Facebook’s DIO policy censors a Sri Lankan publication

Thusiyan Nandakumar, the Tamil Guardian’s editor said that over the past several years, Facebook has twice suspended the publication’s Instagram account and removed dozens of its posts without warning — each time claiming a violation of the Dangerous Individuals and Organisations (DIO) policy. 

The censorship comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of this policy from free speech advocates, civil society groups, and even the company’s official Oversight Board.

A string of meetings with Facebook have yielded nothing more than vague assurances, dissembling, and continued deletions, according to Nandakumar.  

Faced with ongoing censorship, the Guardian’s staff have decided to self-censor, sparingly using the outlet’s Instagram account for fear of losing it permanently.

Civil liberties advocates who discussed the Tamil Guardian’s treatment said that it’s an immediately familiar dynamic and part of a troubling trend.