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Why is Facebook Still Blocking Those Fighting Propaganda?

05.03.15

Material exposed by R5KP in which a Polish academic showed photos almost certainly representing war crimes against Ukrainian POWs and expressed his admiration for ‘Russians’ and wish that more Ukrainians were killed (more detail here)

Facebook did it again on Wednesday and blocked a vital source of information about pro-Russian propaganda, hate speech and Internet troll activity in Polish, especially material supporting Russian aggression in Ukraine.  If this was not a deliberate statement, then the timing could not have been more inappropriate, coming just days after the gunning down of Boris Nemtsov, one of the most vocal critics of the Kremlin’s undeclared war against Ukraine. 

It is likely that Facebook was again swamped by multiple complaints of ‘harassment’ from the same pro-Russian organizations which first complained to them about the Facebook page Russian V Column in Poland [R5KP, or in Polish, Rosyjską V kolumna w Polsce].  As reported here, it is quite clear why such organizations as the extreme right-wing Falanga Party and the Poles for a Russian Donbas group should not like the close scrutiny they were receiving from R5KP.  Some of the prominent authors of that site have even received threats of physical reprisals.

It is no less obvious why many Russian officials and the Russian propaganda media were virulent in their attacks on Boris Nemtsov. 

What is quite incomprehensible is why Facebook should continue to obstruct people who are identifying sources of murderous hate speech, propaganda and Internet troll activity on Facebook and in the Polish media.  This time the site was restored after a few hours without any bans on individuals being imposed.  Last time restoration of the site took two days, and the bans imposed were not withdrawn. 

More information about what R5KP exposes and who therefore has it in for them here: Why did Facebook block a Russian Propaganda Watchdog?   

The first article was updated after Facebook restored the R5KP page and appeared to have understood that multiple complaints of ‘harassment’ should lead them to consider their complaints procedure, not block a site performing a vitally needed function.  Since it has now blocked the page again. albeit temporarily, the complaints procedure is presumably unchanged.  

Letters asking Facebook to explain and reconsider this move can be sent (English is fine) to

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Poland
ul. Adama Branickiego 17
02-972 Warszawa
Email: public.warsaw[at]hkstrategies.com

Halya Coynash

see also:
Unjustified Takedown of Facebook Accounts Critical of Russia Threatens Free Expression
Why did Facebook block a Russian Propaganda Watchdog?
Moscow suspected of playing ‘Polish Card’ in Hybrid War against Lithuania
Moscow tries a new Polish and Hungarian “separatist” number
Kremlin-orchestrated "federalist" protest and western inaction
Donetsk Front in Putin’s Dirty War
Scurrilous rumours used to spread fear and distrust in Eastern oblasts
AutoMaidan activist shot at near Chongar
Russian troops already deployed in mainland Ukraine
The Crimea is our Home: Get your troops out!
Crimean "referendum" a grotesque farce