Nov. 24, 2015, ~11:20pm PST UPDATE: The scope and scale of the censorship is an order of magnitude larger than I discovered leading up to the post below. Almost all posts I have made in all groups and pages other than those pages that are tied to business accounts such as The News Doctors or the official Silver Doctors Facebook page have been deleted (or, are not visible to me nor anyone else). Let’s see if they are restored on or following December 1st. In the very least, new posting, commenting, and sharing will hopefully be restored on Dec. 1, 2015. If that fails to happen, I will have been memory-holed on Facebook.
I’m also not able to post a comment on any thread/message. The following is an example from the Real Money & World Affairs forum, where I am an admin:
It has come to my attention that Luke Rudkowski has reported that We Are Change in Paris was taken totally offline.
I happened to have posted to the We Are Change group today, and over the last couple of weeks. Perhaps other people that had posted in that group have also seen similar things happen to their Facebook account. Visiting their public Facebook group where there are over 16,000 members, upon entering “Paris” as a search term a surprisingly low number of stories come up, which suggests that other posts were deleted and/or simply are not visible, even to someone with an account (me) in the United States.
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TND Exclusive: Eric Dubin
This morning, during the 11 a.m. hour, Pacific Time, my Facebook account was placed on restricted status through Dec. 1, 2015. I can no longer post to groups, nor join new groups. My best guess as to what happened: someone or a group of people sent Facebook an alert on a link to a story I posted (or multiple links). Click here to see Mark Dice explain how this happens. It can happen as easily as a response to someone “flagging” a post they don’t like.
However, something a bit more nefarious might be going on. I simply have no way of knowing because Facebook never tells users why their accounts are placed on temporary restriction. All they told me is what you see in the above “screen shot” from my account.
What I can say with absolute certainty is that there was nothing about any of my posts this week that violate Facebook’s “terms of service.” I can also say it’s a prima facie fact that I have been censored for something – whatever that something might be. The “mob rule” style flagging is a serious and growing problem when it comes to social media. I hope that this temporary restriction relates simply to their flagging system being abused by general users of Facebook. It’s quite possible that no Facebook employee/contractor had anything to do with my account’s restriction; this could be an example of the problems with “mob rule” flagging, and journalists and the general public need to be aware that free speech is being restricted by these social engineering algorithms.
Please contact Facebook if you’re as disturbed as I am that their flagging system can be so easily abused. Be polite. The last thing I need are people screaming at Facebook. I suggest the following wording: “I’m concerned that Facebook’s flagging system can be so easily abused, as it appears to have been responsible for the temporary suspension of the account belonging to Eric Dubin, Managing Editor of The News Doctors. His Facebook account is Facebook.com/EricDubin” That’s it – or something like that. If you say more, it will be counter-productive.
Selecting which feedback form to use is tricky with Facebook, but the most generic one is probably best.
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My fellow journalists, bloggers and all users of the internet, if we don’t initiate public debate about social media censorship of all varieties, I’m certain there will come a day when the death of free speech on the internet is all but guaranteed. Please share this story far and wide and let’s get that public dialog moving.
Managing Editor, The News Doctors
International Federation of Journalists Press ID: US 1377
National Writers Union Press ID: 95962