Facebook has banned me yet again. This time for 3 days. Just a month ago, I was banned for one day for posting an info-graphic which was actually an accurate depiction of history. This time around, it is something so non-controversial that I can’t even get my head around it as to how Facebook could consider it against their ‘Community Standards’.
Here’s what I posted – A screenshot of a tweet by Minhaz Merchant with the following comment – “Why are Indian Muslims not giving us a chance to spit Venom like these ISIS people do? Because, basically they are Hindu. But send them to Pakistan. :P”.
Now can somebody tell me, how can the above post be against Facebook’s community standards? I have been banned by Facebook for 3 days for the above post. And if you think that was an exception, then check the next image for which I was banned by Facebook about a month ago.
The above image was set as a cover picture for the TruthOfGujarat Facebook page. Probably some Modi followers didn’t like it and reported it. However, how does Facebook decide that this is against their community standards? This is documented history. Yet, my post was removed and I was banned for a day. And, this tyrannical behaviour is not limited to one person but many in my friend circle have reported this problem again and again and again. Just yesterday, Facebook unpublished a parody account of Subramanian Swamy which was called “Unofficial: Subramaniam Swamy” and used to operate at the URL “https://www.facebook.com/sususwamy”.
Here’s a copy of the report which Facebook sent to my friend who used to run the aforementioned page and had over 180,000 followers.
The image you see in the report is supposed to be that of a Sufi Saint’s shrine in Deva Shareef, Uttar Pradesh and shows Muslims playing Holi. This image was posted on the above page with a sarcastic comment which was along the lines of “How can Muslims celebrate our festival”. This page in question deals with a lot of sarcasm with no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. Yet Facebook found something objectionable in the post and not just deleted the post but unpublished the entire Facebook page.
So, when Facebook says that it stands for Freedom of Expression (FOE), what sort of FOE are they referring to? If documented history is not FOE, if personal commentary on a post is not FOE, if sarcasm not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings is not FOE, then what exactly is Facebook’s definition of FOE?
Moreover, Facebook also makes it so darned impossible to raise these issues with an actual human being. I sent them an email last time around and I never got a response. I have sent them one this time too and I don’t have much hope. While Facebook has made a great platform, they are making the life of its users miserable by their random censorship. Since they are a growing platform, they may not feel the need to address the grievances of their users/customers but it would surely come back to bite them when the going is not good.