Facebook censors non-terrorists as ‘terrorists’

This 4 October 2017 video says about itself:

France: “The normalization of emergency powers has grave consequences for human rights”

Fionnuala NÍ AOLÁIN, UN Human rights rapporteur, is joining us to comment the anti-terror Bill in France.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations expert: Facebook‘s broad terrorism definition leads to abuse

The definition that Facebook uses for terrorism is too broad. As a result, governments can arbitrarily block opposition movements and silence opponents whose statements they do not like. That says a United Nations human rights expert, Irish Fionnuala Ní Aoláin.

Ní Aoláin wrote a letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg stating that almost all groups that use violence for whatever reason are treated as terrorist. In her eyes that goes too far and it worries her.

“The use of the broad definition is particularly worrying because some governments now label opposition movements as terrorists, even if they are peaceful“, she writes. …

Facebook does not censor governments, almost all of them using violence, as ‘terrorist’. According to, eg, the governments of the United Kingdom, Bahrain and Turkey, journalism is ‘terrorism’. According to the Saudi Arabian absolute monarchy, activism for the right of women to drive cars is ‘terrorism’, to be punished by beheading.


Facebook plays an important role in the earmarking of online terrorist activities, but that should not go against the human rights of its users, says Ní Aoláin. She warns about “over-censoring” and arbitrarily denying access to Facebook.

According to her, it is unclear how Facebook works when assessing accounts and how it determines whether someone belongs to a certain group. Facebook and other social media are increasingly involved in regulations that were previously made by the governments of countries and are under pressure from governments to control content.

The NOS asked Facebook to respond to the criticism by Ní Aoláin.

10 thoughts on “Facebook censors non-terrorists as ‘terrorists’

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