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Facebook Or Twitter Censoring your posts? Now You Can Report It to Onlinecensorship.org

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

If you are a social media user then you must be aware how easy it is for social networking websites to delete/block/censor content and even suspend user accounts. If you have experienced such a penalty then you must also be knowing that social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter generally offer no explanation as to why a particular post/account was deleted or even provide guidelines for reinstating the content/account. But all this may change thanks to an initiative from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

EFF has launched a brand new website (www.onlinecensorship.org) which allows social media users to report blocked/deleted content and/or suspension of accounts. The entire project is actually a non-profit venture started by Ramzi Jaber from Visualizing Impact and Jillian York from EFF. The aim of the website is to hold social media firms accountable for their actions and encourage them to be more transparent regarding content takedowns and account suspensions. Apart from users of Facebook and Twitter, the venture hopes to hear from Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Flickr users. The stories shared by the users would also enable EFF to learn how the decisions made by social media firms affects the lives of users as well as discover trends regarding what kind of content is getting blocked on social sites.

It is extremely easy to file a complaint regarding content takedown or account suspension on Onlinecensorship.org. If you wish to share your story via the medium, you simply need to click on “Submit a Report” button which appears prominently on the website. On the next screen, you need to select the social site which deleted your content or suspended your account. The site also allows you to report what kind of content (text/ image/ video/ page/ group/ event/ ad/ comment/ channel) was deleted and post your opinion regarding the content takedown. While submitting your report, you can even include a snapshot of the deleted content as well as choose to remain anonymous.

While justifying the decision to launch Onlinecensorship.org website, Jillian York said that the aim of the project was to learn how social networking sites enforced their terms and conditions. The data submitted by the users would also provide valuable insight regarding how these companies were regulating speech on their websites. She also hoped that social media firms would respond favorably to the whole initiative and improve their internal processes and reporting mechanisms.

Content takedown or account suspension is not exactly a new phenomenon on social networking platforms. Most social sites have their own set of rules and regulations against hate speech and adult content but a lot of times they also delete content/accounts in an abrupt manner. The EFF initiative hopes to make social companies more responsible regarding such decisions and make the whole social networking experience a much more positive and hassle-free experience. Meanwhile, if you think that your post/account was erroneously deleted by the above listed social sites, don’t hesitate to file your complaint at Onlinecensorship.org. While filing a report may not help in getting your post or account back, it would surely provide valuable insight regarding takedown actions taken by the social networking companies.

April 13, 2016

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