Our Facebook page was removed earlier this week, after which we were met with this message from the Facebook administrators:
We’ve been experiencing a lot of abuse of the “reporting” mechanism on Facebook, thanks to supporters of regimes in the Middle East and others dissatisfied with our reporting for whatever reason. For a while, sharing was disabled for some of our posts due to them being tagged as “offensive” or as “hate speech,” but regular readers will doubtless object to that statement. You can read our stories over the past several weeks to review our editorial policy and decide for yourself. We hope to get the page unsuspended as soon as possible.
In a series of unrelated events, changes to my (V’s) own personal situation mean that news coverage will not go forward. I’m trying to unsuspend the Facebook page so citizen-reporting can continue as usual from all the non-admin contributors to the page.
While the page suspension was not the initial motivator for my (possible) retirement from newsing, it didn’t make my decision any harder. Situations change, and unfortunately the circumstances were not right to make an occupation out of newsing and live off of any ad revenues I might generate. Additionally, the idealistic stance of a boycott of PayPal severely inhibits the ability to generate donations, and honestly, I feel somewhat bad accepting them.
I like to think that the entire exercise of creating ANN proved that anyone who is persistent and consistent enough can have their voice heard and their stories told, that technology enables speech to live more freely. Unfortunately, the human mind is still shackled to a meatbag that needs to eat ramen noodles and sleep under a roof. I suppose it affirms the fact that speech is only as free as the people who utter it, and that issues of economic hardship are inseparably linked to the freedom of speech.
I find it happy that there are people in the world willing to speak up for the voiceless and to say the true things that aren’t being said. If you find any sadness in my retirement, then take it as an invitation to think a little harder and to speak a little louder. It’s sad to say that truth needs good PR, but it’s happy to admit that people are willing to do it, even if only for a little while.
What I would like to do in the near future is to write on my experiences with Anonymous, free speech issues, and in general fighting the good fight. This was a very big year, and it bears some reflecting on. This will be completely free, and yes, it will be written anonymously. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll keep you posted on what happens with the Facebook page. Until then, as always, keep the lights on for me and semper lulis, amigos.