Updated: Oct 9, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Thomas Barlow
IMA MEMBERS/ISSUES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
A call for dialogue with tech companies
[LONDON, UK, 4TH OCT 2021]
• IMA members not receiving the same treatment as legacy media despite being regulated to a higher standard
• IMA Members confronted with de-platforming despite being able to evidence that this is unjust
• Potential issues with tech platform artificial intelligence ‘getting it wrong’
• Potential issues with vexatious reporting by people and groups with different views
• No response to appeals from members via the tech companies own reporting systems
The Independent Media Association (IMA) calls for good-faith dialogue with ‘big tech’ platforms, relevant government departments and interested parties with a view to reaching a positive resolution on the issues highlighted above for our members.
IMA members who collectively reach millions of people a week have highlighted to us that their platforms/livelihoods are under threat:
“Agree with my politics or not, these severe punishments over such absurd rulings have profound implications for anyone else who believes in evidence-based debate”. - Tom, Another Angry Voice.
“We received a ban for posting a meme with an anti-fascist sentiment, the image featured Allied soldiers holding a swastika flag during the liberation of Germany at the end of World War 2 and yet Facebook’s artificial intelligence flagged it as ‘hate speech.’ We appealed and received no response. We couldn’t post for 30 days which negatively impacted our livelihood”. - Mike, Milk the Cow.
Members have received automated notifications such as: "Your page is at risk of being unpublished, and has reduced distribution and other restrictions due to continued community standards violations”.
This has led to debilitating levels of stress for our members from fear of losing their livelihoods without warning. IMA members are regulated to a higher standard than legacy media outlets, our members agree to join the NUJ and Impress within 6 months of joining the IMA to ensure the accuracy of their content. Given big tech platforms are the new public square we believe that not receiving the same treatment as legacy media hinder the evolution of public discourse. This has potentially serious implications for the proliferation of plurality of opinion in the UK, and beyond.
We are calling for open lines of communication and the same treatment as legacy media for IMA members by big tech companies. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information on these issues and the IMA.
The Independent Media Association, formerly known as The Media Fund, operates as a cooperative, dedicated to promoting the work of independent media. The Independent Media Association supports news organisations that are run in the public interest.