I wish there was some good news to share with you these days, but unfortunately, ever since the election of a president and the formation of the cabinet, freedom of speech has come to an all-time low in Lebanon. Honestly, things seem as bad as they were under the Syrian regime occupation these days, and with no excuse of a foreign army occupying us…
Plunging Back into the Dark Ages
The recent trend in religious fundamentalism seen in Lebanon, is throwing innocent tax payers in jail over Facebook statuses and tweets. This despicable, Saudi-like practice is a result of too many inflated egos, and too much time and taxpayer money to waste.
I know, it’s almost 2018, and “blasphemy” is still a thing in our laws.
The process works like this: a tabloid-style “news” website, or MTV, or other mouthpieces on the Saudi regime’s payroll, look for posts that virtually no one will ever see, and make a huge fuss about it. This makes opportunists in the justice and security system pounce on this, to “defend morals” or whatever, and get a taste of the spotlight, and of course, more clicks fuelled by misplaced outrage over stupid things, while we drown in garbage, shit Internet and corruption that would make the most brutal of dictators say “that’s too much”.
Given the ministers in our government don’t know how to do anything to help the taxpayers that pay their salaries, they instead waste our time and public money by hunting down people for stupid things like “blasphemy”, distracting us from the real crimes they commit every day and have been for the past few decades.
How to Take Precautions
Censorship is bad, and religious extremist censorship is the worst kind. So, here are a few tips to protect yourselves from the prying eyes of the thought police, and their religious extremist patrons that are out to get what’s left of our freedom of expression in a country that was once a beacon of free speech, slowly spiralling into a much poorer, backwards version of Saudi Arabia.
This will cover how to run and manage Facebook pages, without them being able to find and torture you.
- Never use your personal email, or one that might identify you. Instead, use an email that you made just to start the page.
- Use TOR when you are opening, posting, editing or monitoring your page. You can download it here. Once you download TOR, enable it, use the TOR browser to log on to Facebook on the link: facebookcorewwwi.onion
- Hide the admins of the page, you can do that by going to your Page > Edit Page > Update Info > Featured > Edit Featured Page Owners and then remove the check next to the names of the admins.
- Disable the public wall, as well as messages from users who like and follow your page, this will make it harder for the malicious people trying to shut you down to send phishing links that might entrap you or the innocent users who follow and like your page.
Why We Do This
We can’t expect the increasingly authoritarian system in Lebanon to suddenly care about human rights and freedom of expression. The best we can do is be careful, and make sure that their goal to suppress free speech and harass and intimidate those with different opinions is harder than it is now.
Protect yourselves, and never let the religious fundamentalists and corrupt government silence you or your thoughts.
Be safe, and always be free.
How To Protect Your Free Speech on Facebook from the Religious Fundamentalists in Lebanon was originally published in Gino’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.