Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

We bring together news links on the subject of Wisconsin politics. For latest political news, follow Defend Wisconsin News Round Up on Twitter!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up - Under Attack From Facebook? (with UPDATES)

Yesterday, I was informed by Facebook that Wisconsin News Round Up was banned from posting on other Facebook pages for 15 days.  During this period, I am also not able to leave comments on other pages. Should DWNRU be accused of spamming others following this 15 day period, DWNRU would be banned from Facebook entirely.  While I'm glad to know that there is a way to leave Facebook, this is a very serious matter.

At Defend Wisconsin News Round Up, we provide our readers with daily round up of news relevant to Wisconsin Protests.  DWNRU also publishes original editorials by local Janesville area authors, since February 16, 2011.  DWNRU is not affiliated with any group or political party and is interested in informing and educating.  Round Up also does not practice censorship and its contributors are able to post without having their work previewed.  This is done with the goal to attract a wide range of authors sharing various views with large audience.  

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up reaches its readers predominantly through Facebook. Posting links on walls of others is standard procedure on Facebook.  This is how news spreads on Facebook.  Yet somehow Round Up posts have been marked as "spam".  This triggered aforementioned response from Facebook.

Let's be honest.  Without this system of information delivery, a standalone blog would have an immensely harder time reaching the site traffic numbers we generate.  Though it is not clear exactly what triggered this response from Facebook, lacking this distribution mechanism, such ban could harm much more than Defend Wisconsin News Round Up.  In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that Defend Wisconsin News Round Up is only the latest site affected by this Facebook policy.

This indiscriminate action puts in danger valuable gains in communication social media helped create.  Known for its mobilizing capacity, Facebook in this instance, is in fact, demobilizing.  At this important moment in our state's history, that is worse than unfortunate.

This error needs to be addressed and I hope you will join me in calling on Facebook to reverse this ban.  I am confident that Facebook engineers can come up with a solution that would let free speech thrive while protecting consumers from unwanted commercial messages.

In the meantime, Defend Wisconsin News Round Up appreciates your help in sharing our posts.  We in turn look to make the time you spend at our website, worthwhile.


Yuri Rashkin

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

UPDATE: Here's message from Facebook I received when attempting to repost this very blog on another Facebook page.

This Feature is Blocked For You

As we notified you earlier, this feature is temporarily unavailable because you've been making spammy and irrelevant posts on Facebook Pages.

UPDATE II. To my further dismay, I just discovered that this ban prohibits my ability to share links on other pages not only as Defend Wisconsin News Round Up but also as Yuri Rashkin.  This needs to be stopped!

UPDATE III.  The story evolves:  "HEADS UP: A new tactic that is being used on some of us... There has been a surge of friend requests from Republicans and Evangelicals. Here is what they do - they "friend" you, then once your posts hit the activity stream, they flag them as spam or inappropriate which gets your account suspended for 15 days, meaning you can't post on peoples walls."  posted on Defend Wisconsin News Round Up Facebook page.

UPDATE IV.  Other pages affected by 15 day ban from Facebook reportedly include: via Evan Layton: Godless Liberal, Republican Bigotry Hate Fear Lies and Distortion, Amadalyn has had enough and Our Founding Fathers Vision.

UPDATE 1:18 pm 8/15/2011
Link to the screen shot I saw


  1. I smell trolls. I'll just bet some of the Koch brother's little trolls are behind this.

  2. These sock puppets are getting to be a real problem...

  3. well of course, without cheating and lying they would have to try and win elections fairly.They are in favor of freedom and free speech,only if it means that they are free to limit the speech of others.

  4. On August 13th, I too received the exact warnings and restrictions that you have received. I felt so victimized. I had been accused, immediately sentenced, and put in chains. FB did not send me a warning nor a letter of what they had done. I went insane for 24 hours trying to figure out how to communicate with this Corporate "thing" known as FB; only to realize that NOBODY knows how to make contact with them. A number of other individuals were sentenced as well. This is indeed a horrific thing to have happen during this time in America's governmental crisis. I feel that it will continue until we are all disabled. Maybe that will be a good thing. That way, we will have to mobilize in public. There are so many amazing, intelligent, and resouceful sites and people here on FB. I don't want to lose my connection with them. Yet, we must be prepared for that possibilty. Are we? Are you? I am posting as anonymous b/c I don't trust FB right now. I am very leery.

  5. If the shoe fits they will find away to undermine the system and let out only the news they want us all to believe if we tell others the way the Repulicans are trying to lie to us.all they will block it if they can...

  6. I too was blocked today...much to my surprise. I don't post spam.....but do share articles, and pertinent information. I am unable to communicate with family etc., very discouraging.

  7. d00d HUNDREDS of people have been blocked by facebook -- it's a facebook problem that started n saturday night. Join in the discussion!

  8. There has been a surge of friend requests from Republicans and Evangelicals. Here is what they do - they "friend" you, then once your posts hit the activity stream, they flag them as spam or inappropriate which gets your account suspended for 15 days


  9. I've had numerous FBFs being banned in this same manner. KNOW who your Friends are BEFORE you Friend them!

  10. I believe that fb's approach does not allow you to confront your accusers, since they can accuse you of something, without offering proof, but you have no recourse. This is the downside of fb.

  11. I have been banned as well from posting on pages. Smells fishy.

  12. The neoconservative/Tea Party strategists play dirty and they play to win. This is a coordinated effort that their base implements on a daily basis. It will only get worse. This is akin to their other efforts to lower the ratings of liberal or progressive books or other publications by going onto sites like and posting bad reviews en masse.

    So, then...the question that remains is "what to do?"

    I would not ever suggest going so far as to manipulate voter turnout, votes or elections but insofar as these tactics are concerned, do not come to a fight with a knife if your opponent is using heavy artillery. Fight fire with fire.

  13. From across the pond, this is now hitting the UK in my case the political page I occasionally post on The Labour Party a number of regular posters on there (not spammers in any way shape or form) have received the 15 day bans while other spam posts are seemingly immune. We believe that trolls from the UK conservative party may have seized on this FB method to disrupt normal discussion.
    Hope FB sorts the mess out soon or free speech on FB will be lost.

  14. Peter, thank you for your comment. As we try to figure out what is going on, your information provides a helpful piece to this puzzle.

  15. I am having the same problem. I was banned without warning. Why not a simple warning? I thought I could post on my wall and that even appears to be at random. Who decides this? Now it appears that advertising is affected to. Not fair.

  16. Excellent article above. May be you need more time to share all the knowledge that you have.
    So, thanks for share this information with us, I always come across this amazing post.

  17. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along.
    I think I will leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading.
    Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  18. If you recall, my Page, "I bet this cow-pie can get more fans than Scott Walker", was actually shutdown last August for three weeks, with no explanation ever coming from the invisible Facebook admins. After much back and forth, my page was finally restored but with no apology or explanation. I think we need a few liberally-minded Silicon Valley engineers to create a Facebook alternative that actually believes in an open and free democracy AND a belief in privacy protection.

  19. Cowpie Admin: I am sure that Facebook will be replaced at some point by something infinitely better. However, what that means is yet, unclear. Keep up good work!