Poland is divided over the issue of blocking Facebook fanpages of nationalist groups. The right wing suggest a conspiracy, executed by the Polish manager of Facebook associated with the Democracy Defence Committee KOD (an organisation strongly supporting the previous government, today’s opposition), whereas Facebook explains, that it is impartial. But is it really?
On the other hand people calling themselves liberals celebrate deprivation of access to today’s (privatized) Agora, without a trial. In the end, Facebook unblocked the Fanpage of Independence Walk, an important patriotic event often spiced with overly nationalistic flavour.
Policy Deputy for Europe, Middle East and Africa explains in opposition “Wyborcza” magazine, that their standards are supposed to eliminate hate speech and they are working on their global introduction. In an open letter he writes “Our standards forbid both hate speech against individuals, as well as symbols known from promoting racism and hatred”.
A month ago, however, I reported a fanpage “Islam en Espanol”, whose admins were arrested as a result of joint effort of four countries’ police forces, due to their propagation of terrorism, ordering attacks and radicalization. But Facebook did not consider their fanpage to go against their social media standards. Thus Facebook official’s assurances do not sound credible…
Unfortunately, this is not the only such case. “Accidentally” British Muslim boxer was blocked, because he called his fellow Muslims to “clean their environment” by informing the police about suspicious behaviour. Ex-Muslims are often banned, for instance Maryam Namazie or Sheerin Qudosi.
Both Facebook and Twitter have already been accused of introducing algorithms assigning lower priority to conservative media in the US.
In order to make Facebook finally deal with Palestinian hatred towards Jews, an experiment was performed: two fanpages were created and reported – Stop Israelis and Stop Palestinians. As it was expected, Stop Palestinians was soon banned, whereas Stop Israelis stayed.
Is that impartiality?
PS: Before you accuse me of supporting nationalists, please do read the text again, as it is about the freedom of speech in social media and their alleged impartiality.