Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anti-Vaccination Critics shutdown: How Facebook should prevent and punish Anti-Vaccination supporters (or anyone) who wrongfully get their critics banned from Facebook?

Over the past couple of weeks it's been revealed that Anti-Vaccination groups and their supporters on Facebook have been launching false flag attacks (and I don't mean types that Alex Jones thinks happens every time a shooting or a bombing or a natural disaster occurs in this country) against groups that are pro-vaccination and/or critical of anti-vaccination groups and their supporters and propaganda. These false flaggings have unfortunately resulted in the temporary (yet still wrongful) banning of multiple people and groups from Facebook who are critics of the Anti-Vaccination movement. This needs to stop. Infact not only does this need to stop, but the people who are making these false flag reports need to be punished.

While many of you have some ideas on what should be done inorder to curb false flag reporting (which I would love to hear from you in the comments section) I have a few suggestions of my own:

The first thing that needs to happen is that Facebook needs to make it easier to challenge a complaint and a ban. While you can do this even now, it's not an easy process. Plus a person should be given a chance to defend themselves before a ban is about to occur. No more automatic bans unless a certain amount of time has gone by after a complaint was sent (I say a minimum of six hours).

Now the second thing that should happen to help curb false flagging abuse on Facebook is that those that do abuse the reporting system need to have their ability to report posts and groups and individuals that they don't believe should be on Facebook more difficult. Granted I'm not saying they should be left unable to report someone or some group that really does contain offensive or illegal content (unless they continue to abuse the system even after restrictions have been placed on them, then their ability to report groups and people should be taken away, and they should be banned temporarily) but the process should be made more difficult for those that abuse the system, and probably should include a screen shot of any content that is being reported upon, as well as include more details about why something is being reported.

Going along side with the second suggestion that I believe Facebook needs to do inorder to curb false flagging abuse, after a person has already had restrictions put against for false flag abuse, if they do report someone or some group for their content and Facebook determines that it doesn't violate their policies, the person or group should be informed that someone sent a complaint against them that was struct down, and the person or group should be told whom that person is, and given the option of whether or not they want to block that individual.

Now these couple of suggestions might help against individuals who abuse the reporting system, but what about groups that do the same thing and organize their followers to report individuals and groups inorder to silence them (this can apply to any group, not just the anti-vaccination groups)?

First, for groups that do frequently abuse the reporting system, first give them a warning, then a ban if they continue, then a longer ban with a warning that if they continue to abuse the reporting system that their page will be removed and deleted, and if they continue to abuse the system, then Facebook should remove and delete that group.

The second thing that should be done to these groups that abuse the reporting system is that they should have the ability to control what is and isn't posted on their page and who can and cannot post on their page restricted as well.

Anti-vaccination groups (along with chemtrail, anti-GMO, fundamentalist groups, and generally any group that promotes conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and bigotry) are notorious for blocking people and deleting any posts that they make that either counter-argues something that was posted in the group, or criticizes the group. One of the things that Facebook can do as a way to punish a group that abuses the reporting system is to alert the person whom has had a post deleted, or has been blocked, and give that person a chance to dispute the deletion or blocking. If they chose to try to prove that the deletion or blocking was unwarranted and didn't violate any of Facebook's rules, then Facebook will restore the post or unblock the person from the group, and also leave the group unable to delete anything else from that person, or block that person.

Now, do I believe that Facebook would do any of the things that I have suggested here? No, but I think that we all can agree that Facebook does need to do something inorder to curb false flag abuse.

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