6 Enraged Ukrainian Facebook Users Declare War on Mark Zuckerberg
A group of Ukrainian social media users have declared their intention to launch a two-day boycott of Facebook beginning Monday over the mass deletion of posts and accounts for hate speech, Ukrainian news hub Obozrevatel reports.
Ironically, the protesters are organizing their boycott on Facebook. On their event's page, they state that "Mark Zuckerberg has sent [an] inadequate response at Townhall Q&A on May 14 to the top question from Ukrainian users," noting that "more than 50 thousand Ukrainian users asked him to revise [the] Facebook Reporting Process due to false mass bans of Ukrainian Top Thought Leaders on Facebook."
The internet activists initiated their campaign following Zuckerberg's response to users' paranoid complaints about posts and accounts being deleted due to 'Russian influence and pressure'. Zuckerberg stated bluntly that the content was deleted for containing hate speech, adding that there is no such thing as the "Russian Facebook office" mentioned in the users' complaint.
"We don't allow content that is overtly hateful, contains ethnic slurs, or incites violence," Zuckerberg noted. "There were few posts that tripped that rule, and I think we did the right thing according to our policies by taking down that content," the internet mogul added.
Zuckerberg also put a damper on President Petro Poroshenko's appeal for Facebook to open an office in Ukraine, stating that "over time it is something we might consider."
The Ukrainian internet warriors, presently numbering about 1,400 people, have stated their hopes that "thousands of deactivated accounts over a period of 1-2 days will create a precedent for Facebook's Administrators, while generating media clout."
Listing their demands, the group expects that Zuckerberg publically apologize "to Ukrainian users for [his] poor and inadequate response to their questions." Moreover, the group demands that Facebook propose "some technical solutions to prevent hacks…by fake accounts." Ultimately, the group defiantly tells the company: "Friends from Facebook: You are not the ones who should decide what is right and what is not!"
It remains unclear where the enraged Facebook users will go to get their social media fix, with Russia's VKontakte and Odnoklassniki serving as the two main alternatives to the American company in most of the post-Soviet space, Ukraine included.
Last year, Ukrainian entrepreneurs introduced Druzi and Weua.info, touting them as alternatives to VKontakte, which remains the country's most popular social media network. Despite appeals to patriotism, the sites weren't able to garner more than a fraction of the market; as of late last year, almost 23 million users were connected via VKontakte, vs. less than 300,000 for each for the two local networks.
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