• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

Censorship!

  
The DT page I had been curating for nearly five years on Facebook has been the victim of brutal censorship by the company. It started with one post there, on 20 April 2020, mentioning the birthday (and suicide) date of Adolf Hilter, accompanied with a photo of a display at the Mémorial de Caen of a toppled bust of the dictator and a smashed in portrait, relics from the time of the liberation of France when people vented their anger at the former occupier. I presume some algorithm must have picked up on the image and/or keyword, so the initial notification saying the post went “against community standards” was probably auto-generated. I tried to appeal against the decision, but in the process a window popped up that required me to request a TAN code by text message, which I did and received one, but on the website it said “could not send code, please check phone number” – yet the phone number *was* correct, as evidenced by me receiving the code. But as I could not enter it anywhere the whole procedure ground to a halt. They threatened a 30-day ban, even though I was a “first offender”. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before in all those years.
  
Then the next day I suddenly received a notification saying that my account was at risk of being shut down plus a whole string of emails saying other posts were also “against community standards”. Evidently they must have been trawling through my posts finding fault with several of them. So this was more likely not just some dumb algorithms at work, but it must have been active, targeted censorship. Either that was indeed a person (some 'content manager' maybe, who can’t read English properly?), or if not then FB’s algorithms must have gone really out of control, automatically triggering ever harsher mechanisms. If the latter is the case then that’s actually in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, namely Article 22 (see here – external link, opens in a new window).
   
Anyway, indeed, before I knew it my personal account on Facebook was closed – and thus I no longer have access to the ‘darktourismtravel’ page I administered on that platform either. I was told by friends though, that it was still visible to others, including that initial “offending” post from 20 April, which I found rather bizarre.
     
Which those other posts allegedly going against “community standards” were, or what could possibly have been so “wrong” with them, I have no way of knowing. The email notifications from Facebook all say “only you can see this”, but when I click on the “view on Facebook” button or the “see options” link, these simply take me to the log-in page, where obviously I can no longer log in, so I could do nothing. I was effectively silenced, just like that, from one moment to the next, with no means of appeal and with no explanation given.
   
I can assure you that my posts followed the same standards as this website, no offensive content or abusive language, just short accounts of various bits of history, often with the “on this day in history” pattern, and sometimes linked to current affairs (like the coronavirus pandemic). It is baffling and intimidating to see that anti-vaxxers, flat-Earthers, racists, fundamentalists, Trumpists, conspiracy theorists, white supremacists, and what not, can all carry on spreading hate speech and misinformation on Facebook unhindered, but that a sober, enlightened historical debate is suppressed, no, in fact simply stamped out. It’s a disgrace and I am considering legal action – though what chances that could possibly have is questionable, given that Facebook has more power these days than half the world’s governments put together.
  
What riles me most is not so much that I can no longer post on that platform (I would probably have discontinued anyway after this), but that I’ve lost the contacts to my over 3000 followers I had slowly accumulated over five years. Had the ban been lifted I would have asked all of those followers to migrate with me to a different platform, maybe a kind of blog page on here, in order to salvage at least some of those contacts and somehow carry on the idea of regular photo posts with the option of commenting, if on a smaller scale and with far less reach, but still. But since I can’t even log on any more that avenue has been cut off too.
  
I suddenly got a glimpse of what it must feel like being a silenced dissident in China or Russia. I feel like I’ve been pushed into the underground. Well, then, welcome to the underground!
  
  
Follow-up: 
I quickly gave up on the idea of legal action. It's pointless against such a powerful and at the same time secretive company (also check out this documentary – external link, opens in new window). But I then tried to use one of the forms Facebook supplies on their “help” pages (a friend had alerted me to this option, they don’t make it very obvious themselves), namely one where allegedly you can appeal against an account having been disabled. First, though, I had to supply my account name, email address used to log in and upload some ID (I used a photo of the International Driving License I had bought for Taiwan and Namibia just before the Corona pandemic started, but which now is unusable ... that way it was at least good for something). But then a box popped up claiming that the email address provided was not linked with any disabled account – even though that was precisely the very email address they had sent me all those notifications to and which is the one I’ve always used to log in. I even made screen shots this time as proof of the fact that the email addresses were indeed identical (so no mistyping was to blame). But the upshot was, yet again, that I could do nothing further. I was cut short at the first step. It’s as if my very existence was being denied.
  
On the other hand, after a few weeks without Facebook, I got slowly used to it. Moreover, I’ve been thinking more about finding alternatives. One could be starting a Blog page right here on my own website, out of reach of the Facebook Gestapo. I’m still working on options as to how to implement that technically. And if I ever do get back on Facebook, I’ll try to get my followers to migrate over to whatever alternative solutions I come up with. We’ll see.
   
  
Another follow-up:
The initially announced 30-day ban from Facebook should by now have been over. But not only have they not reactivated my personal account, they’ve now also deleted the entire dark-tourism page I had curated there for almost five years. So I’ve been thoroughly purged, erased, exterminated. As far as Facebook is concerned, I’ve never existed, nor has my DT page. At no point have any explanations been given, and all avenues of appeal have remained blocked (as described above).
  
This also means that I’ve lost my 3000 followers – which is bad for business too, as I would have advertised my book there when it’s published, which quite a few of those followers had already expressed an interest in buying. So on top of the whole injustice of it all (I feel even more like a Soviet-era silenced dissident now), it’s also harming me financially.
   
This has convinced me that Adolf, … er Mark Zuckerberg’s company really has to be regarded as something like a criminal organization.
  
Another thought: my initial “offence” of posting a picture featuring a toppled Hitler bust and a kicked-in portrait painting of him was apparently seen as constituting “Führerbeleidigung” (literally ‘insulting the leader’), which was also a criminal offence during the Third Reich. So in that sense, FB is reviving that old law from that dark era, just by more modern digital means … but no Allies seem to be getting together to defeat it this time. 
  
 
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
 

© dark-tourism.com, Peter Hohenhaus 2009-2020

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