An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg; Greetings and feedback from conservative Facebook members.
We hope that this letter finds you well. We are writing today to provide you with feedback from conservative Facebook members, regarding Censorship and Free Speech on your platform.
By way of introduction; we are a growing consortium of free speech advocates, from a wide range of conservative political Facebook Groups. We are primarily Americans, but there are also representatives from Australia, the Philippines, the UK, Pakistan and South Africa. Our intention in this letter is to provide you with important feedback from ordinary Facebook members. We know that you have received extensive feedback from major political and media figures, but perhaps it would be helpful for you to hear from us too.
First, we would like to say that we wholeheartedly agree with your recent speech at Georgetown University, in which you clearly stood in support of free speech. However, we are experiencing a sense of disconnect between what you said, and what is actually occurring with Facebook censorship. For example, at the very time that you were giving that talk, a person was punished for violating Facebook standards on “hate speech” because they had commented that someone was a “pest”; and a Group Admin warning was issued for “nudity/adult content” because someone had posted a Facebook Gif of Teletubbies sliding down a sliding board. These are but a fraction of the examples of censorship imposed on us.
We do not want to speculate as to why these inexplicable cases of censorship occur. Rather, we would like to provide you with more data about both the extent of the censorship problems, as well as specific Testimonials from Facebook members. It is intended that this data will provide you with information that you may not currently have.
To these ends, we have embarked on two initiatives;
1) we are forming an ever-growing coalition of Facebook groups who are signing onto a
Declaration of Opposition to Facebook Censorship. *(a copy of which is attached below). To date, over 150 Groups, with a combined membership of over 1.8 Million, have signed.
2) we are continuing to gather detailed Testimonials from group members.
We will write to you again soon in order to keep you updated on the number of Groups/members signed onto the Declaration, and we will provide you with specific Testimonials. It is hoped that this will give you a better understanding of both the extent, and the nature of the problems that we are facing.
We trust that this letter will not be used as a reason to target our group for increased surveillance and censorship. We are submitting this information to you in a spirit of good-faith, and we trust that your response will be made likewise.
Conservatives United Against Facebook Censorship
Declaration of Opposition to Facebook Censorship
We, the undersigned Administrators of Facebook and MeWe groups, and the collective membership that we represent, do declare our united opposition the current Censorship tactics in which Facebook is engaging.
The exact nature of Facebook’s Censorship tactics have been well documented in public media forums, Congressional hearings, and legal challenges. They need not be detailed here.
Whether of not Facebook has the “legal” right to engage in their Censorship practices is a matter to be determined by legislators , and courts of law. It is not a matter to be detailed here.
However, as citizens of a country in which freedom of expression is both revered, and enshrined in our Constitution, it is our duty to speak out against all attempts to suppress that freedom of speech.
Therefore, we unanimously declare our opposition to Facebook’s growing practice of suppression of free speech. Further, we are recommending that Facebook make the following changes to the manner in which they evaluate posts (*):
- Tell users which post is in violation (What).
- Tell users explicitly which policy the post violates (Why).
- Give users an option to remove that particular post (Remediate/correct).
- If there are legitimate objective grounds for blocking a post….block that specific post and ONLY that specific post vs. entirely blocking the user for a week or month.
- NO MORE blanket banning people from the public square and discussion for 30 days without any explanation or appeal.
- Provide an objective/neutral means of appeal of any blocks greater than 24hrs.
- If not reviewed by a neutral/objective review within 48hrs any and all blocks and or Suspensions will be automatically removed.
- Under ‘Report a Problem’ there needs to be a category for ‘Censorship’ so that it can be audited/inspected/reported on.
- NO MORE Shadow Banning!!!
- NO MORE Rate Limiting Of Posts!!!
- NO MORE BANS applying new standards to posts over 30 days old.
(* List written by, Andrew Morray, and reprinted here with his permission)