There are a number of changes currently happening between Facebook’s continued authoritarianism and upcoming changes to Twitter’s API which will affect how Nullify Abortion communicates through social media. To appropriately address those changes, a blog post was in order.
In this article:
Big, bad violent abolitionists
Four months ago, Nullify Abortion’s Facebook page was hit with a “violent content” strike for the following meme post:
The claim was we were making “threats of violence.” This decision was made by an automated bot who can’t understand context. As, anyone with actual braincells, can see we weren’t threatening anyone, but using an argumentum ad absurdum to demonstrate how insane this abortion argument is. As we have in the past, we appealed the auto-mod decision. The majority of moderation decisions on Facebook are automated by a computer algorithm.
Often, requesting a human to review the content will get the content strike either reduced or removed entirely. This was not one of those times. Rather than refer our situation to a human for review, we were told there “weren’t enough” people available. Translation: Our page now has a permanent mark for “having made a threat of violence.” From what we gather, Facebook takes these kinds of strikes more seriously than other types of content strikes.
Well, it happened again. Despite our best efforts to try and word things in a less ambiguous manner, we — I — let one slip and Facebook immediately blocked it and hit us with another strike for “inciting violence.”
Mind you, both posts were topics where we were speaking out against aborting children conceived by rape. Our argument was, and is, if we’re not going to put to death rapists, we certainly shouldn’t be putting to death the children born to the survivors of rape. That is our “incitement to violence.”
This time, we’re not even given any options to interact with the warning. It simply says we’re restricted and there are no options to appeal it. While we have opened a complaint with Facebook, we’re not holding our breath.
Faced with the option of either leaving hostile social media, and therefore, limiting our reach, or self-censoring, we’re choosing to self-censor. That’s not to say we’re compromising. Rather, we’re taking actions to avoid automatic censorship which provides us no option to appeal.
How? Th*s *s h*w (this is how.) Words which may be misinterpreted by Facebook, we will begin censoring. If you see words with asterisks in them, no, we’re not swearing, we just know m*rder makes Z*ckerberg squeamish. We already try to avoid using these words where they aren’t absolutely necessary to communicate an important message. But, as you know from our track record, we’re not shy to say abortion is murder.
Bye bye, Blue (Twitter) Bird
On April 25, 2023, the service we use to manage our social media posting will no longer provide free support for Twitter. This is because Twitter no longer provides free API support. What this means is that to continue to post to Twitter, we would need to:
- Pay for Twitter Blue and a premium subscription to our social media manager
- or, alternatively, manually login in to Twitter and queue up our social media posts apart from our other social media accounts
As our bank account sits at $0, this option is not possible. Unless someone would be as so kind to contribute the necessary funds of $300 for the annual subscription. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so electronically by clicking the following links, by both GabPay or PayPal. Keep in mind, gifts and contributions to Nullify Abortion are not tax refundable for IRS purposes.
As for option 2, every organization needs to consider its resources:
We’ve already established we have no money, and our time is limited due to a lack of people (volunteer!), this makes posting manually to Twitter unviable.
As it stands right now, the majority of our Twitter posts receive no engagement and very few views. The question we have to ask ourselves — as should every abolition group — is this an effective use of our time, money, and people? The answer right now is: No.
Fine, Twitter can stay, but it gets to sleep outside
This doesn’t mean we’re axing our Twitter account or won’t be popping up on Twitter from time to time, but it’s not going to receive regular updates like our other social media accounts. In the future, I could see us having volunteers who understand our position who help manage our different social media accounts. That’d be awesome.
TL;DR — Summary
We’ll pick up another social media platform as we have a limit of three. Right now we have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We’re open to suggestions on what should replace Twitter. Also, don’t be put off by asterisks in words like k*ll and m*rder. It’s not that we’re afraid to use those words, we just don’t want to be silenced by automated bots.