Tag Archives: congress

A predatorial rental company?

Almost everywhere you go, there is a rental company just waiting to give you some product at an “affordable” price. But are these prices actually affordable or are these companies preying off of their customers? While in most instances, we expect there to be a specific percentage of interest, it seems that Aaron’s has taken this to an extreme. Thanks to a current customer of “Aaron’s,” we will get to see just how extreme they are.

According to the individual, who we will identify as J., he was in the process of buying two items: a computer and an Xbox one. According to this individual, they had already placed over $700 into the Xbox alone, that got the expected reaction from us: This person was trying to get some clout, or were they? We decided to humor this and we looked for ourselves, this is what we found from Aaron’s own website:

The first payment for all of their Xboxes are $25.00, okay, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s pretty low. But that’s not where they nail you. The trick comes in the other payments. Let’s break it down by Xbox type as they have various versions.

XBox One X:

12 monthly payments of $129.99

At the end of the payment period, you would had spent a total of $1,559.88 for an Xbox.

The lowest payment available is for the XBox One S

12 monthly payments of 79.99 Sounds affordable?

The grand total for this console is: $959.88

The question at hand is can they legally charge these outlandish prices? Well, the simple answer that we have found in our research is: Yes. They can. I know, some of you guys are calling it price gouging, believe me, our own team went that direction. The problem is in the definition of price gouging. It reads:

Price gouging refers to when retailers and others take advantage of spikes in demand by charging exorbitant prices for necessities, often after a natural disaster or other state of emergency. In most states, price gouging is set as a violation of unfair or deceptive trade practices law.

The keywords in this are “often after a natural disaster.” and “necessities.” Which would bring the question down to this: Is an Xbox One a necessity or a luxury? This is a very important concept to have in mind when determining rather or not the company is price gouging. However, there is a second definition for the term. This to must be mentioned. The other definition reads as follows:

Price gouging occurs when a seller increases the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. Usually, this event occurs after a demand or supply shock. Common examples include price increases of basic necessities after natural disaster

If this definition were to be used, than we can establish that Aaron’s is price gouging its own customers. But this shouldn’t be to shocking. Holding a consumer rating of 1.27 and ranking at 147 among home appliance stores, it’s safe to presume that most of their customers are anything but satisfied with their service. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB,) Aaron’s, as of the time of this article, has 1,107 complaints against it, and that’s just for one store. Though it states “usually after a natural disaster,” the phrasing implies that this isn’t always the case.

To find out the estimated rating for the company itself, we had to only look at their Facebook page. Holding at a 2.2/5 stars, it appears that their low scoring trend continued. So, we began looking at the reviews to find out why. One complaint stood out specifically to us. Though the complaint is alleging some very questionable things, it’s the fact that the rental store ignored this complaint, while responding to a reply of the review.

In another review, an Aaron’s employee is accused of being belligerent toward a customer. Something this extreme would normally have me raising an eyebrow, except for one thing: this all happened on video, which we are linking here. It’s not surprising that the company had no response to this video.

The bottom line is this: There are many options for renting an item to own. However, you have to do your research. Getting yourself into a trap, or predatorial contract, because you failed to conduct research isn’t the company’s fault. When looking into a company, you want to look at specific things: reviews, ratings, complaints, and if possible, check the BBB site; find out how many problems they’ve had in a short time. Every major company will have something negative, but when it’s a constant theme, it’s no longer a situation of a few unhappy customers. It’s a habitual environment within the company itself.

 

Company with notorious past targets employee

Considering everything that we have already heard about the trucking industry, it should come as no surprise that we are targeting a specific trucking company. Because the individual who contacted us is currently employed, we have taken precautions to keep their identity anonymous. With that out of the way, let’s dive in.

John Christner Trucking, LLC. is a company based out of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Although it is a fairly small company, they are no stranger to abusing their drivers, leaving them just enough money to buy food each week. Aside from extreme low pay the company provides, it has also seen its fair share of lawsuits. In the past three years alone, John Christner has seen nearly a dozen legal actions against it. Before we get into the most recent whistleblower, let’s review some of these lawsuits.

