[Ed. note: Facebook’s censorship has already taken a toll on community members here at The Seminal, too, as this diary demonstrates. Take action here to help protest this corporate stifling of political speech.]
Back in October 2009 my friend Bill Levin, co-founder of ReLegalize Indiana, started a Facebook Page to get things going for our effort to legalize medical cannabis and industrial hemp in Indiana. This was before I got involved in organizing the effort with Bill, and it was this Facebook page that prompted me to get involved in the first place.
I came onboard the campaign in December, we officially organized in January. The page was established in mid-October; by Christmas it had 7500 fans and by mid-January we were approaching 12,000 fans on the page and were growing by 150 people a day. Then it all went away.
Facebook blocked our entire page. The page was (and might still be) there in the system with those thousands of Hoosiers as friends, but you can no longer get to it because of the block by Facebook.
We were told a copyright violation was alleged and that if the party that claimed copyright violation didn’t sue us within ten days our page would revert back to normal.
It’s August now and we have never been sued by the alleged copyright holder and Facebook refuses to answer any emails from us. And if you have ever gone looking for a phone number for Facebook you will not find one with a human you can speak to. You keep getting ran around a voicemail system until you give up.
So today when I heard about the Just Say Now campaign ad being censored it brought back all of these memories. Why is Facebook censoring marijuana activists across the country? Who is leaning on them to do so? Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg has a lot of explaining to do.