At face value it’s no more than a nuisance. People who for whatever reason would like for a Facebook post to be seen by less people report it to Facebook as ‘abusive’.

Facebook, with little time to make direct value judgements, errs on the side of caution and blocks posts just in case the report they received is justified.

The complainant — usually a pack of coordinated hostiles sending multiple complaints on the same post pretending to be independently shocked at its content — sits back in glee at having managed to stop information reach other people.

At face value this is just a nuisance.

But it is more than that. As more people grow dependent on flashes on their Facebook Newsfeeds to get an understanding of what’s happening around them, it is becoming easier for pranking sabotage to lock out news that should be reaching people.

For now the solution has to be supporting reliable news sites by sharing posts unjustly banned this way. Last week an important article by Ranier Fsadni was blocked by Facebook as ‘abusive’ when it was anything but. Yesterday Herman Grech posted an image of a news report on yet another corrupt and embarrassing disaster perpetrated by Jason Micallef’s Valletta 18. (There’s another shocker from that front being reported today by In-Nazzjon but more on that later). It was blocked from reaching readers.

For the record here’s Herman Grech’s post from yesterday about the blocked news report.

Eventually Facebook too must realise what sort of censorship and mind control it is being made an unwitting accomplice of in this small and strange polity.