Feb 2020

In February of last year, JCT found itself in the middle of a “misclassification” lawsuit. This case stemmed from more than 3k California based drivers who made multiple accusations against the company. Among the accusations: Working 70-100 hours a week while making less than $500, drivers owing the company money, and violating multiple state and federal labor laws by classifying drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees. This wasn’t the only lawsuit JCT was faced with.

Mousavi v. John Christner Trucking

In what has to be the most controversial case, among it’s countless others, is this one. On 04-19-2019,  Iranian American, Kazem Mousavi filed a discrimination suit against JCT. In the complaint, he alleged that the company had placed a “in-cab” camera system in his truck, without his consent. He noted that his vehicle was the only one to receive this system. While the company assured him that the camera would only be used in emergency situations, that apparently was not the case.

According to Mousavi, when arriving at the terminal, individuals working in the JCT office made comments regarding his conversations via the phone. In one instance, he was informed that they enjoyed hearing him speak Iranian. All of this, if accurate, would had been a violation of multiple privacy laws. In order to have these cameras inside a truck, the driver must sign a consent form to being recorded. If he had not signed any such form, JCT could had gotten more than a lawsuit. If you wish to read the case in its entirety, you may do so at this link.

The whistleblower that we have been talking to, has made multiple accusations against this company. According to him, they are using threat of income as a means of forcing him into a medical test, one that would violate his religious beliefs. Although he has made this very clear to the company on multiple occasions, they still bring it up. Utilizing his legal rights, he informs our platform that he went for a second opinion, which the company than proceeded to deny accepting the two year medical card. Their reason? They didn’t like the field of practice the doctor was trained in. As with so many other drivers, who have filed lawsuits against JCT, he stated that he drove 3k miles, only to receive a paycheck that wasn’t even $400. He than proceeded to show us his check stub, proving this claim.

We mentioned that he was being pressured into a medical test. Let’s dive a bit more into that. In the trucking industry, there are doctors who try to force drivers into a sleep study; this test is not a federally required test for drivers. Furthermore, it is a test that the driver has to pay out of pocket for. Due to religious beliefs, which prohibit our whistleblower from being connected to machines that may alter/change his life, he opted for a second opinion. During the entire process, he states the company did everything in its power to force the sleep study. When he got the second opinion, they simply refused to accept it, effectively shutting down his source of income until he complied.  So, what is religious discrimination?

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  defines religious discrimination as:

Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.

Under this act, they require companies to make reasonable accommodations to their employees, if their religious beliefs prohibit certain things. In this instance, in our opinion, JCT not only failed to do so, they took the extra initiative in preventing the employee from obtaining an income, resulting in his soon to be resignation.

Behavior like this, regardless of the industry or company, is absolutely atrocious. To treat any person in the manner to which this company’s history implicates is enough that they should had been investigated ages ago. However, like most companies within the trucking industry, there is simply no accountability. Thankfully, our platform has branched out into the business review world. With that, we will happily bring accountability when and where it is owed.

Hotel willfully endangers customer lives

When customers check into a hotel, they have the expectation that the rooms are going to be safe. For customers who dare to visit the ‘Executive Inn,’ located at 2323 Boren Blvd, Seminole, Ok, checking in is literally placing your life in immediate danger. The hotel, from our investigation, is infested with roaches. However, the roaches are the least of your concerns. Black Mold, which is known to be lethal, is rampant within the rooms. How can this situation become worst? The hotel knows about it but continues to check customers into these rooms.

One individual, who wishes to be identified as J.S., recently visited the state for a wedding. After spending many hours aboard a train, he was looking forward to having an actual bed. However, this simple desire ended with him being rushed to the local emergency room. We met up with J.S. as he was getting his belongings and leaving the hotel. When entering his room, we were appalled, and sickened, by the site. Black Mold had covered multiple areas of the room, more than an inch of water had seeped through the carpet and surrounding floor. The most shocking of all was the mushrooms growing near the bed, located to where it would be located out of the sight of most customers.

