Facebook War Raging on Croatian Internet

Total Croatia News

Facebook groups and profiles are reporting each other for alleged rules infringement, trying to ban their political opponents.

After successfully using unsubstantiated reports about rules infringements to close down Facebook profiles of groups such as Antifa Šibenik, Antifa Zagreb, Antifašistički Vjesnik, and the Lupiga website, rightwing groups have managed to also ban an article from the Facebook page of the Novosti weekly, reports N1 on December 5, 2017.

All this is just part of the Facebook war which started in Croatia after the recent suicide of Slobodan Praljak, a Bosnian Croat who was convicted of war crimes and who took poison in a courtroom at the Hague war crimes tribunal. Facebook first started deleting posts which celebrated Praljak, which prompted his advocates to launch a mass campaign of reporting leftwing profiles and groups, trying to shut them down.

Since Facebook usually responds automatically after receiving a larger number of reports, without the proper verification of content in question, rightwing groups reported over the weekend a whole series of leftist and antifascist pages, mostly those which talked about Praljak as a convicted war criminal. They first shut down the Antifa Šibenik page. After that success, a coordinated effort was launched to do the same with the Antifa Zagreb page.

Due to possible further attacks, leftist political party Workers’ Front decided to preventively and temporarily suspend its profile. Antifascist pages are now trying to organise an effort to inform Facebook about what is going on.

On the other hand, the “U Ime Obitelji” NGO, led by conservative activist Željka Markić, whose Facebook profile has also been blocked due to her support for Praljak, sent a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković and Interior Minister Davor Božinović, calling on them to ensure that the censorship in Croatia implemented by Facebook is stopped.

“We have received complaints from numerous intellectuals, dignitaries, the media, and Croatian citizens who have expressed a legitimate view that the Hague verdict is unfair and that it is not based on facts, which is the position of the Croatian government and Parliament as well. The posts which have been censored do not violate the rules of this social network, such as a ban on hate speech, violence, nudity, unauthorised sales, etc. The reason for censorship lies in the fact that, over the past few days, many posts have been published with historical and legal facts about the extremely positive role played by Croatia in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which includes actions of General Slobodan Praljak,” said the NGO in its letter.

IT expert Marko Rakar said the demand was ridiculous. “Certain groups have decided to send mass reports of violation of Facebook rules, in order to eliminate their rivals. This is the first time that something like this has happened in Croatia. A network with more than a billion users must rely on automatic mechanisms. Still, I believe that everything will normalise in a day or two. The demand by ‘U Ime Obitelji’ is crazy. It is difficult to even talk about the mental framework of people who can give such a proposal. It is ridiculous.”


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment