Facebook Shame

I’ve written recently about Facebook’s censorship of posts and many of my friends who are on Facebook (and more who I don’t know but are ‘Facebook Friends’) seem regularly to disappear for a few days or even permanently having been banned from FB. (Though most of those who have been permanently removed seem to reappear in a few days under a slightly different name.

Often their ‘offences’ seem to have been trivial or non-existent, sometimes just sharing a link to an article in the mainstream press seems to be enough to generate a ban. At times FB’s arbiters seem excessively prudish, objecting to the kind of language that is commonplace in many groups in our society, or in their obsessive fear of women’s nipples.

FB’s censorship reached a shameful new low a few months ago, when they blocked people recording ‘Likes‘ on the site of Access Ability who have a Facebook help line to empower people with disabilities. When this was queried on a phone call, the site was told the action had been taken by FB because “some people find it disturbing to see pictures of disabled people“.

Together with a colleague I went to photograph a protest by disabled friends from DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) outside Facebook’s London HQ against this discriminatory treatment by Facebook of disability-related pages, and you can see my pictures of their protest. During the protest they played a recording of the phone call which the above quote came from, and there were other similarly disturbing statements.

But what you can’t see pictures of is a meeting which I think took place between the protesters and a manager from Facebook about the ban. FB were clearly so ashamed about their behaviour that they were unwilling for this to be recorded. Their security manager came out and told DPAC that a manager would only come out and talk with them if the meeting was not photographed, videoed or recorded in any way.

My colleague had already left, deciding he had enough pictures of the protest for his newspaper which had asked him to cover it. I decided not to¬†prejudice the outcome of the event for the protesters¬†and felt that reporting the prohibition was a more powerful admission of FB’s guilty shame than any photographs of the meeting could be and left.

More pictures at Disabled protest against Facebook

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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