I came across a post on Facebook that is a great reminder that Facebook can’t censor your blog posts when you publish them outside Facebook’s sphere of influence.
Two days ago, Facebook deleted my personal account of the Holocaust, my intellectual property, for no reason in the world and under the sole justification that it “violated Facebook standards.”
I don’t know if Facebook actually did delete the original version of this post but this sort of thing happens on services like Facebook (and not just Facebook) all the time (often for good reasons, too).
Essentially, services like Facebook can (and do) remove posts that they feel are in violation of their terms of service. Reasons can include posts that advocate racism, incite people to commit violence and other bad things.
Sometimes, though, posts are removed simply because they offend some troll’s peculiar sensitivities. Examples of this include posts depicting breastfeeding.
Ran Shirdan’s Facebook highlights the importance of having your own space on the Web that companies like Facebook (and others) can’t censor simply because your content doesn’t meet their standards. It is almost trivially easy to create your own space on the Web which can share from to other services. Start with WordPress.com or even Medium.
Sure, the flipside of this is that racists, bigots and other offensive people can also publish their crap outside Facebook’s sphere of influence but that is the trade-off for your ability to publish the stuff that is meaningful to you and that you feel should be shared with the world without fear of being arbitrarily censored. By the way, there are ways to deal with bad stuff being published on independent sites too but they aren’t perfect.
Sometimes you have something important to share. Sometimes you just want to share something that isn’t that important. You should be free to express yourself in legitimate ways without worrying that some troll will have you censored.