paranoid theories, but then I noticed something. Not only had Facebook deleted my personal profile, they’d also deleted several of my fan pages.

The first one they’d deleted was my page “Boycott Rush Limbaugh’s Sponsors” which had around 20,000 fans. You can still find it on Google, I’m including a screenshot of the cached version of the page below.

If you attempt to reach the URL of the page, http://facebook.com/BoycottLimbaugh it will take you back to the homepage. When this happens it means that Facebook has removed the page. If the page didn’t exist, it would give you a “Page not found” error. For example, if you type in http://facebook.com/ and then add a random assortment of letters after the URL it’s clear that facebook page never existed. http://facebook.com/ followed by any random combination of letters and numbers is a perfect example. It doesn’t redirect you to the homepage, it makes it clear that page never existed.

Now I’m starting to think this is targeted. I’m an admin of over 50 fan pages on Facebook, so I started wracking my brain trying to think of any other pages they might have done that to. Then I remembered my anti-Romney page “Americans Against Mitt Romney” which also had several thousand fans. You can see the screenshot of the cached version on Google below.

You can clearly see that the page existed however, if you type any of the links into your browser they are no longer active.

At this point I’m not only frustrated and upset, it’s clear that I was directly targeted by Facebook, so I started doing some research. Apparently this is not the first time Addicting Info has been targeted by Facebook. In August of 2011 we published an article about the fact that Facebook was censoring political speech, specifically an article titled “Republican For Dummies: A Translation Guide To Right-Wing Talking Points.” I’m the owner of Addicting Info, so if my site has been targeted it means that I have already been targeted. I did some more digging and found out that I’m not the only liberal to have been targeted to Facebook.

According to Democratic Underground, in March of 2012:


 At first I thought it was one of those bugs a sight will have. Every once in a while I would post a story on a liberal subject or from Mother Jones, etc. And after a minute or two the link would disappear, leaving only a cryptic status message.

I thought I was being paranoid when I began to notice that the non-issue links or posts of cute kittens, memes, YouTube were never the ones that disappeared.

Yesterday I posted this link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/13/1074013/-Hilarious-VA-Right-Wingnut-Sen-Ryan-McDougle-Gets-a-Taste-of-His-Own-Transvaginal-Medicine- from Daily Kos. It stayed and a couple of people commented on it.

This morning, one of my fb friends said the link was not working. So, I tried it. Sure enough, it started the process, then simply stopped.

I looked the story up on a search engine and clicked the link, no problem. I then pasted that link (the same link btw) into Facebook. The story and thumbnail showed up. I clicked the link. Not Working.

While I wish I could say I believed these to be isolated incidents, the fact that our site was first targeted, and now I’m being targeted, seems to suggest otherwise.

I understand that profiles get deleted. I understand that Facebook has an automated system which sometimes makes mistakes. That doesn’t explain the fact that only selective fan pages were deleted, and it certainly doesn’t explain why Facebook would disable my account without giving a reason why. When my account was disabled I received several e-mails letting me know that Facebook apps which I use had been disabled, but no reason was given in any of those e-mails.

I recently reported a page to Facebook titled “Nigr.” You can view the page here. Instead of disabling the page from posting, or taking it down altogether, they added “[Controversial Humor]” to the title. I’m including a screenshot because I’m sure Facebook will take it down once people are made aware of their hypocrisy in regards to disabling content.

I wrote this article last Wednesday and Thursday while I was on vacation. I got a message from Facebook on Friday saying they were reviewing my appeal, so I held off on publishing it. Today I received a message from Facebook denying my appeal, so I’m publishing it in the hopes that they’re realize they made an egregious error by disabling my account.

I built my business through Facebook. I met and connected with my employees through Facebook. I’ve spent thousands of dollars of my businesses’ money on advertising through facebook, and I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours on Facebook. It’s outrageous that I would get deleted for political activism while blatantly racist pages are allowed to stay up.

Don’t forget, the page praying for Obama’s death has been up for almost 4 years now, and facebook still refuses to take it down.

If you’d like to contact facebook in regards to this issue, on my behalf, the only e-mail I was able to use to contact them was  [email protected] or [email protected] Let them know they need to restore Matthew Desmond’s profile.

facebook comments:

9 Comments

  • This is abominable! I have shared this with the Care2 network, which has many of your readers, some no doubt because of the many articles of yours I have posted there. Hopefully there will be enough of a $#!^storm raised that FB will see the light. Unfortunately, with their twisted logic, although they keep everything ever posted they may decide the past data was somehow ‘lost’ – I wouldn’t put it past them :-(

  • What do you expect from a corporate owned network site? We’re not Zuck’s customers, we’re his product. His customers are the shareholders and corporate sponsors, and he must make them happy, not us (although, he does want to keep us around so he can continue to sell our data and spam us with the ads his corporate sponsors pay for). Zuck and FB are beholden to their shareholders and sponsors, not their users. If I am not mistaken, Goldman Sachs is one of their biggest investors!
    This is why I’ve started using federated, decentralized, user-owned and operated social networking platforms, such as friendica and status.net. No censorship and my privacy is mine to control, for real. See http://www.farcebork.com for further information on Free, decentralized, federated social networking and communications platforms.

  • Hi Matthew, I am the Belfast admin of Banksy FB Revolution. Another one of the admins and I were discussing this just the other day. We both admin on numerous pages which are similar in nature to those you mention, and we’ve both experienced strange activity on Facebook. This includes: bans for images that countless other pages had shared. Being locked out for “maintenance” for days on end, even though no one else is reporting such issues – My Google-Fu is pretty good, so anytime it happens I check to see if the Internetz have picked it up, but come back with nothing. Bans without email confirmation of the alleged violation are a common occurrence, too. I would be interested in discussing this further in private. You can contact me through here, if you wish.

  • FaceBook the new Myspace, A failed IPO a failed “timeline”. Add revenue dropping like a rock.
    Where we all going next?

  • Oddly I found more than one dozen possible matches for ‘Boycott Limbaugh’ https://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=boycott%20limbaugh&init=spell&tas=0.7955030801240355&search_first_focus=1347319244380&sc_oq=BoycottLimbaugh&sc_h=122746087&sc_a=cs&ab=X&sc_r=1

    I have noticed that the past few weeks finding things have not been as smooth as it should be. Then, FB has never to my liking been user friendly in the search department. I have tried to search for my name to connect with friends on the street using their phone while logged in to their FB account and was unable to find myself in the search so they could connect to me. Frustrated, we emailed each other our profile pages and connected that way. I do not rely on FB to be consistent or reliable.

  • I’m incredibly discouraged by this news. And the fact that all it took was the addition of “controversial humor” to the title of a clearly racist site is simply unconscionable. If people don’t want to read your blog, they simply don’t subscribe to it…just as I wouldn’t subscribe to the site you mention. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the only real fear I have in this country is fascism – and I’m seeing a lot of evidence pointing in that direction. Let us know what your new page title is – lol!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

x
Click "Like" to get the latest updates