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[liberationtech] Can anyone help me get my account unblocked on Facebook?!

Inna Malina p.inna at lycos.com
Thu Jul 2 20:57:13 PDT 2015


 

I am a Ukrainian Canadian activist and my country of origin is at war. I
created several groups on Facebook, including Russian Speaking Canada
for Peace, a political forum, which debunks Kremlin run propaganda, and
has over 1800 members. I also run fundraisers on Facebook to help
orphaned children evacuated from war-torn areas of Ukraine. I am on
Facebook since 2007 and don't pretend to be someone I am not: the
birthday, contact info, photos are all mine and my friends know who I
am. When Russia invaded and annexed Ukrainian territory Crimea, I
changed my legal last name to a pseudonym, to protect my family and
people I work with outside social media from bullying by Putin
supporters, since the threats and bullying online were/are abundant. 

Yesterday, on Canada Day, Facebook blocked my account (obviously
following a report from someone who tries to stop my activism) and
demanded to confirm my name by submitting my ID online. Instead of ID I
submitted a letter saying that I get regular threats and feel rather
uncomfortable sending my identification documents via insecure online
channels. I did add that I can show them to a legitimate representative
or even in Skype, but they can't expect a photocopy of a driving license
or social insurance card to be e-mailed or submitted through some
suspicious form online. 

Only last month Facebook has come under fire for biased political
blocking of accounts of Russian opposition and Ukrainian activists who
are constantly cyber-attacked by the paid army of Putin trolls. The
petition, which has already collected close to 15000 signatures, states:
"Facebook indiscriminately reacts to these reports by blocking the
accounts of prominent Ukrainian public figures and Russian dissenters.
Lately, the bans have become so frequent that we can now claim that
Facebook has become an efficient tool of the Kremlin."
https://www.change.org/p/facebook-stop-political-blocking-on-facebook
[1] 

Facebook "real name" policy has also come under scrutiny multiple times
and has been called discriminatory. Petition by performers, which
collected over 40000 signatures asserts: "Facebook tells us that "it
looks like you're not using your real name," before requiring us to
change it. We cannot emphasize enough that Facebook is a poor arbiter of
what is or isn't a "real name." Performers with legitimate-appearing
names get locked out of their accounts while people with account names
like "Jane ICanBeBadAllByMyself Doe" go without scrutiny."
https://www.change.org/p/facebook-allow-performers-to-use-their-stage-names-on-their-facebook-accounts
[2] People using aboriginal names were discriminated by Facebook too.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/facebook-flags-aboriginal-names-as-not-authentic-1.2970993
[3] 

Just few days back, on June 30, Zuckerberg explained: "If your friends
all call you by a nickname and you want to use that name on Facebook,
you should be able to do that," he said. In this case, he said, the
policy "should be able to support everyone using their own real names,
including everyone in the transgender community." 

So it is not clear anymore, is Zuckerberg lying to Facebook users or is
he simply ignorant of what his staff does. WHEN WILL FACEBOOK START
TREATING ITS USERS WITH BASIC RESPECT, WHEN WILL IT STOP POLITICAL
BLOCKING AND DISCRIMINATION? 

 

Links:
------
[1]
https://www.change.org/p/facebook-stop-political-blocking-on-facebook
[2]
https://www.change.org/p/facebook-allow-performers-to-use-their-stage-names-on-their-facebook-accounts
[3]
http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/facebook-flags-aboriginal-names-as-not-authentic-1.2970993
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