A month of outages and embarrassing revelations was made slightly worse for Facebook last week thanks to work done by The Intercept, airing internal documents outlining its deplatforming protocols when dealing with extremists.
An anti-war publication made famous for their hand in the Snowden affair, The Intercept obtained the list and a manual for moderators, guiding them as to which groups and individuals to keep off the platform.
To specify, the list is not those earmarked for deplatforming per se, but rather those Facebook views as too dangerous to even speak freely about.
Primarily consisting of a mix of criminal, Islamist and far-right groups, interest may be warranted at the inclusion of certain Irish entities.
Consisting almost exclusively of dissident Irish Republican outfits, among them the Real Irish Republican Army, New IRA, Continuity IRA and Oglaigh na hÉireann, the majority of the Irish names mentioned came from militant republicanism.
Also included was mention of hardline loyalists in the form of the Ulster Defence Association and Loyalist Volunteer Force on the other side of the sectarian divide.
Big Tech has made itself a cold house for dissident republicans in the aftermath of the Lyra McKee death, with various republican groups reporting their social media pages being delisted. For example, Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland, a republican socialist group, lost their Facebook page on account of their stridently anti-Zionist postings.
In addition to censorship, surveillance firms such as Moonshot (increasingly taking more notice of the domestic far-right) have utilised the platform for surveillance, possibly as part of their work with the British government.
The only far-right groups listed were the Irish branch of Generation Identitaire, by all accounts inactive since 2019, as well as an alleged Irish wing of ‘Greenline Front’, an ecofascist agitprop group almost entirely inactive bar some stickering.
It goes without saying that Facebook casts the net much wider in terms of its day to day censorship as evidenced by the deletion of the personal account of Rowan Croft just yesterday.
Formerly the darling of liberalism, a mere decade following the Arab Spring, Facebook is now a designated whipping boy for elites to push their fiats regarding censorship.
However blundering left leaning dissident republicanism often is, it should be noted the attention they get from the censors is in similar measure to the nationalistic right.
The list offers very little we didn’t know already but for all its faults republican socialism if only for old times sake is perceived as a threat to established order.