a mass crack-down on Syrian and Lebanese journalism today, Facebook
has closed down several news-media pages, leaving their hundreds of
thousands of followers confused and perturbed.
the pages shut down are the Syrian television stations Sama TV, its
sister channel Addounia TV, Syrian News Channel, Alikhbaria, as well
as the Lebanese Al Mayadeen, based in Beirut and known as the ‘Al
Jazeera of the Arab world’. Most of the pages were non-government
organisations, privately owned and funded.
sudden shut down has been attributed by followers to ‘mass reports’
in which large groups of Facebook users with opposing views target
the pages they want censored. Often these movements are run by ‘paid
trolls’ who have been known to be funded by entities associated
with governments or corporations.
these cases, the reports are usually not related to violations of
Facebook’s community standards. Instead their purpose is to
suppress free speech as well as damage the organisations financially,
as they rely on social media outlets for revenue.
of thousands of people around the world who rely on these pages for
breaking news have now been left in the dark.