Mark Sidney – After Facebook decided to purge 800 pages and accounts last week I thought it was necessary to write this.
First I want to say I personally believe that the reasons given for the purge of accounts belonging to citizen journalists were excuses, not the real reasons. I know, and am friends with, many of the activists who lost their accounts and their assets. They had spent years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of their dollars building their voices on Facebook. Liberty 1 TV, Free Thought Project, Anti-Media, I know all these guys and they are all good, honest, hard working people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place through their activism. They do not all see eye to eye, but that’s what makes “Democracy” & our Constitutional Republic valuable, the ability to debate and have ideas compete against one another before they are implemented by society.
As you can tell from my pages, I am more of a libertarian/Conservative, and I have not crossed circles with the liberal/left leaning page owners who also saw their FB assets removed. I can not speak to their character, as I do not know them personally, but I can defend their right to express their views and opinions freely and openly on the pages they put their blood, sweat and tears into building over the years. While I disagree with 99% of the things they say, I am proud to be the first in line to defend their right to say it. Removing their ability to speak to the people who have signed up to hear their analysis just weeks before these critical elections is just plain wrong. It’s more than wrong, it feels a lot like election meddling to me.
My name is Mark and I have been politically active since I was in high school. I started growing political pages on Facebook as a way to reach more people with the political ideas that I think are best back in 2012. To be upfront about who stands behind the articles posted on the page, I first post them as myself, using my personal profile.
I will be the first person to tell you that I do not know everything. Sometimes I, and my friends and family who work on the pages and sites with me, get things wrong. Not just facts, but ideas. For example, I voted for George Bush … twice!
My point is that, my Facebook Pages (“Donald Trump Is Our President & Hillary For Prison” & a few other, much smaller ones) along with the groups I have created (“Donald Trump Is Our President – The Group” & about a dozen more, much smaller ones) are my, and my families, effort to help shape the direction of our Constitutional Republic, as is our God given right, and duty to do so. In this way I am no different than the vast majority of page owners who saw their life’s work deleted last week.
After the purge I felt it was important for me to let everyone know who is behind these pages and the website we link to. I have been doxxed and harassed in the past by rabid crazies who disagree with my politics so I am choosing to leave out my last name I have been asked to verify my identity with Facebook many times and have done so without issue.
I want introduce myself to the good men and women who trust my family and me to share our opinions on current events with them. No, we are not Russian bots, we are not state funded actors, we are not disinformation agents, we are not anything other that Americans. We are Americans who work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, to do our part to counter, what we see as , the false narratives of the establishment media.
We are some of the luckiest Americans around as we have figured out how to make activism our careers. Some people are trying to plant the idea that earning money while doing what you love is somehow dirty or wrong. We reject that whole heartedly. Everyday I bounce out of bed, eager to get back to doing what I love, lobbing red pills over the castle walls.
Just like the admins of the pages whose voices have been taken away, no one handed us anything, we spent the last 6 years of our lives researching, writing, and posting on Facebook, one of the greatest platforms ever created by man. Facebook has created jobs for likely, millions of people around the globe. Facebook has given a voice to hundreds of millions who, without Facebook, would have remained silent. Facebook has the power to change the world. Facebook has changed the world in the past and seeks to change it in the future.
The trouble I, and many in the citizen media have, is that ever since Donald Trump was elected, Facebook seems to have done a 180. The Company went from protecting the speech of all, to seeking to become the information gatekeeper for the planet. This is not what I signed up for Facebook for and I do not think that anyone other than some political oligarchs want this either. The good people of the world are smart enough to make up their own minds when it comes to the information they want to consume and the ideas they want to support.
I also want to be clear that I do not think Mark Zuckerberg is the one making these decisions. I could be wrong, but every time I hear Zuckerberg speak, especially off the cuff, he seems to have a genuine respect for the right to free expression and I believe he knows he has a duty to protect it. I think there are other forces in the company moving Facebook on it’s totalitarian trajectory. I fear Zuckerberg will be made to pay the price for the mistakes Facebook has made and will be replaced by a hardened corporatist who will turn the censorship and misdeeds up to 11.
In the 2,000,000,000/1 chance that you are reading this Mr. Zuckerberg, the citizen media, on both sides of the aisle (and those who think the aisle is just “like a construct of society, man”), would beg, borrow and steal for 15 mins to tell you our side of the story and find out if together we can Make Facebook Great Again. You have my email … and number … and pictures of my kids … and address .. and browsing history …