Facebook censored live coverage of riot policing in conflict with protesters at a construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The live coverage, being done by an alternative media group, was blocked by “Facebook’s automated censorship system”. After the act of censorship took place, the social network had not been doing anything to waive off the block.
According to Russia Today, a “direct action”protest against the Dakota Access pipeline was being covered by Unicorn Riot, who were in North Dakota on Tuesday. The moment they tried to post their livestream coverage on Facebook, the social networking site refuted the link as one that “our security systems detected to be unsafe.”
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Police came in riot gear and they arrested almost twenty-two protesters, including two Unicorn Riot journalists.
It had been noted previously that the crude oil pipeline had been the subject of protest partly because of environmentalists. The most important reason was the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who claimed the the construction of the pipeline had been destructing sacred sites and natural resources or risks damaging them.
“Our collective members immediately noticed that the full Livestream event URL (https://livestream.com/unicornriot/events/6340986) was being blocked from Facebook.” Unicorn Riot said in a statement.
“Posts and comments with the URL both immediately triggered popup security alerts. We tried putting the same URL through Bitly shortening and that official Unicorn Riot page post was deleted by Facebook within a few minutes. Finally we went with sharing our ‘Live Channel’ URL on our own website which had the embed included on it.”
On the other side of this story, the Obama administration had been drawing serious backlashes from lawmakers and oil industry groups to stand down. This is because of the Obama administration’s intervention in yet another pipeline dispute, said FOX News.
The construction of the Dakota Access pipeline was being protested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, for two years. They had argued that the pipeline could travel through sacred ground and burial sites and pose health problems.