Facebook Blues

Well, just as I predicted, the onset of cold weather means that protests will start heating up across the Romanian world.

Indeed, Romania saw widespread protests on November 27, once again demonstrating how upset people are by the political elites who keep trying to subvert the justice system in order to stay out of jail.

But remember how ex-President Ion Iliescu complained about the protests earlier this year (during the bitterly cold days of February), saying that they were egged on by social media posts from foreign NGOs?

Well, it looks like his PSD party (and ALDE coalition partners) have gotten a tiny bit smarter:

Apparently, Facebook users and pages in Romania found themselves to be banned during the recent wave of protests against corruption in the country.

All week, my social media feeds have been full of Romanians screaming with anger about how their Facebook posts and Facebook Live videos of the protests were being blocked.

Clearly, someone in the Romanian government figured out that, if you report ANY content as “suspicious” or containing “offensive material”, it will remain blocked until someone at Facebook reviews it.

And since most of Facebook’s reviewers are low-wage Filipinos who don’t speak Romanian, “reporting” posts is a pretty easy way to block content that you don’t like.

Best of all, the identity of WHO reports your Facebook posts is kept hidden.

I have no idea how long it takes Facebook to review and unblock Romanian-language content, but I’d be willing to bet good money that it’s a far lengthier process than for English-language content.

Black Cube

I also think it’s a safe bet that this new tactic of “nuking” protest coverage on Facebook isn’t something being done haphazardly out of some politician’s basement.


Earlier this month, the Rise Project revealed that the ruling PSD party had paid the American lobbying firm of Madison and Company $100,000 in party money in order to “improve” Liviu Dragnea’s image abroad, especially with his American masters.

Furthermore, somebody hired the sleazy Israeli firm Black Cube in order to spy on and hack into Laura Kovesi’s emails last year. Black Cube’s actions were so criminal that two of its operatives were later arrested in Romania.

Laura Kovesi, you will remember, is the head of the fabled DNA agency which, despite many troublesome tactics, is the agency responsible for arresting and convicting Liviu Dragnea on corruption charges, which is why he cannot be the Prime Minister of Romania.

And Black Cube was hired this year in the United States to launch online attacks against the women who were accusing Harvey Weinstein of raping and sexually harassing them.

From Black Cube’s own website:

Uncovering Negative Campaigns

Oftentimes, Black Cube’s clients find their reputation under online attack from adversaries…

The statements made virtually in blogs, news article comments and on social media can have a very real effect on the reputation of an individual or company.

Black Cube unmasks negative campaigns aimed at slandering its clients, including the identities, biases, motivations, and conflicts of those making false statements, enabling the clients to take steps to silence them.

And while there’s no information as of yet tying Black Cube to the tactic of finding and then “reporting” Facebook posts in Romania, the efficiency of how fast they were reported and blocked speaks to the involvement of a professional “cyber” company like Black Cube.


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