We had also made contact with a woman, identified as R.D. She had informed us that she too had become very sick after staying at this hotel. Like the room of J.S., her room was infested with roaches and black mold.  But it doesn’t end there. Google holds many reviews from customers warning of the conditions of this hotel. So, doing what we do best, being that we were on site, we went to the hotel staff to get answers.

The hotel staff not only made it obvious that they did not care, they went as far as to admit that they were fully aware of the black mold. They knew that these rooms were a death sentence waiting to happen and yet they did nothing to resolve the problem. Armed with photographs I did the only humane thing possible: I made a claim to the State health department (we will post updates to this article.)

Negligence of this kind is something I have never witnessed before. The fact that the hotel is not only fully aware of this problem, but choose to continue placing customers into a situation that may very well kill them, is absolutely inexcusable. Until the legal process is complete, hopefully with their closure, it is important that the word get out; people need to be aware of what danger they are in while staying at this location. We have included some of our photographs below.

 

Water rises from the floor, simply from stepping down.

 

Potential black mold, located in the restroom.
The stem of one of several mushrooms we located within the room.

American trucking company forces woman to suffer?

We all know the importance of the commercial drivers who traverse our highways. These men and women sacrifice weeks of their lives, living on the road, to deliver the products that we all use on a daily basis, without these brave individuals, our country would simply come to an abrupt halt. However, as we have reported before, the industry is riddled with flaws, corruption, and complete disregard for these individuals. If you are curious as to the source of all of this, you only need to look as far as the companies themselves. With that in mind, this brings us to a disturbing story that we have been made aware of. This story derives the transportation carrier, ‘Hirschbach Motor lines.’

Events unfolding

Recently, a serious winter storm struck most of the Midwest. Parts of the country, such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana to name a few, were at a complete disadvantage as they desperately attempted to ward off the ice and snow, which had accumulated on the roads. Meanwhile, in Denton TX., a driver and his fiancé were walking into a truck stop for food. This mere decision would become the start of a dispute that would last hours.

They returned to the semi with little issue. However, as the young woman began to climb up its steps, she suddenly slipped, falling to the ground, and ultimately breaking her arm. Multiple drivers attempted to assist the young woman, including her soon-to-be husband, eventually getting her safely into the vehicle. As per the company’s policy, the driver called to report the incident, citing that she was in immediate need of emergency assistance. The company disregarded this. As he continued to fight with company, the driver began utilizing what medical training he had in hopes of easing her pain.

The feud

The driver continued his contact with the dispatch department, only to be given answers that, according to the young woman, were impossible. He was given suggestions such as:

  1. Taking the entire truck and trailer to the hospital. We are told this was impossible simply because both vehicle and trailer could not fit into the parking lot.
  2. Call Uber or a taxi. This was impossible due to the winter storm, they simply weren’t operating their cabs or Ubers.
  3. Drop the trailer. While this was a feasible solution, the company refused to give the driver a drop location. Dropping the trailer without their consent could had potentially cost him a job or been deemed as an abandonment by the company, which we are told is a career ending accusation.

In the end, it would be more than twenty-four hours before the young woman would get to a medical professional. Not only is this a complete disregard for human life, which is apparently a common theme within companies, it’s illegal.

Synopsis

The facts here should be rather apparent. The situation involves a young woman, riding a commercial vehicle that is owned by the company. She has a misfortunate event that leads to a broken arm. The company, at this point, has a legal responsibility: they must get her medical treatment within a timely fashion. In not doing so, the company put her at risk of contracting an infection known as ‘osteomyelitis.’ This is an infection of the bone. Though uncommon, it can become a life-threatening situation.

Furthermore, the carrier allowed her to be on the semi, documents submitted to us further confirm that the company was fully aware of the fact that she was authorized to be present, this only furthers the company’s liability in this situation. By doing nothing, providing the driver with no plausible solution for getting her medical treatment, the company has only successfully created a potential act of litigation, one to which they could not possibly win.

