Katerina Janouch, a Swedish independent Journalist who was suspended from Facebook for simply mentioning Tommy Robinson and stating that freedom of expression should be accepted on both sides has since had a response from Facebook with the reasoning behind their decision.
After she contacted them to question why she was suspended, Facebook told her last week that she was suspended because “tribute or support” for Tommy Robinson is prohibited.
Swedish journalist Katerina Janouch
Facebook’s policy states that “hate organisations” and their leaders or prominent members are not allowed to have accounts on Facebook and “tribute or support” for such individuals is also prohibited, yet Tommy Robinson had maintained an account for many many years without issue and had amassed over 1 million followers with Facebook’s full knowledge of all activity which was clearly within the guidelines.
Katerina suggests that the article in question which led her to a suspension by Facebook, is about free speech, Tommy Robinson and how people with uncomfortable and unpleasant views are being silenced by social media.
The actual author of the article in question, Madeleine Rönnqvist Lilja, has written that critics of Islam are portrayed as right-wing populist Muslim haters and have immediately had their accounts shut down following such mention. She also questions how the British Government treated Robinson.
Commenting, Janouch said “The question is whether it is support, that we question the British Government’s behaviour,”
“There’s no incitement in the article, it’s a regular chronicle. At the same time, ISIS terrorists have been allowed to use Facebook and spread their message there. Being a terrorist does not seem to be reason enough to be banned. But if you write a chronicle about Tommy Robinson you get a seven day suspension. It’s very arbitrary and nasty”,
“I believe that every time something like this happens, more and more people will leave Facebook. However, it is only when we leave Facebook for real, and not double post, both on Facebook and, say, on MeWe, that something will happen. If the shares are only on MeWe, more people will use it. Now I will share on MeWe.com, we’ll see what happens in the future”
Katerina’s article text wrote: “Defending freedom of expression when you agree is a breeze, but if we are to have any freedom of speech worth mentioning, it must also be defended when it is challenged and not all agree.”
She added “it may be your turn next”. Shortly after, Katerina was suspended by Facebook for seven days.
Commenting at the time she wrote: “Seven days of suspension was the result when I published an article about the British free speech hero Tommy Robinson on Facebook.
The article was published on March 10, but I was suspended now, twelve days later. Perhaps a censorship committee was needed to conclude that the content was so offensive that it violated Facebook’s community standards?
There is also a threatening tone in which it is pointed out that I can be further penalised if I dare publish something equally inappropriate again.
Madeleine’s article is about freedom of speech, and that all opinions, even the ones we disagree with should be allowed, without the person stating them being threatened and harassed and called a dissident.
“Tommy Robinson’s issue is ours”, was my headline and what do you know, sooner than I could imagine Tommy Robinson’s issue was mine.
Which people can we write about on Facebook? Perhaps the powerful social media platform should provide a list of which individuals we cannot mention by name.
If someone previously doubted that freedom of expression is under attack, this is clear proof that that is the case.
I wish I could write “see you on Facebook in a week” but at the moment I don’t know if I want to come back.
Please continue reading Katerina Magasin! And spread the links. My own platform, no one can take away from me – at least not yet.”
These recent actions from Facebook clearly indicate that freedom of expression is prohibited on their platform if one’s expression does not fall in line with their alignment or that of an establishment which seeks to suppress a certain narrative by applying pressure to such large organisations in order to silence millions.