FACEBOOK CRACKDOWN ON ANTI TERROR GROUPS UPDATED: FACEBOOK refusing to remove groups that deny the Holocaust, Aids the spread of hate
on Atlas Shrugs
It seems there has been an edict declared from on high. Recently there has been an FB crackdown, an upsurge in deletions and suspensions on facebook, all anti-terror related. Here's one of many anecdotal stories, this from Elaine, "I had photos of the Iranian dissidents on my FB page whom I support, for obvious reasons. I had links to various articles about radical Islam, these items have been removed. A friend informed me she tried to forward my link for American Congress for Truth, the organization founded by Brigitte Gabriel, which gets the word out about radical Islam, and my friend was "blocked" from the content. I am being censored!! There is a story here. Bret, I had tried to e mail you last week when you requested story ideas, and tried to forward you a link about the Saudi Academy proposed expansion in Fairfax, I could not send you the link, that was blocked, too."
This Facebook message mirrors other notes I have received in recent days. It all points to a shut down of grass roots efforts by good folks to organize and pull our country back from the brink.
Obama has been a free speech opponent since taking office. The "fairness doctrine", small media councils, staged press conferences and town hall meetings teeming with un-indicted co-conspirators CAIR and ISNA. He is squelching free expression. Now Facebook is the frontier.
Obama is no stranger to Facebook. He's right tight with Chris Hughes, the 24 year old billionaire and founder of Facebook -- which has over 175 million members. He was an essential part of putting President Barack Obama in the White House. Obama has continued to use the internet to push his trillion dollar budget through congress.
How did Chris Hughes help President Barack Obama to win the election? Chris Hughes used Web 2.0 social networking to connect millions of Americans to President Barack Obama to get him elected to the presidency. Chris Hughes 2.0 technology connected over 150 million users worldwide during the presidential election campaign of 2008.
Chris Hughes created the comprehensive website, MyBarackObama.com to reach the grassroots of the American poliotican movement through the use of internet telecommunications.
Chris Hughes offered site usage of the MYBO accounts and helped to host community election events. These activities contributed significantly to the presidential election win of Barack Obama. The site also helped voters to find local polling booths in their community in which to vote.
Although the election is over, MYBO is still active. President Obama looks through MyBO website and urges supporters to stay engaged in efforts to bring positive political change to the nation. Chris Hughes plans to continue the MYBO website and may even permanently leave FaceBook to become part of the presidential web team.
Obama 's tentacles are all over Facebook. He gets what he wants, and we are under attack on Facebook. Benyamin B is a co-founder and co-President of the Anti-Terrorism Coalition (ATC) and the director of Project Expose - the code name for the ATC's Database of Terrorist Websites and eGroups (ATCD) and the effort behind it (December 2003 - August 2005). He has been involved in the fight against terrorism and collectivism since 2002. He has written this exclusive piece for Atlas on the massive wave of censorship.
Facebook Launches Massive Attacks Against Anti-Terrorists By Benyamin B.
Last week, three anti-terrorism organizations were targeted in a massive crackdown by Facebook. The organizations - The Anti-Terrorism Coalition (ATC), Facebook-based American Infidel (AI) and Facebook-based Infidel Forces (IF) - were involved in taking over Islamic terrorist, pro-terrorist and other hateful groups operating on the popular networking site.
IF, which was formed in 2008, had originally been created to counter Facebook's bias against anti-terrorist, patriotic and other freedom-loving groups and individuals. While countless terrorist, pro-terrorist and other hateful groups and users have been allowed to operate freely on Facebook, friendly users and groups have constantly been banned and shut down, respectively. Thus, the creators of IF decided to both "level the playing field" and combat cyber terrorists, at the same time.
By then, Facebook's blatant bias toward hostile groups and against allied groups was beyond obvious. David Appletree, the leader of the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF), was (and still is) getting banned frequently for his group's actions against hostile groups. The JIDF had been involved in taking over hostile groups and getting others banned, by having massive numbers of its users report them to Facebook. In one instance, David Appletree was banned for being an administrator of a group that was taken over by Islamic hackers, while no action was taken against the hackers.
Facebook's favoritism of the very same people "who would kill all of its male employees and put all of its female employees in burqas" has also made it to the news on numerous occasions. In one instance, after Islamic hackers took over a massive pro-Israel group, Facebook banned the group's creator - a 14 or 15 year old American Jew by the name of Todd Snider. While this story was picked up by the anti-terrorism community, especially by Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, the David Horowitz Freedom Center (and Frontpage Magazine) and some others; it was largely ignored by the mainstream media.
This led IF to take over hostile groups and infiltrate others by sending in operatives posing as Islamic terrorist sympathizers. The AI, and later, the ATC both subscribed to IF's effort. Operating in accordance with Facebook's terms, IF began to join hostile groups left without administrators and grant themselves administrative powers.
By early this month, the allied effort had managed to take over more than 150 hostile groups and prevent the hostile takeover of approximately 15 - 20 friendly groups. Additionally, several friendly groups that had been taken over by hostiles were "liberated" by the allies, after they took those groups over themselves.
