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Facebook Censorship and the War on Free Speech
Many Facebook users may have experienced at leat some form of speech suppression by their beloved so-called "Social Network" -- the most common being through the enforcement of vague "Community Standards" -- i.e. Facebook's moderators removing posts that they deem "inappropriate" without notice or an opportunity to be heard on the matter; Facebook automatically hiding their comments flagged as "spam"; etc. (Here's one example of a viral post that was removed as "inappropriate" http://www.breakingthemold.info/2012/09/tell-facebook-stop-internet-censorship.html)
But over the past several years this suppression of speech has gotten far worse than any of us could ever have imagined.
Facebook is now implementing what we understand to be a "Pay-to-Share Algorithm" which forces users and pages to pay Facebook to share their posts with friends, family and followers.
Unlike Page owners and admins, most users do not see the "Promote" feature at the bottom right hand corner of their posts, or the insights which show how many Facebook users each post actually "reaches" --- so it is very likely that millions of users are completely unaware of what's going on behind the scenes or how much of what they see is controlled by Facebook and their corporate sponsors.
As a result of the pay-to-share policy alone, we estimate that 85% or more of our posts on Facebook do not reach their intended recipients.
For example, the average post by People Over Politics, now nearing 10,000 fans, "reaches" on average anywhere from 200-1000 users.
Our insights also demonstrate that Facebook is suppressing links to websites and other sources of information outside of Facebook far worse than it does posts without links. All of our posts which include links in the caption or text have a "reach" of usually les than 500 users and in some instances less than 200!
If you think that's bad -- it gets much worse.
Facebook is now removing our comments and posts without notice or warning -- or even a reason! (Note: usually when Facebook removes your posts it will log you out and tell you vaguely why it removed your post in a popup, forcing you to click a checkbox saying you understand its Community Standards before you can log back in)
For example, we posted and pinned to the top of our timeline this important reminder on October 16th, over the past week it was going viral, amassing thousands of shares, comments, likes --- until earlier this week when it suddenly disappeared from our Timeline --- along with all of our posts from October 1 - 19! The majority of the posts during that timeframe were about the 2012 Presidential Election and most significantly, raising awareness about the Third Party Candidates and Debates which have been all but blacked out by the Mainstream Media.
It is obvious that Facebook has taken Speech Suppression to a new level --- far beyond merely trying to turn a profit by placing advertisements on its sites or enforcing its vague "community standards". It is clearly taking direct action to severely hinder our efforts to raise awareness about important issues -- and to share information critical to everyone's health, safety and welfare.