Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine, a committee of the International Action Center, an anti-war and human rights organization based in the United States, condemns the unwarranted censorship of the Donbass International News Agency (DONi News) page by Facebook. The DONi main page was permanently removed by Facebook on March 7, 2016, without explanation.
Facebook is an enormous corporate repository of information on people around the world. Yet its actions are shrouded in secrecy – there is no real appeals process for its decisions, and no transparency in how those decisions are made.
For many years, Facebook, the world’s most used social media site, has acted as an extension of U.S. foreign and domestic policy. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s management have collaborated with U.S. police agencies targeting activists and youth of color, both on the national level of Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, and at the level of local student protests. It has been widely reported that Facebook is flooded with bogus police agency profiles used to track and entrap activists, while at the same time Facebook harasses individuals over names used on their profiles.
Facebook routinely censors pages and groups that share news and information opposed to U.S.-backed war crimes, from Ukraine to Palestine, and punishes individual activists and independent journalists with lengthy bans on posting. But it willingly provides a platform for pro-U.S. contra group to attack countries on Washington’s hit list.
One routine tactic used by U.S.-backed governments and contra groups is to launch a wave of complaints against a page or user, giving Facebook an “excuse” to censor the targeted group or individual. Yet the site is rife with genuine hate groups targeting people of color, women, LGBTQ people and more.
Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine calls on Facebook users to protest the latest act of Facebook censorship. Demand the immediate restoration of the DONi News Agency page and posting rights for editor in chief Janus Putkonen. Stop the political censorship of anti-war, anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces. End Facebook collaboration with U.S. police agencies and Washington’s servants abroad.
Ultimately, we must demand that Facebook be removed from the realm of private ownership and government collaboration and turned over to the ownership and oversight of the people it allegedly serves.
Greg Butterfield, coordinator
March 7, 2016