Has Facebook Censorship On Riots Already Begun?
It was announced yesterday in Parliament that the Government will be looking in to ways of blacking out social media like the Blackberry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter during riots to prevent their organized expansion. Anecdotal evidence suggests some form of censorship has already begun without an official announcement or any wider discussion.
While on the WideShut Facebook page earlier today I sent out a message asking if anybody remembered a Facebook status that compared the cost of the looting to that of corporate and financial scandals. I did eventually find that post, as follows:
Highest estimated cost of riots: £100m
Tax Avoidance by Vodafone: £6billion
Tax spent on Libyan intervention: £1 Billion
Tax avoidance in 2010 by richest people in UK: £7 Billion
Tax payers bill for banking crisis: £131 Billion… discuss
In the screen-shot below you can clearly see that Facebook is censoring posts relating to the riots:
Under “This is what I meant:” is supposed to be the post, but it magically vanished.
To make sure it wasn’t a pasting error on my part, I reposted it twice. Both times the post completely vanished from the comment thread.
Understanding a little bit about how internet sites tick, having run them for many years myself, I pondered how they might be censoring certain posts. The simplest way would be to block them by keywords. In other words if you wanted to censor posts about the riots, then using a filter to pick out the word “riots” from posts would be sufficient.
To test this theory I reposted the status with spaces between each letter of the word. R I O T S, this would hopefully trick the filter.
Low and behold it did. The status was happily accepted because the specific word riots was missing.
It’s unsure what the exact parameters are for this censorship. It doesn’t appear to be effecting everyone. It could be that if somebody is posting a certain number of comments about the riots then it gets flagged and the censorship is enabled. It could be that those posting alternative views from the mainstream are flagged first. There may need to be a combination of words alongside the word riots. It might be that if a certain post they don’t like is reposted several times and starts going viral that they block it.
Going on previous hunches it may also be that censored posts are flagged for internal review and once checked over are displayed as normal, if they meet their internal criteria of being acceptable.
Whatever the the case, it appears Facebook may be in secret cahoots with the British Government, which is a worrying prospect.
At this time it may be worth revisiting the evidence that Facebook itself was funded by the CIA and has ties to US defense, and that this year’s elitist Bilderberg meeting included “Social Networking” as one of the talking points.