From the editor

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America’s war on itself

Recent events have done nothing more than demonstrate the problem that has been ignored for many years. While many of us have known that this day would arrive, the vast majority sat in the comfort of their own homes, completely ignorant of what was about to come. Today, we’re going to review the rapid progression on the “war” against the American people. This is a war brought fourth by corporations and our very own government.

Election fiasco

It should be obvious that the vast majority believe the election was rigged. While our platform has always been critical of Trump, we were even more critical of the idea of having “mail-in” votes. The concept of mailing in your vote simply left to many variables for things to go wrong. While I’m not willing to blatantly state that the election was rigged, I am willing to entertain the idea that it is very likely. Even with that aside, even with my criticism of Donald Trump, I believe, without doubt, that he is being completely railroaded by Nancy Pelosi and her “goons.”

In recent months, we saw the first impeachment process against Trump. Let’s face the reality about that process, it was a bogus situation with nothing less than ill intent. Of course, this wasn’t the last attempt to destroy the now former president. In recent weeks, in a highly controversial and potentially illegal move, we witnessed a second impeachment. This process was based on the grounds that Trump incited a riot at the capital. But did he? Well, the tweets that they are using say nothing about condoning a riot. In fact, the term didn’t even appear in the tweets; the fact is, we simply could not find any tweet to which President Trump encouraged a riot. But what about the riot itself?

Mainstream media has really bitten into this one. We know things were stolen from the capital. We know that people were killed during this riot. But what many people don’t know is how this group successfully bypassed heavily armed Security, law enforcement, and even Secret Service agents to get into this building. For that, you only have to search for videos, which are being spread all over the internet. What we see in these videos are the police opening barricades to allow the protestors in. Police are seen talking with the protestors, interacting with these “dangerous” thugs. What I’m saying here should be clear: they got in because the police literally opened the doors for them. Because of these videos, some people are lead to believe that this was actually a bait to justify impeachment.

The second impeachment is highly questionable, at best. While it would still have to go court, even with the votes already being cast, Trump will no longer be in office when this happens. This would make him the first President to ever be impeached after already being removed from his position. Of course, the second impeachment is also a first. Meanwhile, as a result of this, tensions are quickly reaching a boiling point. I no longer believe that the possibility of civil war, I now wonder when it will happen.

Further tension arose with the questionable removal of Trump from social media. While many people are surprised and shocked by this, they really shouldn’t be. For years, Facebook has taken a stance to shutdown independent media platforms, or anybody who spoke against their supported political figure; Twitter is known to do the same, though not as extreme as Facebook. The basic point is: they’ve been censoring people for years now, with no accountability, and it’s not going to stop just because of who the person is. For those who are absolutely outraged by this, questions regarding our constitutional rights arise. Can a company do this? Well, that’s tricky. Technically, they are private companies. However, as I’ve said many times before, a company who is on the stock market falls into the category of being “public domain.”

Rather or not they can do this doesn’t mean they won’t. As our own government continues to put the nails into the coffin of our democracy, at the expense of the American people, we can expect to see many more reactions. The capital riot is just the start of what could very well become an outright war. While the government has the ability to prevent this, I don’t believe they will. If anything, I believe this is exactly what they’ve been wanting to happen. After all, anybody who’s observant can see that this tension has been slowly boiling for many years now.

What comes next?

Since last October, our team has had many discussions about this very article. We all knew that it would happen, it was simply unavoidable. This article is not only exposing the legal violations, policy violations, and abuse from Facebook, this article is serving as a testament of the results from these abuses. While we have written articles previously discussing what was being done to our team, it was agreed that we needed to write the conclusion to those articles.

If you followed us on Facebook, you already know what the results were. If you’ve been following, in general, you already know what has been occurring. However, if you aren’t aware, let’s start by giving you a quick rundown to get you up to speed on things.

