Facebook is back at it again. In the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville a few years back, and with much pushing from activists, Facebook responded with a wave of bans and censorship of “racial extremists” that was so wide-reaching and simultaneously ineffective that many literal white supremacists were able to continue spouting their bullshit, while anti-racist activists caught bans for making comments about white people. Earlier this month, Facebook banned anything to do with the Boogaloo movement, painting them as violent racists when many of the Boogaloo Facebook groups and pages expressly banned racism and bigotry. While admittedly not always being the most educated or nuanced, these groups and pages largely leaned libertarian and were often filled with memes about yeeting nazis that mirrored some of the spiciest memes from antifa. And now Facebook has banned pages, groups, and individuals associated with antifa, anarchism, QAnon, and militias.
This certainly mirrors the “both sides” bullshit that saw anti-racist activists getting conflated with racists under Facebook’s previous rules. Right-wing militia groups such as the Oathkeepers and QAnon cultists are lumped in with leftist self-defense groups and anarchists, in a similar manner to what Trump himself does. In fact, this also plays right into the Trump administration’s targeting of anarchists and antifascists, which is concerning. Although what’s more concerning in my opinion is the fact that so many anarchists have become so reliant on this particular platform for outreach and organizing when we should know better.
Instead of organizing and communicating via indymedia channels as anarchists used to, or even utilizing alternative social media platforms to a larger extent, we have become reliant on Facebook to a dangerous degree. And I get it, it’s a platform that our family and friends outside our political circles use, thus there is more opportunity to reach people outside of our echo chambers. But maybe it’s time for us all to jump ship. Even those not targeted by these bans should have concerns over Facebook’s data farming operation in general.
Of course the biggest roadblock to getting people to make the switch to another platform such as MeWe, Minds, Mastodon, etc. is that a majority of your social network is not already there. But that was an issue Facebook had during the days of Myspace and eventually overcame. It may take a while for the transition to be to the mass scale we wish it to be but it has to start somewhere.
So instead of fighting to get back on Facebook, take the agorist route and join a different platform while encouraging others in your social circles to do the same. Bring along your family, friends, and political comrades alike. We need a mass movement away from Facebook. We should have never let Zuckerberg have that much power. Let the platform die off as a relic of the past as we pave new paths among the many decentralized social networking sites available to us. Sure, we might have to stretch ourselves across a few to regain the network we had on Facebook but many of us already have multiple social media accounts such as Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and don’t think about it all that much, so what’s the difference?
So let’s take this opportunity to get the ball rolling a little further down its path and leave Facebook to the dinosaurs.