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Why Sellner and Co are blocked from Youtube and Facebook

Facebook and Instagram are again taking action against right-wing extremism. On Friday, the “Compact” magazine, popular in the right-wing scene, was removed from the two platforms and the accounts blocked. Facebook relies on its own set of rules. "We prohibit organizations and people from using our services if they systematically attack people based on characteristics such as origin, gender and nationality. We have therefore removed the 'Compact' magazine from Facebook and Instagram," said a Facebook spokeswoman for the move .

A severe blow

The expulsion is a bitter blow for the magazine, which has been separated from a good part of its fan base, more than 90,000 people had rated the site with a like, and thus loses influence. She is currently trying to portray herself as the spearhead of the Corona protests in Germany - and leaves no doubt about her political location. Part of the current production is that the "Compact" editor-in-chief Jürgen Elsässer danced together with the Austrian identity boss Martin Sellner at the protests in Berlin last weekend.

Sellner has already gained experience with "deplatforming", as the blocking of accounts on social media is known. In July, his stage was withdrawn on Twitter and Youtube. A step that hit the right-wing extremist, as the two channels were important for him, on the one hand to reach his audience and on the other hand to attract donations. Sellner takes legal action against the YouTube block. Facebook and Instagram have not given him or the identities any space for a long time.

However, the "deplatforming" has shown in the past few months that right-wing extremist actors who are deprived of the platforms are marginalized as a result. Most of them now do politics online (and rely on the media to take over their provocations). After a ban, alternative options are used, but large parts of the followers do not follow them on new platforms. The messenger service Telegram is currently popular with right-wing extremists.

House rights and image

With the bans, which also hit a right-wing extremist rapper and Qanon conspiracy supporter, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are trying to polish their image. The companies are massively criticized for having tolerated right-wing extremist hate messages and manipulative false news for too long. For many years they have propagated a radically liberal understanding of freedom of expression and even briefly tolerated propaganda and execution videos by the so-called "Islamic State" (IS). With the rise of the worldwide # Blacklivesmatter protests, they have now changed their course and are exercising their domiciliary rights. In addition, the corona pandemic has shown that conspiracy stories from the Internet can have real consequences.

To do this, Facebook has been under massive pressure for months. Numerous companies around the world had announced that they would no longer be advertising if Facebook did not act more consistently against hate on the Internet.

A pressure that the Austrian boulevard is not familiar with. Sellner was interviewed regularly as soon as he attended Corona demos in Vienna. (Markus Sulzbacher, August 31, 2020)