Friday, November 27, 2015

Is TPP Already Emboldening Outrageous Corporate Behavior And Encouraging Them To Trample On Accepted Community Standards?


This was a comment posted by Roua Naboulsi right after the attacks in Paris. Read it first and then let's think about why Facebook removed it... and then restored it.

What happened in Paris last night was awful. I stayed up late following the news in disbelief and I am so sorry to anyone who has been affected by these horrible attacks. The international community has responded, as predicted, by showing their unwavering solidarity with Paris.

The night before that, a bomb went off in my country, Lebanon, killing 43 people. No one prayed for us. No one kept us in their thoughts. No world leaders made late-night statements about us. No one changed their profile pictures. There was no hashtag. No option to be "marked as safe" by Facebook. Just silence.

Syria has suffered more than can be quantified in words and distilled into a Facebook status. They get nothing. Just more silence.

73 Palestinians were killed by Israel in October alone. Silence.

Nearly 100 people were killed by explosions at a peace rally in Ankara last month. Just silence.

At least 3,500 people have been killed in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in conflict this year. Silence.

I'm not even angry at this point, just tired. Exhausted. Exhausted that an assault on an open air prison like Gaza which leaves 2300 people dead gets little to no attention but the minute something happens in Europe, something happens to white people, everyone is so (I think quite genuinely) broken up about it.  I'm not saying don't be. I'm not saying that the people who lost their lives last night do not deserve to be mourned because of course they do.

They were innocent and now they are dead. As an Arab, we know better than anyone how it hurts and we should all continue to keep them in our thoughts.  But what about us? Don't we deserve to be mourned? Are we not human enough?  Are we too Arab for you? Too black for you? Too Other for you? Do you find it impossible to empathise with us because of the colour of our skin?

There's a word for that.

And then, after all of this, after all is said and done. After it hits us, just how little we matter. Just how insignificant and inferior we are as human beings. That's when the best part comes. My favourite part.

Apologise. We are told to apologise. It is demanded of us. WE need to apologise for the actions of barbarians who have been doing their worst to us for so long now. We are the victims. What you experience at the hands of these extremists is a fraction of what Syria experiences. Of what Lebanon experiences. We put up with it every single day. And now, in some kind of sick, twisted joke, we are asked to apologise. We are to be held accountable. The main victims and refugees of this tragedy must pay. As if we have not yet paid enough in blood and land and dignity.

Sorry. We're sorry that you have occupied our lands, pillaged them, divvied them up between you like gold. We're sorry that you've robbed us of our wealth, dignity and freedom. We're sorry that you've left nothing in your wake except rubble and anger. We're sorry that those disillusioned and disenfranchised people you left in your wake hurtle into extremism. We're sorry that you benefit from their barbarity. We're sorry that you allow them to do these things to us, that you encourage them and provide them with the resources they need to do us harm. We're sorry they turn against you in the end. We're sorry they came back for you. We're sorry.

We hope you can find it in you to forgive us.
RT-- Russian Today, a Russian government-funded television network-- wondered why this statement by 21 year old University of Sussex student Roua Naboulsi had been taken down by Facebook... and then saw Facebook, citing "human error," put it back up again after RT contacted them and asked why. Naboulsi had put it up on Saturday morning, condemning the violence in France, while also lamenting the lack of international attention given to the suicide bombing in Beirut the day before and there were 9,000 "shares" and 12,000 "likes" before Facebook took it on itself to remove it Monday afternoon for not meeting their "Community Standards."

Is it possible that Facebook's "Community Standards" were offended that Naboulsi included the Syrian civil war, the occupation of Palestine and Gaza, the disregard for human life and suffering in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger and the hundred deaths in Ankara a few weeks earlier, all of which were routinely ignored by western mass media? Naboulsi dared to challenge western readers to question why the world is seemingly cold to the suffering of Middle Eastern and African people. Maybe Facebook didn't like that?
“But what about us? Don’t we deserve to be mourned? Are we not human enough? Are we too Arab for you? Too black for you? Too Other for you? Do you find it impossible to empathize with us because of the color of our skin? There’s a word for that,” she said.

Despite receiving thousands of likes and shares, the post was suddenly removed by Facebook on Monday afternoon after a user reported it to the site.

When RT contacted Facebook for comment on Tuesday, a spokesperson said it would investigate the incident. Hours later the post was republished.

Facebook told RT it doesn’t comment on individual cases, but said the post was deemed to have breached its Community Standards in error.

The company said its staff check more than one million reported posts each week and occasionally make mistakes.

Speaking to RT, Naboulsi said she was disappointed the post had been removed in the first place.

“I’m quite disappointed that Facebook both removed and republished the post without communicating with me at all.

“More importantly, their community guidelines were pretty straightforward and clear when I read through them so I don’t see how a moderator could have mistakenly concluded that I was in breach of them.

“It seems to me that if I had stayed quiet about this nothing would have happened. Honestly, the whole situation just feels to me like they realized they couldn’t get away with it and so they republished my post. I just can’t know for sure what exactly happened but I’m glad it's back up of course,” she added.

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At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer the question of your title, NO decades of outrageous corporate behavior and trampling on accepted community standards, not to mention community itself, has emboldened corporate thugs to deliver the final blow: the TTP free ride and Herr Trumpf.

John Puma

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed the TPP connection altogether. All I see are examples of the consistent post WWII American dehumanization of Muslims and Arabs in the service of Israel added to good ole fashioned American non-humanization of Africans. The New York Times seldom considers it acceptable to talk about massacres in Gaza for example, and loss of life in Africa only matters to US Big Media if there aren't any white ones to talk about. Since in an important fashion Facebook's community is the American media, Naboulsi did violate community standards: she dared to think and write that African and Arab lives matter.

At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is TPP Already Emboldening Outrageous Corporate Behavior And Encouraging Them To Trample On Accepted Community Standards?

You have to ask? OF COURSE IT IS! Money talks louder than the wants and needs of humans. The mental illness of greed insists that too much is never enough. Anything which gets in the way of more must be eliminated.

The Powell Memorandum got the greedy thinking. PACs provided the organizational structure even though it had to await Citizens United providing the legal cover for buying political services. Third Way/DLC eliminated the political opposition, and the rest is history.

Should humanity somehow survive, it will be because the greedy overlooked something vital to their security as they rob the rest of us of ours. That opening in their defenses maybe can only come from an insider having a twinge of guilt over the destruction of the natural, political, and social environments just so that a dwindling number of incredibly wealthy people can make more.

If humanity doesn't survive, it will still matter to the last one standing that he's the wealthiest man in the world.


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