Stop Facebook from unreasonable mass blocking of Ukrainian users

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Honorable Congressmen & Congresswomen of the 115th U.S. Congress,

we're writing in the hopes that you will pay an attention to a problem related to an american company (Facebook, Inc.) and therefore to US national security.

We're Ukrainian citizens and citizens of other countries who respect and support Ukraine. We know that the U.S. Congress is already worried about national security related problems caused by Facebook, Inc. (data leak to Russia, Russian intervention into US elections). Could you please also pay an attention for another Facebook and Russia related problem?

On July 9-10, 2018 almost 300,000 of Ukrainian users left a feedback on FIFA's Facebook page. We left 1 (minimal allowed) star of 5 stas either with "Glory to Ukraine" only or with more detailed explanation. We did it because FIFA fined Croatian soccer team player over a video he published with "Glory to Ukraine" phrase said. This phrase is not less important for us than "In God We Trust" or "God Bless America" for US citizens. There is nothing bad in this phrase, it's just about giving a respect to our country. US representatives in Ukraine, presidents of other countries say "Glory to Ukraine" when they want to wish the best to our country and to let us know they are respect and support us.

At the same times FIFA is publishing videos like this one on their official channel. With USSR symbolic, that is forbidden by laws in Ukraine and in other countries, including some EU countries. FIFA promotes soviet totalitarianism and nonexistent country on the official channel but doesn't allow a player to express respect to our country.

This is the reason we, Ukrainians, become angry and left 1 star feedback for FIFA. This is our right to say "Glory to Ukraine" and there were no violations of Facebook rules in leaving 1 star feedback. Our family members, our friends left the feedback, thousand of Ukrainians did that. There were thousands and thousands of angry people, but this is why reviews functionality exists in internet - so people can say they are happy or angry with some goods, companies, non commercial organizations.

But then we found that reviews section just disappeared from the page (it's not fair, but Facebook allows to do that if page owner is unhappy with feedback) and the people that left feedback got blocked by Facebook from leaving any new reviews. Actually we can't event review a cafe or restaurant. Same happened to many people that left feedback on the FIFA page. For some people Facebook blocked other functions as well: they can't for example Like a page. This is a really warning case of discrimination and censorship based on nationality and private opinion. The opinion that is not corresponding with the opinion of sponsored by Russia organizations (like FIFA), that is not corresponding with the opinion of Russian investors/partners of Facebook.

And this is not first case of mass blocking of accounts of Ukrainians. Many of us got accounts blocked (temporary, up to one month, or even forever), because of posts and comments with an opinion that Russia doesn't like (Russian doesn't like we and our country exist at all). But this time it affected too many people in Ukraine and our right to respect and support our country has been violated.

Sadly, Facebook doesn't show any desire to make sure all customers have equal rights. As we know, they have a new head of public policy (in Warsaw, Poland), who worked for Russian government in the past (Uliana Zinina) and who is responsible now for Facebook's public policy in Eastern Europe including Ukraine. We don't think that any Russia connected person can make sure customers in Ukraine or Poland have their rights respected, while Russia is invading Ukraine and planning future invasions to other countries, including EU/NATO countries.

We all hope that you'll review this problem very carefully. US company is violating basic civil rights and helps an aggressor to censor public opinion. Today it's a problem for Ukrainians, tomorrow US citizens and national security will be affected.

If you'll be interested we can provide more details about Facebook/Russia related problems that Ukrainian Facebook users are experiencing since Russian aggression in 2014.

With all respect,
Ukrainian citizens and people that respect and support Ukraine.

God Bless America! Glory to Ukraine! Слава Україні!


Підписуйте, поширюйте! Звернення до Конгресу США з приводу масово порушення американською компанією Facebook наших громадянських прав - масового блокування акаунтів українців за будь-яке висловлення проукраїнської позиції чи критику антиукраїнської діяльності людей, організацій чи цілих країн. Це стосується не лише останніх подій з FIFA, але і масового блокування акаунтів українських активістів, яке Фейсбук здійснює починаючи з 2014 року. А також того, як Фейсбук відреагував на всі попередні скарги - в грудні 2017 року на посаду Head of public policy Фейсбуку (офіс в Варшаві) призначено росіянку, яка в минулому (чи лише в минулому?) працювала в державних органах росії. Тепер вона відповідає за політику Фейсбуку щодо всіх країн Східної Європи, включно з Україною.

В Конгресі США зараз дуже прискіпливо вивчають як Росія через Фейсбук отримала доступ до даних десятків мільйонів американців, втручалася у виборчий процес. Саме час заявити про те, як Фейсбук порушує наші права, позбавляє нас права висловлювати повагу до власної країни і навіть права негативно оцінювати тих, хто зневажає Україну.

Слава Україні! Glory to Ukraine!

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