In September, Facebook had done an unknown action that prevented our bot from automatically posting our articles to our Facebook page, this began shortly before the other events, which will be discussed shortly, began. It took us a few weeks to even notice that this had happened. While our website showed that Facebook was connected, Twitter was connected, and so fourth, the posts simply were not going up on Facebook. After attempting to resolve this issue, with no success, we began manually posting the articles.

Though this was rather annoying, we did what had to be done. For a few weeks things were fine; this changed around October 20th. One by one, admins of the WoC page were being completely blocked out of their profiles. They were unable to comment, like, post, share, etc. However, they were able to send instant messages. In total, five of the seven admins were completely blocked from doing anything on their accounts. Facebook offered no explanation, no resolution, not even a policy that was violated. We began sending daily disputes, though Facebook blocked us from doing this as well. Finally, out of desperation, I personally began sending messages to them via the “feedback” feature. After doing this for about a week, that too was blocked.

These blocks lasted until December 19th. The entire time, we could do nothing aside watch as the platform suffered from our lack of activity. During this time, the admin who had not been affected, took control of the platform. Finally, when we were unblocked, it was decided that we would tread cautiously; this did not work.

On December 25th, I got online to four messages. Once again, the admin were blocked on Facebook. I immediately checked my profile to find that, like last time, it was also blocked. This block lasts for thirty days. As with the previous block, we have no ability to contest it. In fact, looking into the “violations” section, shows nothing. Essentially, as far as Facebook is concerned, we aren’t blocked. Though I have, once again, begun sending feedback to the site, that has now also been blocked. With this, our team had a difficult choice to make. Do we continue operating on what is clearly a site that willfully violates constitutional rights, or do we shutdown?

With much discussion, we removed the platform from the public eye, we unpublished the page. While this was a move that none of us had wanted, there simply was no alternative action. Facebook has made it abundantly clear that we are being targeted, a violation of their harassment policy, in fact. Extending beyond that, it contradicts the very words of Mark Zuckerberg, who had stated that Facebook would not censor free speech. With the removal of our Facebook page, we effectively lost more than 97% of our followers. If you aren’t aware of what this means, it means War on Corruption is on a path toward shutting its doors, or the difficult path of having to rebuild the entire platform; at this time, we are still discussing our future.

Meanwhile, Facebook is not held accountable. We aren’t the first platform to be censored out in this way. CopBlock, Freedom Thought Project, and many others have been targeted by the social media giant. Around 2018, we witnessed what many called the “Facebook purge.” During this time dozens of independent media platforms were simply shutdown by Facebook. No explanation, no reason, not even an email explaining why. Thankfully, many of these platforms recovered. Hopefully, with time, we shall too.

Targeted

December 19th, marks the day that five of the seven members of the “War on Corruption” team got unbanned. For two months, we had fought a losing battle just to obtain information as to why we had gotten banned in the first place. While, to this day, nobody associated with the platform knows why we had gotten banned, it does seem that this is a calculated and deliberate attack against the platform.

Yesterday, December 25th, like so many around the world, I had a day that was filled to the brim in events. Between exchanging gifts, family time, etc. Facebook wasn’t even on the forefront of my mind. Later in the evening, when I had finally gotten some time, I check my messages. As it would turn out, I had four new messages from the same individuals who had recently gotten unblocked from Facebook. Every one of these messages were informing me that their accounts, once again, had been blocked. You can imagine my dismay to this.

At this point, I decide to take a quick glance at my profile. Although I had not been online for the entire day, it too was blocked. The vague reason being that I had violated their community standards. However, it didn’t inform me as to how I violated these vague standards nor did it show me anything that I had posted that could had been a violation. At this point, I had my confirmation: Facebook is maliciously, willfully, and with full intent, targeting my platform and harassing those associated with it. Now this is something important and I am about to explain why.

You may, or may not, be aware of this: In 2012 Facebook placed itself into the stock market. This was good financially, but very bad for how Facebook is currently operating. Because they are in the stock market, they are no longer a private company. That’s also important to note. Being that they are no longer a private company, it is no longer a question as to rather or not they can simply run the show however they see fit. For example, in a private setting, your constitutional rights don’t mean a thing. For Facebook, who is now in the public setting, the coin flips. They can’t simply censor out your rights.

