TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN @ FACEBOOK
5 September 2013
I am the admin of 'Hands Off Syria' Facebook page, writing this to publicize and officially complain about the unjust treatment I have been receiving from Facebook. I am sure there are many people in my position, but we don't have anywhere to go, most doors not only closed but not even exist!. Providing a free-off-charge (?) service does not entitle the service provider to treat its customers unfairly/unjust and bar them from receiving the service arbitrarirly.
So, here is what happened: On 4th August 2013, I got into Facebook from my mobile device to check my messages, post responses etc. In the first minute or so Facebook crashed (logged me off and closed) and a message came up, asking me to login from a browser. When I did, it displayed this first image below, informing me that Facebook removed "something" from the http://fb.com/handsoffsyria page because "it violates our community standards":
This image was posted nearly 2 years ago. So, I wonder why has it suddenly surfaced now and why it was "violating" your community standards?.. The text on the image claims that al-Qaeda created by the CIA. So, why would this be offensive?. It is truth that everyone knows. Hilary Clinton very famously accepted/confessed that the US has created al-Qaeda to be used against the Soviet Socialist Republic (currently Russia)... [The video of her speech can be found on that link http://youtu.be/PDNEppaGIyo]
Besides, every man and his dog shared this meme at the time, so why only our page is targeted and why now? Questions questions...without answers..
Anyhow, after the initial shock I pressed "Continue" - This time, Facebook brought another image (below),
and again claimed that the post violates "community standards"... I can find hundreds of Facebook accounts still have this image in their archived FB posts. So, why targeting our page, and similar to the previous image above, why would this be violating "community standards" ?.
Anyhow, after pressing "Continue" it brought up the notification in the picture below. So, basically it was asking me to un-publish the page and "clean" my data... But what to clean?.. Even if I "unpublished" the page, I would not know what to clean based on this confusing, new & very broad criteria.
As I said before, Facebook is full of images like this, and so far, it has never been a problem. So, I clicked "NO" to the offer of "unpublishing" the FB page. I clicked "Continue", but there was no escape, this time a message came up saying that my account is suspended from posting for 12 hours!...
So after the time was up and 12 hours passed, I have logged on and managed to publish 2 posts onto the Page. Ten Minutes after publishing the second post, Facebook crashed again. When I got back, it asked me to re-logon. When I did, it brought the message below. This time, a news article extracted from SANA, (Syrian News Agency) and Nasrallah's image seemed to be violating "community standards"... I was blown away with such a blatant violation of freedom of expression...
I am writing this because I don't want to believe FB staff who are responsible from holding up the community standards are al-Qaeda sympathizers (al-Qaeda would definitely find the first 2 images offensive to themselves) And also, I don't want to believe that Facebook staff have a sectarian agenda and have so much hatred and animosity towards all Shiites & everything Shia. Because sectarianism and hating the members of Shia/Alawite sects which Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah belongs to, are main characteristics of al-Qaeda ideology and its militants. This actually reminded me something else happened lately. Some al-Qaeda affiliated criminals setup a Facebook page and started posting extremely offensive memes and Photoshopped images of Shia leaders, and most of the images were depicting them in humiliating sexual positions. Most of the images was covered or accompanied with text of death threats, sectarian slurs, profanity, extreme hatred towards the people belong to these sects etc. Some posts/comments were encouraging page members to join a 'jihad' in Syria, to kill as many Shiites, Alawites as possible. According to the posts, genocide of Shiites was acceptable and would "clean" the world from infidels (!) I, myself and at least another 15-20 people reported the page and the individual posts to Facebook, but, we, all, got the same response: 'Facebook didn't see/find anything offensive with the page itself or the posts.' I was totally gobsmacked with that response..
Facebook as a big and an important organisation should re-examine its security and decision making policies, procedures, work instructions. When a report is received from a FB's customer (user), the report should go through and be examined by multiple people (multiple positions) before a decision is made to suspend/close a page or user account.
Needless to say, it is far too easy for rouge countries and organisations (Saudi Arabia, Qatar to name some) to buy out key people in the organisations like Facebook to be used to carry out their agenda. Please consider.