Monday, August 17, 2020

Facebook censorship on West Papua – then deafening silence

Facebook censorship on West Papua ... a "cruel irony". Image: RSF/PMC

By David Robie

THE SILENCE from Facebook is deafening and disturbing.

At first, when I lodged my protests earlier this month to Facebook over the immediate removal of a West Papua news item from the International Federation of Journalists shared with three social media outlets, including West Papua Media Alerts and The Pacific Newsroom, I thought it was rogue algorithms gone haywire.

The “breach of community standards” warning I also received on my FB page was unacceptable, but surely a mistake?

However, with subsequent protests by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) media freedom watchdog and the Sydney office of the Asia-Pacific branch of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s largest journalist organisation with more than 600,000 members in 187 countries, falling on deaf ears, I started wondering about the political implications of this censorship.

READ MORE: Melanesia: Facebook algorithms censor article about press freedom in West Papua

We had all complained separately to the FB director of policy for Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick, and were ignored.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

75 plus 35 years – the Hiroshima and Rainbow Warrior nuclear rewinds

The Hiroshima devastation 75 years ago today. Image: iCAN

By David Robie

While the globe struggles to cope with the deadly onslaught of the covid-19 pandemic, communicators, historians, journalists and activists have been deploying innovative ways of marking three nuclear-related anniversaries in barely a month.

Over the next few days, the devastating destruction, cruel loss of life and survivors' stories from the world's first and only deployment of nuclear weapons are being remembered in Japan and around the world.

The United States dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima 75 years ago on 6 August 1945 and then on Nagasaki three days later left two utterly destroyed cities and more than 215,000 people dead. Thousands more lives were lost in the following years from leukemia, cancer and other diseases caused by the radiation from the weapons.

READ MORE: Another Hiroshima is coming - unless we stop it now

With the third anniversary, 10 July 1985, although only one life was lost - there could easily have been more - the repercussions for New Zealand and throughout the Pacific have also been shattering.

One outrage was a wartime atrocity, claimed falsely that it was carried out to shorten the Pacific war, and the other was a peacetime atrocity.

>>> Popular Café Pacific Posts