Wednesday, November 15, 2017
By BRRN Social Media Team
VICTORY! – Activists in solidarity with Rojava in the US won an important social media victory today with the #UnblockRojava campaign which pressured Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) to overturn the banning of at least six public Rojava solidarity pages along with over a dozen personal Facebook accounts for individuals who were admins of the pages. The bans occurred suddenly and without warning on Sunday, November 12 , effecting pages such as “Friends of Rojava in North America,” “Friends of Rojava” and the “Institute for Social Ecology” were among those targeted.
This form of political censorship by Facebook is believed to be related to an assumed operating agreement with the authoritarian government of Turkey, which has a long record of repressing internal dissent. As reported by Public Radio International in 2015, a secret document leaked by a disgruntled Facebook employee revealed a number of very specific topics deemed as user violations related to Turkey and themes of support for Rojava as violations. Examples included “insulting Ataturk, the founding father of modern-day Turkey” and automatic account suspension for “depicting fighters from the PKK,” one of the groups fighting for freedom and autonomy which has been called a terror group by Turkey and the US.
The use of public pressure by activists to overturn these recent bannings by Facebook are an important victory against political censorship and to continue organizing efforts in solidarity with the revolution underway in Rojava.