Sunday, October 29, 2017

Facebook's 24th block against our Church and State website since 1 December 2015 (WITH UPDATE 23/11/2017)

Appalling.

Donald A. Collins, President, International Services Assistance Fund, Washington DC







For the second time in two months, Declan and I have suspended work on our Church and State website to research Northern Europe for the most committed free speech advocates we can find. The last time we were forced to do this, our web host had told us to remove a Creative Commons article from the site or the site would be disabled by them; see my blog post of 13 October, SiteGround: We are told to remove a Creative Commons article or our Church and State website will be disabled (WITH DOUBLE UPDATE 16/10/2017). Now since last night, Facebook have stopped me from posting to groups without first passing through a time-consuming waiting period for every post I wish to make. This records as Facebook's 24th block against our Church and State website since 1 December 2015. My appeal reads:

For the attention of Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Facebook

29 October 2017

Dear Facebook,

I wish to appeal your decision last night to stop me from posting to groups without first passing through a time-consuming waiting period for every post I wish to make; and this for an undisclosed period of time and without any stated reason. We have been experiencing this block on all four of our laptops, using both the Chrome and Firefox browsers, and despite a home internet connection speed that exceeds 70Mbps. Please see my video at https://youtu.be/5jlnsMpnsnw.

Please note that I only ever post to groups that are specific to an article's subject and that I am well familiar with. I also only post articles that I have already published on our Church and State website. Nonetheless, this latest block records as the 24th time Facebook has blocked me from posting to groups since 1 December 2015. Facebook has also only responded to three of my previous 23 appeals, citing "technical problems" in each instance.

1st 1-4 December 2015 (4 days)
2nd 5-7 December 2015 (3 days)
3rd 6-9 January 2016 (4 days)
4th 12-15 January 2016 (4 days)
5th 20-22 January 2016 (3 days)
6th 13-16 February 2016 (4 days)
7th 23-26 March 2016 (4 days)
8th 20-23 May 2016 (4 days)
9th 25-30 May 2016 (6 days)
10th 1-3 July 2016 (3 days)
11th 7-8 September 2016 (2 days)
12th 21-22 September 2016 (3 days)
13th 27-28 September 2016 (2 days)
14th 29 September - 3 October 2016 (5 days)
15th 4-5 October 2016 (2 days)
16th 18-23 October 2016 (6 days)
17th 9-14 December 2016 (6 days)
18th 4-6 January 2017 (3 days)
19th 20-23 January 2017 (4 days)
20th 17 May 2017 (1 day)
21st 19 June 2017 (1 day)
22nd 19-21 August 2017 (3 days)
23rd 19 September 2017 (1 day)

On 5 September 2017 I reported to Facebook four other sort of blocks that since April 2017 have included the treating as spam my links to articles and book excerpts on our Church and State website. The Facebook block against two articles mentioned in that report still stands (an unprecedented 55-day block to date). And this notwithstanding that the second of these two articles has been shared/liked by Facebook users over 70,000 times:

Contraception and the Catholic Church

Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages

Please note that we currently have an international list of 129 Honorary Associates, including two Nobel Prize winners. Since Facebook's 16th block listed above, 99 distinguished academics and other intellectuals have given us permission to add their names to the list. Don Collins, President of the Washington DC-based International Services Assistance Fund, writes: "Surely after multiple postings [Facebook] must know your content is neither lewd nor extreme."

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Lola Heavey
Webmaster
Network for Church Monitoring

"Let me recommend an important web site - churchandstate.org.uk. Operating out of London this well-designed and exciting web site covers church-state, population, climate change and other issues. Check it out." Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty

2 October 2016: Complaint to Facebook Chairman, Chief Executive and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg on day 4 of Facebook's 14th block since 1 December 2015

Re: Facebook

Draft paragraph 42 of Declan's next updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

42. On 13 August 2011, then Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone wrote to Facebook on the Applicant's behalf, asking that they explain why the Applicant's wife had been barred. The bar was subsequently lifted; however, since 1 December 2015, Facebook has blocked the Applicant's wife from posting to groups on 24 separate occasions, and up to six days at a time (each of these blocks is well accounted for in the N4CM blog). On 22 December 2015, Labour's Lyn Brown, then Shadow Home Office Minister and now Shadow Home Secretary, made an enquiry on the Applicant's behalf to Facebook UK Managing Director Steve Hatch asking if he could offer an explanation as to the terms and conditions the Applicant's wife was alleged to have broken twice previously. To the best of the Applicant's knowledge, Mr Hatch did not respond to this letter. The Applicant's wife only ever posts to groups that are specific to an article's subject and that she is well familiar with, and she only ever posts articles that she has already published on the Church and State website. Facebook has responded to only three of the Applicant's wife's 24 appeals since 1 December 2015, citing "technical problems" in each instance.

