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    TeleSur English Shuttered, Restored by Facebook for No Clear Reason

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    On Monday, Facebook temporarily unpublished the English page of Venezuelan news outlet TeleSur for the second time in 2018. It’s back up, but the media company is likely no less confused by the move, as Facebook has offered differing accounts of why it made TeleSur’s page go dark.

    Two statements were delivered from the social media giant to TeleSur English. The first cited unspecified violations of their Terms of Use, and the second cited "instability on the platform."

    RT America journalist Dan Cohen, however, was told that the reason for the unpublishing was that Facebook had detected "suspicious activity" related to the page and that they needed to "secure" it.

    Sputnik News requested comment from Facebook on Tuesday, but received no response.

    Facebook has increased censorship on the platform since it worked in coordination with Apple and YouTube to ban Alex Jones' far-right conspiracy media outlet InfoWars. Since then, pages that have been unpublished without a clear explanation include, but are not limited to: Venezuela Analysis, an independent pro-Bolivarian news outlet; Haiti Analysis, another outlet with a unique eye on the island; Freedom Fighters Upstate SC, a prisoner advocacy page that spreads the anecdotes of the incarcerated; and TeleSur English.

    The tech company also deleted a Facebook event hosted by six administrators — five completely legitimate — because one of them supposedly had activity consistent with posting styles previously displayed by accounts linked to the allegedly Kremlin-run Internet Research Agency. That event was the main counter-protest against the Unite the Right 2.0 rally, held in DC on Sunday, which commemorated the deadly rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, one year prior. 

    Organizers of the counter-demonstration worried to Sputnik News that the closure of the event page could put people's safety at risk.

    As Sputnik News reported previously, Facebook also removed independent reporter Ford Fischer's livestream of the Unite the Right 2.0 protest in Washington, DC, on Sunday for glaringly inconsistent reasons.

    The company said they removed it because they don't allow livestream videos that are "static, looping or don't clearly state they are prerecorded," but Fischer's was none of those.

    "It was very obvious that their accusation was false," Fischer told Sputnik News on Tuesday. "It was my iPhone mounted on top of my camera showing exactly what was happening." 

    Abby Martin, host of "The Empire Files" on TeleSur English, noted that Facebook is partnering with the Digital Forensics Lab, an arm of the neoconservative think tank Atlantic Council, to rid its platform of so-called fake news and disingenuous activity.

    The Atlantic Council is funded by NATO, Gulf monarchies and defense contractors and frequently publishes incitement against Venezuela and Russia, as well as other enemies on the radar of the US State Department.

    "The shuttering of progressive media amidst the ‘fake news' and Russiagate hysteria is what activists been warning all along — tech companies, working in concert with think tanks stacked with CIA officials and defense contractors, shouldn't have the power to curate our reality to make those already rendered invisible even more obsolete," Martin told Sputnik News on Tuesday.

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