An open letter to Mr Mark Zuckerberg from Nation cartoonist Stephff 

your say September 01, 2018 01:00

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I have been a political cartoonist for a national newspaper for 20 years now. On Thursday evening I received a notice from Facebook that I had violated its rules by publishing on my Facebook page “Stephff Tribal Art” the cartoon below, thus it was suppressed and I was asked to comply with “Facebook rules”, or else.



There was no possibility to argue – no button I could press to defend myself against this serious misunderstanding. 

What are these “Facebook rules” exactly? That we cannot complain about a genocide in the making because some ultranationalist, xenophobic Burmese netizens have complained to Facebook? 

What about those same netizens who are spreading a campaign of hatred against the Rohingya with the help of their compatriot cartoonists? What about all the racist Burmese people who insult me on my page each time I publish a cartoon about the Rohingya tragedy? 

What is Facebook’s policy, exactly? To stop people who battle against bad things happening in this world, or only to allow people to publish pictures of their lunch? 

Why don’t you employ real people with brains to judge whether a cartoon is racist or if – on the contrary – it fights against racism. Apparently, your dumb algorithms are far from able to tell the difference. 

It is hard to believe that you are siding with the very same people who supported the oppression and mass killing of the Rohingya people. Is this the “better World” Facebook is trying to build, one in which we cannot harshly criticise an ongoing genocide?  

Stephff