Facebook Closes Account of Zapretno.Info
1 March 2018
Facebook has shut down the page of Forbidden in Russia (Zapretno.info), a project focused on the Russian government’s crackdowns on freedom of speech. As the project’s proprietor informed Grani.ru, its Facebook account was deleted without warning and without explanation. The site’s creator did not disclose his name for security reasons.
Zapretno.info publishes texts, images, and other content that, when published or posted in Russia, has led to the filing of administrative or criminal charges.
Zapretno.info’s website is blocked in Russia and is accessible only through Tor, anonymizers, and VPNs.
Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Comrade Koganzon for the heads-up.
Readers of this website might be interested to learn the mighty Facebook blocked both my Russian Reader account and my personal account for most of the day on Wednesday, February 28. This message briefly flashed on the interface before I lost access to my news feeds:
“If you’re temporarily blocked from sharing posts on Facebook, it may be because you shared too much in a short amount of time, or shared posts that were marked as unwelcome. A few things to keep in mind about your block: Blocks are temporary and can last a few hours or a few days. We can’t lift this block for any reason. To avoid being blocked again, you should avoid sharing many posts or messages in a short amount of time. Otherwise, your account could be permanently disabled. Additionally, you can learn more about what we allow on Facebook and other policies in our Community Standards.”
I was later told by a friend he had heard of numerous cases of anarchists, antifascists, anti-Putinists, and anti-Assadists whose accounts had also been temporarily blocked for up to three days without warning and without explanation.
The only question is whether Facebook has been acting alone or encouraged by anonymous complaints from fascists, Putinists, and Assadists (“shared posts that were marked as unwelcome”).
It would be great if Facebook would issue a statement explaining its policy, especially in the wake of revelations about the signal role played by fake Facebook accounts in the 2016 US presidential debacle. TRR