Simon Ateba

Facebook banned me today for another 30 days for posting the video below that has been posted on Facebook by many people and watched by millions of people.

In posting the video today I wrote: “Africa wake up! Wake up! Pastor “cures” man who could not get an erection. Watch! Wake up!

The video does not show any body part or explicit sex. It’s just about the deception being spread across the continent with pastors claiming to “heal” everything.

And I suspect that what is hidden under the clothes of the person being “healed” has little to do with his genitals, but may be something else to deceive church members and viewers.

In any case, Facebook suspended me, saying I had violated its policies. But it did not suspend people who first posted the same video.

As you’re reading this, the video is still on Facebook, and those who first shared it last month are still on Facebook.

Recently, Facebook suspended me for 30 days for sharing an article about 200 Nigerians who were killed in Plateau state in one night. Facebook responded by banning me, not the killers.

I have been suspended by Facebook, I believe, more than any other person on Facebook. So often that I cannot count.

This year alone, I have been suspended for three months out of seven plus some days for things I had posted that did not clearly violate any decency.

The video I was banned for is still on Facebook and has been shared by many people who are still on Facebook. So why me?

The same video, shared by others, remains on Facebook, and those who shared them remain on Facebook.

I seem to understand why. It has nothing to do with me but with the Facebook algorithm. In trying to police Facebook or make it safer for everyone, Facebook targets some words such as sex, erection, and so on. And once the Software sees such words, you’re suspended without any review.

I appealed the suspension, and Facebook has promised to review it. But reviews are almost useless with Facebook as the company is overwhelmed by billions of users.

I am not upset being banned by Facebook. The last time I was suspended in June for 30 days until July 29, I recorded many achievements.

The question really is, how far are we willing to allow machines and software companies to determine what we publish. Who determines what is decent and what is not? What is the biggest danger of being ruled by machines?

I do not know. But my guess is we may be in big trouble!

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