Facebook facing criticism after removing major atheist pages

Jun 21, 2016

By Ayman El Kaissi

Social networking site Facebook is facing heavy criticism after removing major atheist pages.

Facebook removed more than six Arabic-speaking atheist pages due to “violations” of Community Standards in the middle of April, reports The News Hub.

However, this was not the first time that the social networking site censored atheists and freethinkers in the MENA region.

Following the matter, the Atheist Alliance – Middle-East and North Africa (AA-MENA) demanded that Facebook changes its way of addressing violation reports in order to preserve members’ freedom of speech.

Ten Arabic-speaking atheist groups were deactivated in February 2016 for the same reason : heavy reporting campaigns that are organized by “cyber jihadist” fundamentalist Islamic groups, especially for the removal of any anti-Islamic group or page.

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7 comments on “Facebook facing criticism after removing major atheist pages

  • Is there not an opportunity for someone to produce a peer 2 peer hosted facebook-a-like or at least a discussion forum? European atheist hosted on their home machines for MENA use? Face2Face.

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  • Facebook is becoming well known for its corrupt, sell out policies. It is suppressing opinions on the islamification of Europe by Zuckerberg’s alliance with Angela Merkel. Straight out of George Orwell.

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  • There is a reason Islamic societies make it illegal to criticize Islam. There is a reason Muslim nations have introduced proposals in the UN to ban the criticism of all religions. Why? Because the greatest threat to the power and dominance of any religion is public and rational criticism. The solution to religious indoctrination and thuggery is to defuse it by making it public policy for all secular governments, leaders, and businesses to clearly, repeatedly and publicly state as a matter of official policy that because all religions are based on faith and not on facts, evidence, or proof, no religion is proven to be factually any more true than any other. Religious believers need to be consistently and publicly reminded of this reality by the leaders of all free societies and businesses operating within free societies. If our leaders and businesses had the integrity and courage to consistently speak this truth, yes, they’d stir up a hornet’s nest of religious howls and protests, but over generations they would defuse the power of any and every religion to politically dominate nations and/or coerce or threaten anyone into doing anything.

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  • What’s is in it for Facebook? Are they worried about advertising revenue?
    Are they worried about boycotts?
    Do governments have some hold over them? I think it unlikely they even have offices in those countries.I
    Is it just plain fear of criticism?
    I can see atheists fearing to post, but that is their problem.

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  • What’s is in it for Facebook? Are they worried about advertising
    revenue? Are they worried about boycotts? Do governments have some
    hold over them? I think it unlikely they even have offices in those
    countries.I Is it just plain fear of criticism? I can see atheists
    fearing to post, but that is their problem.

    To understand the issue, you first must know how Facebook blocking works and the whole process behind it.

    First step: Somebody clicks report button. Nothing happens for a while.

    Second step: More people click report button. Critical amount of reports is reached.

    Third step: Automatic system puts the page/group/post for review. Depending on the type of reports, the page/group/post is either blocked while the review process is enacted or it stays on.

    Fourth step: Eventually, every single of posts or groups or pages or profiles comes up in front of human being that decides whether report was warranted or not and decides whether to actually block the content or not. It all gets filtered by language by automatic system so it can be sent to correct center/reviewer who understands what the post is about. Pictures get sorted their own way and there’s some look at the comments, I think.

    It is at this step that actual problems arise. Why? Because that human being is usually not living in US or Great Britain or whatever your idea of “Freedom of speech” country is. No. Most of those human beings that actually do the banning part are living in countries like India, Bangladesh or some such, where the salaries, and thus costs for the company, are low. With English posts/groups/pages, there’s some chance that it will be actually reviewed either in US or some other English-speaking country. With languages like Swahili, Arabic or Serbo-Croatian, chances are next to none.

    See where I’m going with this? Human beings doing the reviewing have their own biases. That’s why, for example, breastfeeding pictures tend to get banned for obscenity on Facebook 90% of the time, because 90% of the workforce doing the banning lives in India, Bangladesh etc, where breastfeeding and/or any sight of bare breast is indeed considered obscene. Same thing with atheist groups with names in Arabic. That group report is more likely than not going to be reviewed by someone speaking/reading Arabic and that reviewer is more likely than not going to be muslim, just because most of the Arabic speaking world is muslim. And that also explains why the pages asking for atheists and gays to be killed don’t get banned. The reviewer is agreeing with it.

    I hope I explained it well. I’ll try to find link to text where it is all explained by the guy actually working as one of 25000 report reviewers in US.
    Edited to add:

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  • The Taliban in Pakistan killed a singer of Sufi traditional songs saying they were “haram”.
    These arrogant xxxxs! I wish there were a way of eradicating them. May someone spike their tea with rat poison.

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  • Fortunately there are some African authorities who are prepared to take rational decisions in curbing religious practices!


    Authorities in Nigeria’s Lagos State have shut 70 churches and 20 mosques in an attempt to reduce high noise levels.

    About 10 hotels, pubs and club houses were also closed, officials said.

    Some estimates put Lagos’ population at around 20 million, creating a constant background of noise – from the blaring of car horns, to the Muslim call to prayer and loud singing in churches.

    The state government has vowed to make the city, the biggest in Africa, noise-free by 2020.

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