Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages Facebook blocked for a "...

Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages


Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

Facebook blocked for a "violation" of the community's standards, at least six Arabic-language pages, where atheists from MENA countries (Middle-East and North Africa) gathered. One of the victims was the Atheist Alliance - Middle-East and North Africa (AA-MENA).

 

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And it was the only one that dared to protest the blocking procedure that operates on Facebook. This procedure is subject to manipulation. She suffered from dozens of other atheist communities and scientific bloggers who do not like the religious or simply ignorant majority - and obediently close on Facebook complaints.

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"According to the complaints of the working people" ...

A month earlier, in February 2016, 10 major Arabic-speaking atheistic groups were deactivated with a total of about 100,000 subscribers. The mechanism of deactivation was used exactly the same: a powerful campaign with numerous complaints of allegedly "offended" users, which was actually organized by Islamist fundamentalist groups operating on the Internet, the so-called "cyber-jihad" activists.

Generally speaking, the consideration of "workers' complaints" with mandatory response to them was used even in the USSR long before the appearance of Facebook. Even then, there were abuses, when the "complaints" were initiated by the team.

In such a coordinated campaign, a very large number of people, and possibly automatic scripts, at the same time file a complaint that a particular page, Facebook group or personal account violates Community Standards, that is, it is offensive. This is what happened with the AA-MENA community.

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The procedure for handling Facebook complaints is vulnerable to such mass appeals. If a large number of people complain about an "insulting" page - according to the rules, this page is deactivated.

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The emblem of the Atheist Alliance Community of the Middle East and North Africa - one of the atheist communities that Facebook deactivated in April 2016.

However, members of the AA-MENA community did not give up after the blockade and published a petition to Mark Zuckerberg. They wrote that atheists in Arab countries are subject to various harassment and restrictions on freedom of speech. They are not allowed to vote. The Internet is the only way to talk freely. But here they are shut up now, and Facebook unwittingly helps religious fanatics.

Facebook takes down suspected Russian network news


The AA-MENA petition was noticed and supported by like-minded atheists in Western countries. They managed to draw attention to the problem. It's sad, but such public attention was tragic: on April 22, 2016, an activist of the atheistic movement from Yemen, Omar Mohammad Bataweel, was killed.

He noted several posts on Facebook, which the fundamentalists considered "a critic of Islam." For his publications and comments on the Internet, he repeatedly received threats from religious fanatics. The investigation into his case remains open and at the moment there are no suspects, which could be expected.

The AA-MENA community requires Facebook to restore pages that were closed after coordinated complaints by Islamic fundamentalists. AA-MENA also requires Facebook to change the standard procedures for collecting and responding to complaints, including in these procedures at least a basic objective assessment of the content of pages that are planned to be deactivated for violating "community standards".

Deactivation of scientific bloggers


Unfortunately, the tactics of mass complaints to suppress dissent work effectively on Facebook not only in Arab Islamic countries but also in the west.

A glaring incident occurred in February 2016 in the United States. As in Russia, in this country, individual pseudo-experts are speculating on public errors and making a career in anti-scientific statements. Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

For example, the dangers of vaccinations. Moreover, at specialized forums (mainly on women's forums "for moms"), whole communities of fanatics gather against vaccinations who do not tolerate any criticism of their own and do not accept any arguments.

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The victim of the Facebook lockup in March 2016 was Professor Ellison Hagood, who is constantly on the Internet and on television with scientific arguments in favor of vaccines and vaccinations, advocating the development of the health system and, in principle, the propagation of a scientific way of thinking. For example, she co-authored the book "The best shot for your child: why vaccines are safe and save lives."Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

Facebook


Ellison Hagood - the worst enemy in the communities of "moms". They insult the scientist in every possible way. So, in February they spread a caricature of it (pictured below). Here the professors were depicted in the green image of the Evil Witch of the West from the book "The Amazing Wizard of Oz".

Under the photo-photographed photograph, the inscription repeats the replica of the character from the movie: "I'll get to you, my beauty, and to your little dog, too!". The professor added from herself the explanation that the image was created by someone from the cheaters on anti-vaccination forums.

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Nevertheless, for the publication of this image, Facebook blocked Allison Hagood's page for 30 days! This nonsense, obviously, occurred as a result of users' complaints about the "insulting" image, although whom could it offend? The professor just showed how the opponents are mocking her. Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

And here is a screenshot from one of the anti-vaccination forums where activists are happy with the victory and are going to file additional complaints on Facebook to extend the account's account for a longer period.

As the investigation showed, the scientist's account was blocked as a result of the coordinated activity of the activists of the so-called Vaccine Resistance Movement. In addition to filing massive complaints with Facebook, they staged Allison Khagud's persecution on other fronts:

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They created an online petition with the collection of signatures to the employer of Professor Hagood with the requirement to apply disciplinary measures of influence.

Constantly sent complaints to the university, where the professor teaches, trying to achieve her dismissal.

>>Her private address was published online.

>>They sent messages by e-mail to her friends.

>>Created a website solely for the purpose of baiting Allison Hagood.

>>Constantly sent her threatening messages. Here is one example.

And this is not counting traditional methods of harassment - insults on the forums, creating insulting pictures of photos, etc.
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Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages


It is clear that such actions of activists are explained only by one: they do not have worthy arguments that oppose the scientific argumentation of the professor. Surprisingly, their actions were still effective, and Facebook eventually blocked Allison Hagood's account! That is, these people managed to beat the system of handling Facebook complaints.

This is not the first time that algorithms and procedures for handling Facebook complaints are incorrectly used to silence your opponent. Other scientific bloggers who advocate the use of vaccines and vaccines have been victims of mass complaints from activists from anti-vaccination forums. Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages.

The militant position of such activists is known in the Runet, they can be compared with the feminist movement or the opponents of GMOs: in the same way they do not tolerate any criticism and do not accept scientific arguments.
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Facebook Russian network pages


In the west, there are several more antiscientific communities with the same features: for example, activists denying the Holocaust, or revisionists, confident that historical events were not what they say to us.

All of them communicate in a circle of their own kind, which further strengthens their confidence in their own rightness, and any scientific criticism is perceived extremely aggressively.

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If the denial of the Holocaust does not directly threaten the lives of people, then in the case of denial of the benefits of vaccinations, such an antiscience directly affects the health of children, so it must be combated. This is what Professor Ellison Hagood was doing, and she paid for it.

The current rules of "Community Standards" on Facebook are quite extensive and allow you to lock for a large number of various "violations." For example, mentioning someone by name in a disdainful tone is already the basis for blocking. Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages

It is not even necessary to mention in a dismissive tone, it is enough that the opponent is offended. If he complains, then the account will freeze. The very procedure for handling complaints and ban accounts on Facebook remains a mystery to outsiders, but it is clearly subject to manipulation. What opponents use.

Facebook


Usually, the account is frozen for 30 days, during which the owner has no right to publish the records. The victim has no opportunity to appeal (that is, it is unclear where to file it, the procedure is not regulated). In general, it is not clear who in Facebook is dealing with such complaints.

The same fanatics from the forums "moms" and their minions successfully prolonged the blocking of the account of science bloggers as soon as the deadline for the previous ban expires.

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It's not entirely clear how to solve this problem. Perhaps the only way is to encourage Facebook to review the rules for handling complaints and blocking accounts. There must be some way to distinguish between the reasoned complaint from the victim, and where the coordinated efforts are aimed at harassing the user and specifically blocking his account.

The forums joke that the best plan to overcome the algorithms of Facebook's blocking is massive complaints to the page of Facebook itself on Facebook.

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