Unlike the first go around, those of us who have been shadow banned from the site, have opted to simply delete our profiles. In doing so, we have effectively destroyed our own platform, by force courtesy of Facebook and it’s tyrannical approach to freelance journalism. In the meantime, we continue to seek out others who have been targeted in this way, we continue our search for a civil rights attorney, with the hope of putting an end to the illegal activities being conducted by Facebook. Until that time, we still debate the final fate for the platform on Facebook. However, one thing is cemented: It will be removed at some point.

Are retailers violating the HIPAA ACT?

With the COVID situation running rampant, it shouldn’t be a surprise that your medical information is now being forced to be presented to employers. Failing to do so is met with consequences, loss of employment, or even suspension without pay. However, some employers, such as Dollar Tree, have taken this a step further. They not only ask for your medical information, they are accused of asking for information pertaining to related to the employee. With this accusation, a member of our team applied, got the job, and tested this theory out. This article is going to present information provided to us by a former employee and the results of what we learned first hand.

HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Act was designed in 1996 with the purpose of protecting sensitive medical information. With this act, doctors are forbidden from divulging information of any patient without having prior written consent. However, the act expands beyond that aspect. With the HIPAA Act, patients have control of their medical information, they can choose who to provide this information to, and it limits what medical information an employer can obtain; this last portion is where our article is primarily focused.

While this act doesn’t necessarily pertain to employers, there are aspects of it that do. For instance, under the HIPPA Act, an employee is not required to divulge their medical files, or even diagnosis and treatment. While we are currently in a pandemic, this changes nothing as the HIPPA Act simply does not address situations such as this. An employer asking an employee the results of a Covid test could be taken as a violation as, once again, a patient is not required to give the employee their diagnosis or treatment information. This brings us to the retail industry, who seem to ask their employees for this very piece of vital information.

Retails intrusive questions

With the information we had obtained from a source, our platform decided to go “inside” and find out for ourselves. For this, a member of our team applied at a local “Dollar Tree.” This location was selected because it was the company that we had gotten the complaint about. Like magic, the application was approved and we had our feet in the door. At this point, the investigation commenced.

The first night was uneventful. No questions were asked, just the typical “pre-opening” work. Shelves were stocked, boxes were stored, that sort of thing. Our new insider had begun to question rather or not the accusations were, in fact, even true. After working for hours, we had initially thought the investigation was a fluke. This conclusion didn’t last long, however. Prior to the insider’s employment, we had already established that if they did ask any of the questions, they were to answer at least one of them with “yes.”

The reason behind this was simply to see what the store would do in this situation. We already had established that answering “no” gave you the “right” to work, we wanted the other end of the spectrum. On night two, our insider reports that they arrived at the store. Upon entering, they were immediately stopped and asked some questions. Because this was being recorded, we are providing the very questions that were asked. We are also providing the response given by our insider.

The questions

Q: Have you been around anybody who has tested positive for Covid?

A: If I had been, there is no way that I could possibly know, so I’m going to say no. It is important to note that the employer is marked with (Q) while our insider is marked with (A.)

Q: In the past 24 hours, have you been around anybody who has been tested for Covid?

A: Yes.

Q: Wait, you’ve been around somebody who got tested for Covid?

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you know the results of their tests? (Highlighted as this question potentially violates HIPPA.)

A: No, I don’t know their tests results. Why?

Q: Because that means you can’t come into work.

A: What do you mean I can’t come to work, why not?

Q: Because you’re putting the entire store at risk.

A: Uh, okay, that makes no sense but whatever.

