Cyber censorshipTuesday, February 16, 2010
Got Facebook? No, they shut me down
Facebook has decided not to treat that well those who dare to write something about the world's biggest social network. That's the case of Juan Faerman, author of Faceboom. In his work, Faerman analyzes the massive phenomenon with more than just a dash of irony and humour.
Faerman was living a roller coaster as the author of what could definitely be a best seller (the book already ranks 5 in the sales lists) got an invitation to Spain to present his book on January 18.
After hitting Spanish soil Faerman tried to access his Facebook account on January 23, and for his surprise he couldn't. Unfortunately, it was not due to technical difficulties but to the fact that his profile was cancelled and deleted from the site.
Faerman is still surprised about the network's decision to cacell his account as he finds no reason for doing such a thing. More shocking was to know that along with the author's account, the web site decided to delete the profiles of Guillermo Otero, book's editor, and Fernanda Gaitán Broun -an employee of Otero-.
The network giant also shut down a profile group created by a fan to discuss the book with other cyber-surfers. The forum had reached 30,000 fans, who can no longer exchange comments on Faerman's work.
Faerman and Otero sent numerous emails to Facebook, and Faerman even called the network's headquarters in California severla times but it was all in vain as it seems to be quite difficult to get someone on the other end of the line.
In an interview published by a local tabloid, the lawyer of both author and editor explains that "the measures adopted by Facebook are not only against my clients, but also against the 30,000 fans that had joined the Faceboom are now being banned for their right to information."
The lawyer also remarked that neither the book nor the thing published on the Facebook group goes against the social network company. "The online Faceboom group doesn't violate the terms and conditions established by Facebook", and added, "None of the profiles they shut were created to obtain economical profits, neither express violence or racial discrimination which is banned by the network."
Facebook can inform its users of terms and conditions violation in case someone uploads inappropriate content and modify it but acts of straight censorship are not allowed.
The case seems to have violated the freedom of expression, included in article 14 of the National Constitution, as Facebook's attitude affects not only the book's author and editor but also the 30,000 fans of the Faceboom group.
The Freedom of the press has also been violated. This right was included to Argentina's constitutional letter (article 75, subsection22) after the American Convention on Human Rights held in 1969 and known as the "Pact of San José de Costa Rica". In this case, law experts mentioned that Facebook is affecting not only the fans of Faceboom and its authors but the entire Facebook community.