On Facebook, toxic comments that dehumanize and wishing death on a large group of people are “not violating our Community Standards”. Posts that introduce to friends some decent software, are.
I am not alone
As I started writing this post, I found out that someone else named John Goerzen had the same experience as me: post removals due to a link to Mastodon’s page, with no option to appeal! From the comment of the post, I found another fedizen with username yhancik experiencing the same problem. On John’s post on his Mastodon account, there is a reply claiming the same problem happened when he mentions Diaspora, and another reply mentioning his shadowban from Twitter (ha, Facebook is not alone either).
They claim this (a post inviting people to join the fediverse, with detailed explanation) is spam. They claim that this is to prevent things like false advertising, fraud (they allowed advertisements of counterfeit cash and false ads of mobile games, the latter of which is an infamous phenomenon), and security breaches (need I to say, Facebook is the security breaches).
Irony1 asides, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they actually used some automatic tools to do it to curb spams, then there is no reason not to allow appellation. As a data mining company, Facebook should know better than anyone else that machine decision based on data, so-called “artificial intelligence” (a more appropriate term is “artificial stupidity”) is never reliable. The decision to ban mention of Mastodon therefore seems deliberate. Hence my rather proofless claim in my Mastodon post.
Some people pointed out how ridiculuous that claim is: Mastodon, and even the whole Fediverse, is insignificant compared to Facebook. I agree with that. However, the hypothesis is totally convincing if you consider that they wouldn’t want to let users know what a free2 social media is like.
Respect yourself, say “no” to disservices
Censorship is far from the only injustice Facebook et al have done. Dr. Stallman has compiled a list of reasons to to be used by Facebook. I was trapped there with the reasons of keeping contact with my friends, though this is more of a FOMO: I have their emails and telephone numbers to contact with, even if they’re not willing to move to a more ethical and secure platform.
The reason I deleted Windows from my machine and switched to Linux was the same: I would be disrespecting myself if I keep using those disservices3. For the same reason, quitting Facebook is the only sensible choice. Would you make the same decision?
I would like to thank my anonymous friend who pointed out to me the irony that I should’ve realized earlier ↩︎
Free in both freedom and free of charge. Facebook is as a free service to its useds as dairy manufacturers to cows. ↩︎