It’s important to note a few things within these questions. The first is the redundancy of the first question. If this had not been our insider, but another employee, they would already be at a high risk of exposure, they’re working retail. The second thing to note is what HIPAA says about asking for test results: they aren’t permitted to know what a diagnosis or treatment is. If the test were to be a positive, the employer is not permitted to know this as the patient would be diagnosed with Covid. Branching beyond that, the employer is also not permitted to know what the treatment plan for the said diagnosis is. Essentially, asking this question is a legal situation in the making. With a good attorney, this company could face a rather hefty penalty.

While all of the questions are intrusive, the specific question asking for test results, especially regarding those not employed with the company, is the smoking gun for any “litigation-happy” disgruntled employee. Expanding beyond the questions, we are left with one unanswered question: why the inconsistency?  On the first night of employment, our insider received no questions prior to their shift. However, on the second night, they were questioned. If the employers policy regarding “safety” was so serious, wouldn’t they be asking these intrusive questions prior to every shift?

While this subject, especially now, remains highly controversial, it is one that should be discussed. The question asking, “how far is to far?” is simply not asked enough. In this year alone, we have seen some of the worst violations to our rights than at any point in America’s history. Our right to religious freedom being a primary example. During this time, we saw ministers being arrested simply for refusing to cease with the practice of their religious freedoms, in the way that their religions required. But the violations didn’t start, nor did they end, there. For now, we will simply ask this one question: Will Americans ever say “enough is enough?”

 

Editorial Statement

Due to the backlash on Twitter, we are clarifying that this article is purely opinion. We are asking a question, noted by the title, and are simply responding with our thoughts. While the companies may not be violating HIPAA, by requesting information of people, who are not employed with them, we can at least establish that the privacy of those individuals have been violated.

Another Facebook purge?

This article is very different from anything we’ve written in the past. While our normal policy is to not write anything to which we are directly related, we have been forced to make an exception. Over the past month, I have uploaded three YouTube videos. The videos not only explain the apparent attack on the “War on Corruption” platform, it goes to detail the progressive censorship of my own account. Though I had hoped for a resolution, Facebook has adamantly refused to address any message I’ve sent to them. In fact, they’ve only increased the various forms of censorship to my account and my platform.

Censorship: Phase I

In the beginning, what Facebook had done was nothing more than a slight annoyance. With no explanation, not even a noted policy violation, I had found that my account had been blocked from commenting or replying to political pages. This means that I could not interact with any political figure, this immediately caught my attention. At this point and time, I was still able to comment, reply, and even post to other pages, groups, etc. At this time, I was oblivious to just how far Facebook would take this censorship.

Censorship: Phase II

After about a week of dealing with the original block, Facebook apparently decided that it was time to do additional blocks. Upon trying to post a comment to a group, which I had been able to do the previous day, I found that I had been restricted from doing so. As with the original block, no reason was given explaining why my account had been restricted. The censorship wouldn’t end here. If it did, this article wouldn’t exist. Within twenty-four hours of this new restriction, I was restricted from commenting and replying to all pages and groups. However, at this point and time, I was still able to post on the “WoC” page, though commenting and replying had now been restricted.

Censorship: Phase III

For the next few weeks, I progressively became agitated over the restriction. On top of running this media platform, I compose and sell music online. At this point and time, this had remained untouched by the nefarious goons of Facebook. However, War on Corruption had now been completely restricted from me. I could no longer post, comment, reply, or even send private messages from the platform’s page. It was, at this point that we decided to begin the process of removing WoC from Facebook completely. During this period, Facebook added yet another new restriction. Not only was I unable to post, comment, reply, or send PM’s, I now could no longer join or leave groups. Worst yet, Facebook wasn’t even finished playing this illegal form of censorship.

Censorship: Phase IV

With this, we are now up to date with the current situation. At this point, Facebook has removed my ability to post, comment, and reply from my personal profile. Furthermore, the page I have, to which I promote my side gig of music, has also been slammed by the social media giant. This means that, on two different platforms, Facebook has not only censored me, but they’ve even cut a form of my income: music. But it doesn’t end there. Out of our team of seven, five of us have been targeted in this exact same manner, all without reason or explanation. Though all of us have tried to appeal it, the results are the same. The appeal process itself has been restricted from all of us.

