26 February 2010
By Reggy Nyandeni
Popular online social networking site Facebook shocked the administrator, Justice Mvakali, of Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (APLA Introspection) when he received the news that the group has been removed from the site. The reasons, which are in the possession of Mayihlome News, for the removal, were sent via a mail to Mvakali on Wednesday. The vague quote under the subject “Facebook Warning” reads as follows:
account being disabled.”
The group administrator reacted angry to the decision and described the action as driven by a political agenda to suppress Pan Africanism. He vowed to fight victoriously using popular APLA war slogan “upoqo akabethwa” (APLA will never be defeated). APLA fought in the liberation struggle as a military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania during the days of Apartheid South Africa ’s white settler government.
Mayihlome News sent Facebook a set of questions to understand the circumstances that led to the removal of the group, viz:
At the time of publishing, Facebook had not responded to our questions. Mayihlome News is still looking forward to hear how Facebook explains itself out of this seemingly intolerant decision.
This subjective ‘take down’ decision by Facebook raised fears about the objectivity of the popular social networking site and the extent to which it will go to allow unfettered free flow of ideas. The action by the site to ‘take down’ groups that holds different political views to those preferred by the site could be seen as a dictatorship of ideas.
It is not yet clear how members of the group are reacting to the decision since their collective platform has been demolished.