It was then that Facebook launched its mass purges against the AI, IF and ATC. In late June, Facebook sent a warning to IF and AI members for "uploading" a picture of an Israeli flag, in which the Star of David was replaced with a swastika, to the group "Stop the israelian Genocide against Ghaza". Facebook staff also took down the picture. In reality, this group had actually just been taken over by allied forces and they had not yet had the chance to change the picture. In fact, the picture had been uploaded by the group's terrorist and anti-Semitic creators at least several months ago. Interestingly, during this lengthy period of time, Facebook did not take any action against the group or its original administrators.
About a week later, on July 2, Facebook disabled the accounts of two high-ranking AI members (who were also administrators of AI's Facebook group). Asked to be identified only as Ben and Hodge, the two had been active supporters of IF's effort and had lent them a hand on several occasions. Then, on July 5, IF leader Jack Johnson, several other IF members and ATC member Jack Turner were banned by Facebook. This was followed with the banning of IF's second in command, Mike Jenkins, on the following day. Facebook also banned every single undercover account being used by the three allied groups, effectively shutting down all of their attempts to infiltrate hostile groups.
In the aftermath of these attacks, almost all the groups controlled by IF and its allies were left without administrators, and thus, susceptible to hostile takeover. Within several days, approximately a quarter of all these groups had fallen back into enemy hands.
In addition, any threads and posts made on any Facebook groups at all by any of the banned individuals were automatically deleted when they were banned. Thus many anti-terrorism groups, in particular, lost an overwhelming amount of posts and threads. The AI group suffered perhaps the greatest data loss of them all. This completely hampered the debates, discussions and the dialogue going on at these groups. One AI member expressed great dismay that the debates he had been having with a Muslim individual at the AI group had been deleted, adding that "they were extremely respectful and informative."
Not one of the individuals banned has thus far been able to get Facebook to reactivate their accounts, with a staff member by the name of Lysander explicitly telling both Ben and Hodge that they had violated Facebook's terms, that he was not able to "provide further explanation" of their violations, that their decision to ban them was final and that all of their subsequent inquiries would be ignored. IF leader Jack Johnson has provided a rather detailed account of exactly what happened on the ATC Website: http://www.atcoalition.com/news/viewarticle.php?id=29.
On top of all of this, Facebook has been engaging in surveillance of the ATC and other friendly websites. It first began to visit the ATC website hours after the original press release that broke Facebook's crackdown against allied groups was published.
To my knowledge, never before, in the history of Facebook, has such a massive crackdown as this ever taken place. In fact, few Western companies have been able to match Facebook in their ultra-Chamberlainian actions. This incident ranks up there with Yahoo's targeting of the ATC and other allied websites in June of 2003 and Network Solutions' banning of the website where Geert Wilders planned to release Fitna in March of 2008.
And while us and our allies have abided by the law and by Facebook's terms, countless numbers of Facebook groups and users that in the past and present put up swastikas, post pictures with the Star of David crossed out, post pictures of American and other allied flags being burned, call for violence against non-Muslims, hack into accounts and groups (thus also breaking the law) and commit other despicable acts are, for the most part, unmolested by Facebook. In fact, only when friendly groups such as the JIDF ask massive numbers of their supporters to report individual hostile groups to Facebook staff does any action get taken against such groups.
In the meantime, my organization - the ATC - will continue to expose the radical leftist and authoritarian nature of Facebook.
UPDATE: But note this: (hat tip Armaros)
Facebook has decided not to remove groups that deny the Holocaust. This policy contradicts its own "statement of rights and responsibilities", which clearly states "you will not post content that is hateful". Facebook seems to be ignorant of the inherent danger of Holocaust denial, the deeply hateful nature of it, and international efforts against racism. It either fails to understand the responsibility it has to society, or it has placed profit far above morality.
Holocaust denial is illegal in 13 countries. Other countries, such as Australia, have broader laws prohibiting racial vilification – the carrying out of a public act that will "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people" who are targeted because of "race, colour or national or ethnic origin". In the UK there has long been a debate over strengthening anti-hate laws to close gaps that have been exploited by the likes of the BNP. One gap, for example, makes it an offence to incite hate, but not to be directly hateful to a victim (the case prevented by the Australian laws). The law is, however, a bare minimum. More action against hate is often required, as the National Union of Students has shown with its "no platform policy" – a total boycott of proscribed racist and fascist groups.
As Anthony Julius has explained, combating Holocaust denial "requires the recognition that denial is an especially offensive form of antisemitism" and that "the presence of denial material on the net is treated with as much seriousness as is the presence of other kinds of offensive material". At the same time as defending its unpopular position to allow Holocaust denial, Facebook has been on a crusade against pictures showing breastfeeding mothers. Either its priorities are scrambled or someone is asleep at the wheel.
Facebook's allowance of Holocaust denial comes despite a 2007 resolution from the UN general assembly that "urges all member states unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end". It comes despite EU legislation from 2005 that asks countries to pass laws that make Holocaust denial "punishable as a criminal offence". Facebook's move comes at a time when the British public are still recovering from the election of the BNP's Nick Griffin, a Holocaust denier, to represent them in the European parliament. Facebook is a powerful social networking tool – in times like these, with racism across Europe rising, what sort of impact does it have when it helps Holocaust deniers to network and spread their message?