Face(CIA)book’s anonymous censors take down Latin America’s Telesur, and nothing can stop them

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

14 Aug, 2018

When Facebook decides to censor, there is absolutely nothing to stop them. For the second time, left-leaning Latin American news network Telesur has had its Facebook page removed, with no explanation given.

When Telesur’s page was first taken down in January this year, no explanation was given then either. ‘Kafkaesque’ is an overused phrase, but here it is absolutely valid. Telesur is being punished, yet no one will actually tell them why. Here is a description of Kafka’s The Trial: “it tells the story of Josef K., a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader.” Sound familiar?

So, here is what Facebook (or the unthinking AI whose job it is to fill in the gaps of a standardised message and send it out) actually told Telesur:
“Hello, Your Page ‘teleSUR English’ has been removed for violating our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorised individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.”

So, the immediate question would be who decides what is hateful, threatening or obscene? In the age of the social warrior there is very little which isn’t regarded as obscene or hateful by someone. I’m pretty sure someone out there thinks cat videos are simply the latest stage of the patriarchal exploitation of our feline friends who have already suffered a loss of agency from the degradation and sexual exploitation of the term pussy. But let me tell you now, Facebook is not going to be banning cat videos anytime soon.

So, why Telesur? Well this comes off the back of Infowars and Alex Jones finding themselves de-platformed by a whole raft of social media platforms including Facebook. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in common between the two. Telesur is a media organisation, Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist. One comes from the left, and one comes from the right; but that is exactly the point. Neither of them are regarded as mainstream, so are in the firing line. Thinking differently to the mainstream legacy media outlets is going to make you no friends at the likes of Facebook.

As Telesur itself said in a statement: “this is an alarming development in light of the recent shutting down of pages that don’t fit a mainstream narrative.”

The Rest…HERE

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