Some days ago in Thailand, T.S., a 58 year old Thai with the Facebook-Nickname ใหญ่ แดงเดือด Yai Daengdueat (“great angry red”) was sentenced to 50 (fifty!) years in prison (“graciously reduced to 25”) under martial law after a stalinist-like “in-camera” court case, where the public and press were not allowed to observe the proceding. This week, my fellow journalist Nick Nostitz’s Facebook page has been taken down without giving a reason for it, just as investigative reporter Andrew Mac-Gregor Marshall’s page had been down recently for 30 days, too.
Update 4. April 2015: There is a new Facebook page to help Nick to get his own back https://www.facebook.com/helpnicknostitz
Update 7. April 2015: „With no explanation or notification, Nick Nostitz’s page is magically back up.“ https://www.facebook.com/david.streckfuss/posts/10152901753719217?pnref=story
Facebook has become, in different ways, part of the human rights problem in Thailand and in other Asian countries. Even in Europe, free speech is regularly oppressed by a system that we can almost literally watch on every corner of social media. Today your social media page can get blocked for simply citing Churchill, Voltaire, Mark Twain or Kemal Atatürk. What these people thought and wrote is no more politically correct today. Or, as for Thailand, just try to write some truth about history – let alone recent history – and Nazi-style blockwarts (even some Farang blockwarts!) will instantly take advantage of a ridiculous automated complain system which basically counts the number of complaints made by different persons and looks for certain keywords. Very few human brains are involved.
Going through Facebook’s complaints system is a waste of time in these cases. No known person has ever reported other than auto-replies. There are a lucky few who have (or manage to find) a human being to talk to, but this is definitely not for the pawns. In other words: Normal people like you and me have no chance whatsoever. This is why we should think twice if we really need to heavily use this money tree called Facebook that tends to appease, for business reasons, every jumped-up, non-elected clown who calls himself a prime minister, a president or a king but is nothing more than a dictator in countries like, for instance, Saudi Barbaria, China or North Korea, and, since almost a year, also in Prayutthaya, formerly known as Thailand.
As for Nick Nostitz, as all his friends know, Nick has never used his Facebook as a vehicle for any hate speech or the like. He is not even a writer, but a great photographer who has documented like nobody else what has been going on in Bangkok during the last decade. In fact he does not even use his Facebook page very much. And all you could see as a visitor, was usually posts by friends and fellow journalists.
But still someone managed to get his page taken down. This kind of suppression in Thailand is initiated by hard core royalists and nationalists of a kind that we call fascists in any sane environment. These slanderers and mudslingers take advantage of the automated no-reply Facebook complaint system to silence monarchy- and junta-critical journalists and scholars. The system used by these self-conscious hypocrites and opportunists follows the same pattern, that certain mendaciously bigoted Muslims are using who try to violate just about every website with content from ex-muslims (like Necla Kelek), Islam-critical scientists (like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris), women’s rights activists like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and even just secular Muslims like Hamed Abdel-Samad.
But back to the problem: Facebook.
Nick Nostitz, who has been subject of repeated attacks by self-declared royalists in Thailand, is not sure why his page was taken down since he was not even notified by Facebook about the reasons. As one of his friends reports, David Streckfuss, on Facebook’s so-called “help” pages, there is no option for leaving a complaint on Nick’s behalf (as he cannot access Facebook to do it himself), so David tried to use what seemed closest: “Report a Violation”. – From my point of view, they should rather call these pages “We-couldn’t-care-less” pages instead of “Help” pages.
For David Streckfuss’s report see below. Even if you are skeptical about Facebook’s commitment to solve these kinds of problems, it might still help if many people make a complaint of a similar type so that Nick’s page could be put back up.
Report a Violation of the Facebook Terms Case #234721316
What issue are you trying to report? Other
Do you have a Facebook account? Yes
Your contact email address: XXXXXXX
Are you blocked from seeing the content you want to report? Yes
Have many pieces of content do you want to report? 1
When was this content posted? 12/31/1969
Link (URL) to the content: https://facebook.com/nick.nostitz
I am not sure where to make a complaint. I have a friend, Nikolaus Freiherr von Nostitz, who professionally goes by Nick Nostitz. His Facebook page has been blocked/taken down by Facebook for a number of days. He received no notification from Facebook prior to his page being blocked or taken down. Nick is a top-rate photographer and has documented more than any other single person the political conflict in Thailand. Please put his Facebook back up or at least inform him of the problem.
Facebook has sent its usual automated answer. They did not even take the trouble to program their software in a way that the answer would mention the actual complaint. But it may still help if I put the answer here, because more people should be aware of the fact how foolish it is to use such automated appeasement-pages to defend something. We all should instead write registered personalized letters with exact time limit for answering to the Facebook management in future.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The best way for you or a friend to flag abusive content on the site is to use the „Report“ links that appear near the content itself. Please refer to our community standards to learn what type of content violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: http://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/.
To submit a report from your account or with a friend who has an account, please take the steps listed below:
• Report an account: Go to the account and click the “Report/Block this Person“ link that appears in the left column below the profile photo.
• Report a photo: Go to the specific photo and click the “Report This Photo” link that appears below the photo.
• Report a group or event: Go to its main page and click the “Report Group” or „Report Event“ link that appears at the bottom of the page.
• Report a Page: View the Page and click the “Report Page” link that appears in the left column below the Page photo.
If you are unable to report the abuse through the site, please reply to this email with information that will help us locate the exact content you want to report. You may need to have a friend who can view the content help you gather this information if you cannot view the content yourself.
Submit your report by filling-in the following information below.
1. Web address (URL) to the page containing the offensive content:
2. Time and date when the abusive content was posted:
3. Exact name and networks of the person responsible:
4. Web address (URL) to their timeline or search listing:
5. Brief description of the abusive content’s context and nature:
6. Location of the abusive content (e.g. status update, About Me section, comments under photo):
Once we receive this information, we will be able to investigate the report.
View updates from your support dashboard: https://fb.me/1PN0359dWwJZ5yH
The Facebook Team
This case has been closed, so you don’t need to do anything else. Thanks for contacting us.
What went wrong? How could it be better? … blablabla…
David gave them a sad face on satisfaction and wrote: “I don’t know how to make a complaint about a friend’s Facebook page being taken down. Where would I make that?”
PS: We do not know the copyright owner of the above picture, but used it in good faith. Nevertheless all rights are reserved. If you are the owner of these pictures, please let us know.