1st 1-4 December 2015 (4 days)
2nd 5-7 December 2015 (3 days)
3rd 6-9 January 2016 (4 days)
4th 12-15 January 2016 (4 days)
5th 20-22 January 2016 (3 days)
6th 13-16 February 2016 (4 days)
7th 23-26 March 2016 (4 days)
8th 20-23 May 2016 (4 days)
9th 25-30 May 2016 (6 days)
10th 1-3 July 2016 (3 days)
11th 7-8 September 2016 (2 days)
12th 21-22 September 2016 (3 days)
13th 27-28 September 2016 (2 days)
14th 29 September - 3 October 2016 (5 days)
15th 4-5 October 2016 (2 days)
16th 18-23 October 2016 (6 days)
17th 9-14 December 2016 (6 days)
18th 4-6 January 2017 (3 days)
19th 20-23 January 2017 (4 days)
20th 17 May 2017 (1 day)
21st 19 June 2017 (1 day)
22nd 19-21 August 2017 (3 days)
23rd 19 September 2017 (1 day)
24th 28-29 October 2017 (ongoing)

Click to enlarge


Facebook UK Managing Director Steve Hatch

Click to enlarge

UPDATE 23 November (9.16am): When it comes to blocking me from posting Church and State articles to groups, Facebook's 24th block since 1 December 2015 was lifted on 1 November, but they then blocked me from joining or posting to groups almost immediately that same day until 8 November (no reason given). We are well used to this sort of behaviour from Facebook - where they block me one way and then another in quick succession. We record these sort of restrictions as block extensions rather than new blocks, meaning that this 24th block records as a record-breaking 12-day block (the previous record for this sort of block was 6 days last December). There's no telling what's next from Facebook. Their block against the two articles mentioned in my appeal above remains ongoing and records as a record-breaking 80-day block to date (the previous record for this sort of block was 18 days last August). And last Friday I wrote to them about being unable to view scheduled posts on my Facebook Network for Church Monitoring page. This is that supplementary report detailing these and a whole series of other restrictions since last April:

For the attention of Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Facebook

17 November 2017

Dear Facebook,

I have been unable to view my scheduled posts since this morning. Please see the snapshot attached.

On 5 September I reported the treating as spam my links to articles on our Church and State website. The Facebook block against the two articles mentioned in that report still stands (a 74-day block to date). And this notwithstanding that the second of these two articles has been shared/liked by Facebook users over 70,000 times:

Contraception and the Catholic Church

Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages

On 5 April I reported that the page listing all the groups I belong to was not working. With this rectified, I reported on 10 April that I couldn't schedule posts on my page. Then I reported on 12 April that my scheduled posts were not posting. On 6 June I reported that there was no fault with an excerpt from a book by Dr Pascal Bruckner, one of France's leading public intellectuals (a 16-day block). On 24 July I reported that there was no fault with an excerpt from a book by Prof Paul Cliteur, one of the Netherlands' leading public intellectuals (an 18-day block).

On 10 August Facebook replied: "We reviewed your [Prof Cliteur] post again and found it does follow our Community Standards. The post is being restored to Facebook. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience."

Thank you in advance for your assistance in these matters.

Regards,

Lola Heavey
https://www.facebook.com/networkforchurchmonitoring/

UPDATE 23 November (cont.): Despite our distinguished list of now 145 Honorary Associates from around the world, blocks on public access to our Church and State website also continue unabated. I have updated my blog post of 16 January with last night's 871st block (the 3rd of the day) on public access to the site since 26 July 2016. The blog post also not only reveals a record-breaking 52 such blocks in one week at the end of April (an unprecedented escalation that kicked off with our focus on the Danish Cartoon Crisis; 57 blocks last month), but it reveals the daily targeting to fluctuating degrees of category pages throughout the site which continues to this day. For example, as I point out in an earlier blog post about the Royal Mail's mishandling of our incoming mail following the loss of our employment contracts to the United States, the second article below has over 1/2 million Facebook likes/shares (not zero):



UPDATE 23 November (cont.): And it's not just Facebook blocks, blocks on public access to our Church and State website and the daily targeting to fluctuating degrees of category pages throughout the site that Declan and I are dealing with these days. We have also been dealing with Internet cuts since 26 May. See my blog post of 21 June, Internet cuts: We pay £65 per month for BT Infinity but feel we are in a race against time to stay online (WITH UPDATE 23/11/2017 RE: 871st Internet cut since 26 May 2017).

Click to enlarge

From My Picks:

27 October: Home Department: Complaint to the Home Secretary against the Independent Police Complaints Commission. My appeal against the HM Revenue and Customs investigation of serious misconduct is simply being ignored (WITH UPDATE 28/10/2017)

'Let me recommend an important web site churchandstate.org.uk. Operating out of London this well-designed and exciting web site covers church-state, population, climate change and other issues. Check it out.' Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty