Further to my facebook profile being disabled, blogger Penny Red has written a great article in the New Statesmen.
Three weeks ago I set up a facebook group entitled Can't Pay, Won't Pay: Solidarity with the people of Greece
The group not only showed support and protested against the so-called austerity measures but also enabled a coming together of activists from around the world. Through it I helped organise international protests with people who had never even been on a protest before let alone organise one!!
My profile was disabled on the night of the Brittish general elections, May 7.
After my account was disappeared the other two admins were disabled a few hours later. A Reactivate Clare Solomon and Andrew Burgin support group was set up by someone who I do not know. In the morning I set up a new account which was also disabled within mins and so was a profile which I use for organising not for profit events and campaigns.
My 'disappearance' concerned my family and friends and was, to say the least, a little disconcerting; it seems like 1984 is the future. We discussed all sorts of theories. However, an Egyptian activist I know goes by the thinking that the more you are visible online the more it is noticable when you disappear. Whether recent events has changed my behaviour is yet to be analysed but I am certainly going to be taking precautionary steps to protect both my content and my safety.
The fact that the security words that I had to enter when I used my activist profile on fb were 'the leninist' (photo on post below) was most probably a coincidence but it did draw my attention to the fact that the Internet allows for a manipulation of reality.
Clearly any service run for profit will be controlled by those who own it. We contribute content to fb for free. Effectively we all work for facebooks for nothing. Facebook then makes money by using our free labour to boost advertising rates.
Certainly by using open source software platforms we have more control and, usually, revenue is not generated by our free labour. I am hoping to soon transfer myself and my friends over to an opensource model, possibly/probably Diaspora.