Facebook caught up in J30 strike censorship row
Tuesday 21 June 2011
by Rory MacKinnon
The site, www.j30strike.org, went live on Monday – but within a few hours users attempting to share the link on Facebook began receiving an error message.
“This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy,” it read.
Several users flagged the site for review and continued to link to it via services which shortened the address – but those too were blocked a few minutes later.
The links were finally unblocked following inquiries from the Morning Star and US-based news site Mother Jones.
A Facebook spokeswoman apologised for any inconvenience caused and said the site had contained links which triggered Facebook’s spam filters.
But she would not say what content had been flagged as spam in the first place.
The block is not the first time activists have clashed with the network’s bureaucracy.
In April at least 51 protest groups’ pages were suspended on the eve of the royal wedding, spurring some organisers to ask whether the crackdown was requested by the Metropolitan Police.
A Facebook spokesman said at the time that the website had suspended the pages because they listed groups as individuals, a technical violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
He added that the Met had not asked Facebook to take down the content, but on Monday the force refused a freedom of information request for any communication with Facebook regarding the takedown, citing national security.
When contacted today, a Facebook spokeswoman refused to say whether the Met had been in contact prior to the pages’ suspension.
Students and disabled to join June 30 walkout: here.
Britain: A senior Labour MP accused Prime Minister David Cameron today of enjoying a secret millionaire lifestyle while trashing the pay and pensions of public servants: here.
The deadly impact in every workplace of planned government cuts were exposed today by leading health and safety campaigner Hilda Palmer: here.
The recent death of James Dennis Kay at a factory in Kirkby, Merseyside, England has highlighted the appalling health and safety record of Sonae, the Portuguese chipboard manufacturer: here.
USA: Adam Kader, Working In These Times: “The decline of unions does not mean the end of the labor movement. Indeed, the last few years have seen a proliferation of new kinds of worker organizations and workers’ rights campaigns. Some of the most exciting of late have been conducted by community-based groups (rather than workplace-based unions), such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and those part of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In Solidarity Unionism at Starbucks, a recent pamphlet published by PM Press, Daniel Gross and Staughton Lynd highlight an increasingly important feature of today’s labor movement – nonunion workers using direct action strategies protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – while examining the Industrial Workers of the World’s (IWW)’s ongoing efforts to organize Starbucks”: here.
USA: Yep, Right-Wingers Still Banning Books — Slaughterhouse-5 Booted from School for Being “Contrary to the Bible”: here.
Australia: Indigenous rapper Caper says a backlash from his fans caused Facebook to reverse their banning of the video to his song “How Would You Like To Be Me?” (lyrics below). The song, which addresses racism in Australia, has enjoyed extensive radio airplay, becoming one of the most requested songs on Magic FM: here.
Sex, Flags, and Ocalan: Facebook Embraces Turkish Censorship: here.