Monday, May 2, 2011

Social Network Giant FB Takes On A New Approach To Silence Its Members Into Censorship.

Recently, I've become aware of a particular technique used by the online social network giant FaceBook by which Facebook manipulates its power of control over socialistic and often political views created by its users. Nothing new? Ok so what if Facebook took it one step further...?

Facebook can and will without hesitation remove your posts or comments while 'you' the user is kept unaware of any such censorship that has taken place. By visually displaying the originals on your profile as they were and how you wrote it (and once censorship has occurred) it then remains visible only via your own logged on account. 

To explain it a little better - While no other users can see it or read it as it is censored, the censored post you created is viewed normally by your own submission - thus creating an illusion that the posted comment you made is readably available for the viewing by others of which unknown to you - it is not. 

What this means is - without this knowledge of the censorship, it is near impossible for the user to know if any comment or their previous comments were ever visible by anyone other than themselves. The only exception to this rule is, if another user were to comment on or like your post, then you would know if such censorship had occurred or not. Ok so perhaps this is an oversight by Facebook that I can still view my post while others cannot after censorship has taken place? Except how will I know when my post has been censored!!? I honestly believe it isn't an oversight and before I explain why this is important and why this is damaging for all other online users of social networking - lets step back a little and first acknowledge what methods are required to ultimately safeguard an online social network like Facebook. 

Safeguarding Facebook from threats is in many ways very similar to Fort Knox, with the exception, all of the information is kept on its servers and in cyberspace with its security being paramount to its survival. The users of social networking sites assume their personal details and information are protected and not made public or available to others without first their consent to release such information. 

Yes this is true, however we also entrust our care alongside its power to protect and safeguard our information while not to:

(1.) Abuse its privileges while safeguarding our information
(2.) Subject its users in its process to intimidation techniques
(3.) Undertake opportunistic advantages over user content without our knowledge.

In other words Facebook should fairly adhere to protecting its users right to use its service without obstruction of any kind - be it internally or via external third parties and not to manipulate users and their content given that the content falls within the boundaries of its terms and conditions of use. If users of its service are deemed to be acting irresponsibly and their comments are forcibly censored from its site I would then assume given that their content was censored then this must be deleted in its entirety - which would therefore acknowledge to its user the content is no longer viewable as appropriate. At least the user could then defend the actions given by its censorship and appeal their decision. Likewise this is a given right in any court of law. The difference is Facebook have taken an advantage over this and by way of secrecy kept the censorship out of the limelight of its user for which the user can then:

(1.) Be subjected to intimidatory measures and inappropriate mishandling of user content without the users acknowledgement to defend such censorship.

Meaning your content information you provide (at any time) given appropriate or not - and under their rule, can and will be deleted, removed, altered, engineered, delayed at specific intervals and also misled to other users, which could then facilitate actions beyond your control resulting in unfairly governed censorship from the authors copyrighted works. The big picture here is how far will Facebook go and to what extent do they decide 'what is' and 'what isn't' deemed 'appropriate' content without full acknowledgement to support their decisions if the content is in fact legally and justified as appropriate content? How can FB justify their use of censorship and misinform their users that any such content was deemed 'inappropriate' without their users knowledge of censorship in the first place? It seems extremely odd to me and it could be used to silence individuals at their discretion without deleting your account in its entirety.

To understand the big picture you must first think beyond censorship of one persons political activism. Should yours and everyone else's political views be governed without you knowing and without a write to appeal? Its not a case of FB deleting everything that is not within FB's terms and conditions of use. Its about creating a whole new infrastructure within FB and implementing it to create control of censorship and your right to express freely and your freedom to speak and be heard. For example FB could without your knowledge:

(1.) Limit particular viewing of any subject matter away from selected individuals, at any time and for any reason during any political or global event of some significance.

(2.) Go as far as to say entire continents, countries, religious sects, age and ethnic groups could be singled out purposely so to deride any movement or likeminded individuals whenever and wherever required.

And it wont stop at the hands of censorship - As the powers of FB grow so will the powers to invest in its control. It will progress to a level of censorship that will incite levels of abuse toward the author and would also provoke intimidation - thus creating (by way of manipulation) disinterest away from you and your friends and without you gaining any political momentum toward a subject of debate. More to the point, its not 'impossible' to say lightly for it to be used as a propaganda tool by FB when you don't even know 'when' a post is censored. 

To effectively counter attack this unseen war on censorship, one needs to use either multiple FB accounts and switch between users to see 'what', if any posts the social network has refrained from view or simply ask a friend on the social network if they can view your content displayed. You will be surprised at how often censorship occurs and without your due knowledge. Given the level of debate on political indifferences around the globe today and through various laws within their countries - some content becomes increasingly difficult to balance whats fairly perceived as rightfully justified given censorship versus freedom of speech including sensitive religious beliefs that could possibly jeopardize and inflame actions toward the safety of individuals or their countries infrastructure.

However, it is not one persons given right to decide 'what' if anything is deemed offensive unless it incites racist hate-ridge - and or intent to cause violent action towards another individual or society of people or group. And certainly not limited to one online social network. It is a dirty tricks campaign and successful illusion created by FB and its effecting thousands of innocent people without their full knowledge - at different times and at different levels of consciousness. Political or not - your subject line is what you choose to write - you are the author and you have 'authenticity' over your written work as copyright of your work exists and should not be tampered with. Anyone who disagrees is by virtue corrupt - as control becomes corrupt and corruption leads to a total break down of all its majority under its control. The scope is endless - and is powerful. FB and the internet will be forever a device whereby freedom of speech is continuously and rigorously censored, manipulated and with new found ways will continue to repress those who believe that each of us can make a difference in this geopolitical climate.

It is in my view, a tip of the ice berg in its entirety and not limited too having global implications which will; As the power of the hand that feeds it (Facebook) will broaden its accessibility and commence a game of 'playing god on censorship'. It is wrong and has gone beyond what is appropriate for anyone to incorporate a level of control over a persons right to express 'freedom of knowledge' and to have their due responsibilities manipulated to a degree which is deceiving and without fair governance. The global implications will have dire consequences and I believe FB has used these intimidation techniques through manipulation of thousands of online users content for some time around the world, most of which are oblivious to its successive powers of censorship.