Is Facebook blocking pro-indy sites?

Anyone who is a regular follower of this blog knows that I have little time for conspiracy theories. They also know that I have continually strived to ensure that this blog is free from hate speech, misinformation, and abuse. However Facebook in their wisdom have decided that this blog breaches their community standards and have ceased to allow links to this blog to be shared on their platform. They have given me no reason for this. There has been no communication from Facebook to inform me which of their community standards they believe this site has breached. And of course complaining about their decision is labyrinthine and confusing.

I was eventually able to share links to this blog on my own Facebook page and those pages which have kindly allowed me posting rights, however the preview feature no longer works and I am told that other Facebook users cannot share the links. This has a serious impact on the reach that this blog can have on the Facebook platform.

It would be bad enough if this blog was the only pro-independence site which was affected, however today or within the past few days a number of Scottish pro-indy blogs have started to be blocked by Facebook. As well as WeeGingerDug, Peter Bell’s site has also been blocked, as have Prof John Robertson’s Talking Up Scotland, Iain Lawson’s Yours For Scotland, and Jason McCann’s Random Public Journal have all likewise been blocked by Facebook. What all of these sites have in common is that they use the WordPress platform.

My first thought was perhaps someone in Facebook has decided for reasons of their own that Facebook will no longer allow links to WordPress sites or that there was some software glitch or other. However I contacted WordPress support for advice and WordPress have told me that as far as they know all other WordPress sites are working normally and still being shared on Facebook.

As I said, I have little time for conspiracy theories. However I have heard today that several other pro-independence bloggers and online activists have recently started to experience issues sharing their content on Facebook. Not all of these use the WordPress platform. Just as Scotland starts to have a consistent majority for independence, one of the largest social media platforms has started to block pro-independence content. It smells pretty bad.

I have of course contacted Facebook to request an explanation. They have so far not got back to me. I cannot think of anything in this blog which contravenes Facebook’s community standards. I do not know whether this issue is because some other party has complained to them, or because Facebook has decided to take action of its own accord, or whether there is some innocent explanation. It may be that this is a temporary problem which will shortly resolve itself. It may be something more sinister. I genuinely don’t know. However I have little confidence that Facebook will give a satisfactory explanation.

If I get any information or an explanation from Facebook, I’ll let you know.

I am about to try and share this post on Facebook.  If it is accepted and can be shared, then there’s no problem.  If not …

UPDATE 8.48pm : I have just posted a test page to Facebook and it uploaded and displayed normally.  Hopefully the problem earlier was just a software glitch and it has now resolved itself.


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