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Is Facebook censoring pro-democracy activists?

In recent months, many Facebook accounts have been blocked or have become difficult to access, especially those of activists of the popular movement in Algeria.

A man carries a national flag during a protest against the appointment of interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah demanding radical changes to the political system in Algiers, Algeria April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algerians living abroad recently demonstrated at various Facebook headquarters across several capitals around the world to express their outrage at the “restrictions imposed on the opposition in Algeria through the Emirati antenna” of the US social media platform.

Sit-ins have been organized in Paris, Brussels, London and Madrid to send a strong message to the leaders of the largest social network in the world, Facebook, which is currently at the center of the political crisis still ongoing in the country.

Algerians living in the United States and Canada will organize a rally tomorrow in front of the Facebook headquarters in New York. To do this, the event’s initiating committee intends to document the claims of Algerians who have had their accounts or pages closed since 22 February.

Since the beginning of the popular movement, young Algerians have taken to Facebook and other social networks to relay calls for demonstrations and transmit all the information about this unprecedented movement against the regime in place. However, the Algerian regime was quick to use the networks on its side for manipulation purposes and to spread fake news.

Facebook recently announced its commitment to combat fake news. However, in the Algerian case, it seems that the pro-regime pages are not bothered and that it is those of the activists that are targeted.

To what extent would Algerian activists be targeted by Facebook and what is the real role of the UAE’s office? What is the role played by the Algerian regime? These are questions we will come back to in the next few days.

1 comment
  1. Greetings,
    It is indeed sad that Facebook is involved or allows mercenaries to block accounts, just because the owners are demanding freedom, democracy, and free elections that are not rigged. These criteria are actually the essence/foundations of America and American companies. Mr. Zuckerberg, are you allowing these acts of pirating or are not aware of it? After the fact that so many people complained about these acts of cyber terrorism; I think that you no choice but to know and act on it in an ethical way. If your orders, to stop the accounts blocking, are not carried out; then few of your top executives need to go…

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