Benedict Seymour on Wed, 4 May 2011 06:16:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Facebook censors 50 protest groups in the run up to the royal wedding

Hey thanks for circulating this news, Merijn,

Just to add that the groups targeted in the purge have now also set up a petition site and a blog, and no, these are not on Facebook. It would be great if nettimers could sign, circulate, and give their support/ suggestions:

BTW - re the incredulity regarding a FB page against an FB purge: The FB page was an immediate and I think still logical response given that everyone who was discovering their pages had been taken down were of course discovering this on Facebook. For the same reasons these groups were on there already, it made and makes sense to spread the bad news via FB.

For me the real issue here is that the UK state - whether by purely technical means or clandestine agreement with Facebook - shut down over 50 UK sites of political groups that were using FB purely for sharing public domain news about cuts or announcing social/discussion events, spreading news about campaigns, occupations, etc.

No one was naive enough to plan anything proscribed by the State through these pages, though even some official State approved events such as the Glasgow May Day celebrations had their pages deleted. It's amusing to see the bigger cops stifling the smaller (the Glasgow police worked with the Scottish TUC to coordinate this event), but indicates the way things seem to be headed in the UK as the police go about pre-emptively arresting activists and raiding squats in the lead up to the wedding and in the wake of months of social strife in education and beyond.

The pages deleted in the FB purge had been up and growing for months, helping enable contact between the wider population of university students, school kids and 6th formers, and other campaigns. Most of these people would not, initially at least, be on Crabgrass or part of activist/radical media (if we're still allowed to say that*) milieux. As such I imagine that FB will remain an important way to communicate with a wide array of people. But, re alternatives to FB, many of the groups are already using Crabgrass, etc, for organising beyond the level of announcements and news etc.

I hope the discussion this purge is generating will hasten exodus from FB, but I suspect this will depend on development of tools capable of hosting the large numbers who made use of proprietary networks during the recent political events in the middle east and beyond. In the meantime, I hope this campaign will help heighten everyone's sense of the urgency of that.

Thanks very much,



On 01/05/2011 21:42, Rob Myers wrote:
On 01/05/11 12:42, merijn oudenampsen wrote:
Join the protest against it... on facebook

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