So! ‘Interesting’ day yesterday. Which is ‘interesting’ in itself as I don’t have many ‘interesting’ days. After 144 of them the lockdown days get to be a bit samey. Which suits me fine. Routine works well with my temperament. Having not set foot outside the house in five months I’ve found routine to be quite an effective coping mechanism. Like all the best coping mechanisms, I’m not really conscious of it being a coping mechanism. I just cope. It’s just my life now. I’m not ‘dealing with a very difficult situation’. I’m not in a difficult situation. I’m just in a situation. Same as always. It’s up to me whether and to what extent my situation is difficult. I choose to make it less difficult. Not difficult at all, in fact. Routine is part of that.
I’m never bored. I don’t get bored. I’m not sure I know what it’s like to be bored. I’m always doing something – even if it’s only sitting thinking. Mostly, I do the same things at more or less the same times every day. I am comfortable with that although I know many (most?) people would think it frightfully dull.
But yesterday was ‘interesting’. Not ‘exciting’! If things get ‘exciting’ I know I’m doing something wrong. Things aren’t supposed to be exciting. Things are supposed to be just things. Situations are meant to be just situations. But yesterday was ‘interesting’. ‘Interesting’ can be good or bad. My default assumption is that it is bad. I’m content with less bad than it might have been. The jury’s still out on yesterday’s ‘interesting’. I’ve yet to make up my mind about where it sits on the scale of badness that runs from ‘less bad than it might have been’ to ‘worse than even I could possibly have imagined’. Yesterday’s ‘interesting’ certainly isn’t at the latter extreme. If it were, I expect I would be too heavily medicated to write this. I’m just not sure how bad it is. See what you think.
It started about 13:30 when I received a message from a friend saying they were unable to share anything from this site on Facebook. Every time they tried, they got a message such as the one pictured above. To be more accurate I should say that this is when I became aware that something ‘interesting’ was intruding on my pleasingly uninteresting routine. My friend also mentioned that copying and pasting a URL into a Facebook comment resulted in non-standard behaviour in that the preview of the article did not appear. I realised then that I had vaguely noticed – but not noted – this non-standard behaviour myself.
Then I started to get more messages from people who’d found it impossible to share articles from this website on Facebook. So, I thought I’d best investigate. Which brought me in due course to the Support Inbox on Facebook where I found a small slew of notifications saying that posts had been blocked with the message ‘This post goes against our Community Standards on spam‘. Which was odd. Because they were simply shares of my articles – almost all on my own profile or one of my pages or groups. ‘Interesting’!
I then went through the procedure to inform whoever or whatever it is that’s on the other end that I disagreed with the decisions. All of them. A short time later I received a response rejecting my ‘appeal’. That was an end of it.
I should have mentioned that all of the posts at issue were notified to me over a short period that morning. Assuming the notifications to be automated and prompted by a report, it seemed that somebody had just started with a recent share and worked backwards reporting a series of posts as spam until, presumably, they grew weary of the task.
Now! I allow that there may be a perfectly innocent explanation for all of this. But given that this series of patently false spam reports was followed by the blocking of my website’s URL – which I reckon must also have ensued from a complaint – I think you’ll agree that the whole thing is at the very least ‘interesting’. The more so as neither I nor anybody else has been able to come up with that innocent explanation.
I can only say what it looks like. And it looks like quite deliberate sabotage. Who would do such a thing? Take your pick! I know I upset all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. And it appears to be scarily easy to do what it looks like somebody did. I say “scarily” because, obviously, this is a form of censorship. Facebook is so afraid of negative publicity that they will eagerly pander to any report or complaint. As has been demonstrated. Because there is no way the blocked posts could possibly be considered spam by anyone who had actually looked at them. And whatever may be said about what I write here there is never anything remotely like hate-speech or incitement to violence or anything of that sort.
I’ve looked through the Facebook Community Standards and am at a loss as to how this site has breached any of the rather comprehensive list of things that Facebook considers justification for censorship. And therein lies the problem. The list is so comprehensive it could, with only a little imagination, be used to provide cause for censoring pretty much anything.
Facebook is, as you’d expect, very good at saying the right things. They’re proficient at producing the glossy brochure stuff that represents the public face of the organisation. They make much of things like ‘community’ and ‘expression’ and ‘communication’. But at the same time they make it laughably easy for anyone with malign intent to set off the hair-trigger on their content shredder.
My suspicion – and it will never be more than that as there is absolutely no possibility of Facebook actually investigating anything – is that I have been the subject of a personal attack. By which I mean I have been targeted by some pathetically inadequate individual with a petty grudge.
My concern is that if this kind of damage can be wrought by some random fool then how might the same weaknesses be exploited by others with a bigger axe to grind. We know as a matter of fact that British Nationalist recognise no moral or ethical constraints on what they are prepared to do to preserve their ‘precious’ Union. They will do absolutely anything. We know also that the British are concerned about the Yes movement’s superiority on social media. Anticipating what they might do about this is more a matter of cold calculation than conjecture.
If my suspicions are well-founded then we can expect many more ‘interesting’ days ahead.
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