Bring back Raissa Robles’ Facebook page!
We, the undersigned, demand that Facebook return the personal page of journalist Raissa Robles of the Philippines.
Facebook took down her page without due process, on the basis of complaints instigated by supporters of Renato Corona, the Philippines' former chief justice recently handed a guilty verdict by the Senate impeachment court.
The taking down of Robles’ page, on the basis of complaints by people who cannot accept her journalistic output, is pure and simple censorship. While Facebook has rules against obscenity and hate speech, at no instance has Robles violated your company’s guidelines.
Robles, as a journalist, covered the recent impeachment trial of the former Philippine chief justice. In the course of that trial and the days leading to it, she published on her blog, and shared on her Facebook page, a series of investigative articles into the personal and professional life of Mr. Corona.
Not all the signatories in this petition may have agreed with Robles’ conclusion. We do not need to agree with her to defend her right to free expression and be free from harassment in the practice of her profession.
In pandering to an angry mob, Facebook highlights the very real possibility of social media firms unwittingly aiding sectors out to stifle free speech and expression.
When the pages referred to in complaints do not show naked abuse – like pornography or advocacy of violence or hatred on the basis of gender, religion or political belief – Facebook should ensure due process.
Otherwise, in a landscape where individuals can create an infinity of profiles, those threatened by journalists and activists could subvert social media and use this to curtail freedom of expression.
There have been many complaints about Facebook’s autocratic and whimsical attitude toward controversial pages. The case of Robles casts a spotlight on the dangers that stem from your policy. Facebook must now review policies that inadvertently allow its social media site to be hijacked by enemies of press freedom and freedom of expression.
BRING BACK RAISSA ROBLES' PAGE. And put some sanity into your vetting process.