This means that while we have the option to appeal, should we attempt to do so it will fail to go through; Facebook will never even know that we’ve tried to fight it. As of now, our platform is being operated by two individuals of our team, the only two who have not been targeted with this illegal act. Meanwhile, I continue my search for a civil rights attorney. Not only for our team, but for the various other platforms, and individuals, targeted by Facebook.

Conclusion

With much discussion, we do have a lead into what instigated the censorship: I was critical of a specific political figure, one that Facebook supports. With their censorship, they’ve not only shown how far they will go to stop anybody who opposes their political views, they have demonstrated how far they will go to silence any journalist who speaks against those to which they support.

We aren’t writing this article to bring awareness to what is happening to our platform, we are writing this to warn other journalists, and truth seekers, of what Facebook is willing to do to silence them. We have full expectation that Facebook will shut us down. Since the time of the initial restriction, we have watched as our platform stats spiraled into oblivion. With this, we have absolutely no doubt that, much like our team, our platform is being shadow banned by the site.

During what many call the “purge,” Facebook wiped out over a dozen media platforms from their site. Among them: “Freedom Though Project,” who had well over a million followers. The habitual pattern of Facebook is to target independent media, why not? They can’t buy us off unlike the corporate giants of the media world. While Facebook continues to hold its position of being a “private” company, this is factually untrue. Facebook had ceased being a private company when they entered the public domain, the Stock Market. While this has many financial benefits for the site, it has a lot of legal disadvantages. Among them, violating constitutional rights.

Though we have no expectation of the platform surviving this, on Facebook at least, we have begun moving to other sites. Below, are links to our new locations. We hope to see you there just as we hope that Facebook will cease this unjust activity.

MeWe

Rumble

Flote

Minds

Parler

 

Journalism vs. Facebook

At this point, I’m not even going to pretend to be surprised that this article would eventually come. In fact, I doubt that anybody who reads it would be. Facebook is a company that has a notorious history of censoring people. Rather it be for political reasons, what they classify as “spam,” or simply cleaning house of freelance journalists, Facebook has long since established its guilt. However, for the company, this guilt has not come without a price. With multiple lawsuits, one would think the company would make a few policy changes.  This has not been the case. If anything, Facebook appears to be tightening the reigns on the very policies that have gotten them sued in the first place.

On my personal profile, I have multiple freelance journalists. You maybe wondering what we all have in common, why I would even mention them. The one common ground we all share is that all of our accounts have been, in some way, censored by Facebook. Furthermore, when conducting this censorship, we are given no explanation as to why.

Though Facebook has restricted my account, notice that they do not give an actual reason as to why.

On 10/20/2020,  the journalist/founder of the platform “Discuss Global,” received a message like the one photographed above. in less than twenty four hours, I also received a message indicating that my account had been “restricted.” According to Facebook’s message, I had violated a policy. However, as you can see above, there is no example of what policy was violated, nor is there a copy of the violating post/comment. For those who have been on the platform for awhile, may recall the “journalistic purge.” This purge was the mass removal of dozens of independent journalistic platforms. Among these, “Cop Block” “The Daily Haze,” and “The free thought project.” It is almost as though Facebook is attempting to take down any journalist who is critical of Trump, something that I have in common with the other targeted journalists on my “friends” list.

Though I am given the option to appeal, doing so only brings up this error. This same event occurred when other journalists attempted to appeal.

While Facebook has given us the ability to appeal this “violation,” you can see for yourself what that appeal process brings. While Facebook continues to violate the rights of independent journalists, who don’t share their political views, earlier this year, the social media giant lost a class action lawsuit. you can read here for more information into that.

It’s commonly stated that Facebook is the perfect example of how socialism works. If you speak out against anything they support, they silence you. Perhaps, with all the lawsuits, Facebook should consider looking into their own policies and how they’re enforced before violating the rights of anybody who speaks out against their political agendas. Although this can be prevented, it would require that people take a stance against the platform.