Facebook’s censorship of the video “No Third World War! Against the Ukraine war, NATO aggression and German rearmament!” by the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) has provoked strong condemnation by workers and young people. Under the hashtag #StopCensoringSocialism, supporters have opposed this act of political censorship. Under conditions where the threat of a nuclear world war between NATO and Russia is extremely great, they are speaking out against the silencing of anti-war voices.
A video statement by SGP Chairman Christoph Vandreier—which explains the political motives behind the deletion of the original video and highlights its importance in the fight against war—received more than 1,200 views and dozens of “likes” on Tiktok within a few hours. The video was also widely distributed on Instagram. “This censorship is not only directed against us, but against the mass opposition to a world war,” says Vandreier. The socialist anti-war perspective of the SGP “is to be banned and censored in the midst of deafening war propaganda for a third world war.”
Through the World Socialist Web Site and the SGP’s Twitter and other social media accounts, we received protest statements and solidarity messages, some of which we report here. We call on all readers to post their own statements under #StopCensoringSocialism and #DefendSGP and to stand up against censorship and the threat of a third world war.
Karin H. from North-Rhine Westphalia wrote:
“The political censorship of the outstanding anti-war video of the SGP by Facebook demonstrates that all voices directed against the official war propaganda and increased militarization of society are to be silenced. The video sheds light on the political background of the war in Ukraine, which is uniformly hidden in the mainstream media.
“It is clear that this censorship is related to the 2018 Verfassungsschutz report, which defames the SGP’s opposition to imperialism and militarism as anti-constitutional. This is aimed at suppressing any progressive movement against capitalist ills, which for more than two years has included a pandemic policy that follows the principle of ‘profits before life.’
“The war in Ukraine is used by the NATO states, among other things, to distract from internal social crises and to divert internal conflicts outwards. The political censorship, which must be strongly protested against, is also trying to prevent this from being clarified.”
“The video is super successful,” says Steffi M. from Bochum, a member of the Network of Rank-and-File Committees for Safe Education, which fights against the mass infection of children in schools with COVID-19. She continued:
“YouTube has a problem with placing the blame on the US and NATO. Facebook is heading in the same direction. I also see it as the case that the people of Ukraine are being sacrificed to a war from which only the imperialist powers benefit. They are playing chess.
“You are one of the few who can see beyond mainstream propaganda. I am glad about that. In the video I found content that I did not know or could not place in context. I see no reason to censor your video.”
Michael (19), a high school graduate from Berlin, wrote on Twitter:
“Facebook deleted the SGP’s anti-war video for no reason. Clearly an anti-communist action, which continues to drive the warmongering and censors every possible criticism of NATO imperialism!”
Joshua, a student from Bavaria and member of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), stated:
“I strongly condemn Facebook’s censorship of the important anti-war video! The censorship is intended to intimidate all progressive and left-wing forces. But I think it also shows that the ruling class is afraid that socialists could regain a great influence in the working class.
“As the large number of viewers of the video proves, that is exactly the case. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which both the Western imperialists and the Kremlin are escalating and provoking a nuclear third world war, the socialist perspective of the SGP is gaining great popularity in the working class.
“The conclusion from the censorship is that all workers, students and young people must build the SGP and the International Committee of the Fourth International, as it is the only political force with a real perspective against war!”
Petra K., who lives near Cologne, said:
“I hereby expressly protest against the censorship of the video ‘No Third World War’ by the tech company Meta and urge Facebook to stop the video censorship IMMEDIATELY! This kind of political censorship against the dissemination of information about the danger of a third world war is unacceptable! Everyone has the right to free access to all media in order to form their own opinion. The practice of censorship here is a sign of the suppression of freedom of expression and of a pure dictatorship of opinion which is unacceptable in a democracy! I and countless others will not accept this and fight against it!”
Ela, a student from Munich, wrote:
“The SGP’s video censored by Facebook speaks for the broad mass of the population, who have internalised the principle ‘Never again war!’ after two world wars. It takes a principled stance against war, rearmament and militarism and shows that by building an independent anti-war movement in the working class, destruction and human suffering can be ended. The censorship is intended to intimidate anyone who is looking for a perspective, while all parties in the Bundestag are on course for war without exception.
“The war in Ukraine did not emerge ‘just like that.’ Anyone who deals with the complex background presented in the video by the SGP understands that Russia and also the US and their NATO allies play an equally reactionary role in this war. But such statements are undesirable and censorship is a tried and tested means of suppressing opposition. At the same time, the Ukrainian working class is helplessly at the mercy of this geostrategic game of chess.”
Tamino, a student from Baden-Württemberg and an IYSSE member, stated:
“The censorship of the video is an attack on the broad anti-war sentiment in the population. The high number of views that the video had before it was deleted underscores the broad interest among the population in a perspective for the fight against war and a real analysis of the causes of war.
“The deletion of the video also forms part of a series of measures used by the ruling class worldwide to suppress opposition to the war. This includes the capture of Julian Assange. Therefore, only a mobilization of the working class can stop the censorship and end the war.”
Florian, another student from Baden-Württemberg and an IYSSE member, said:
“I strongly condemn Facebook’s censorship. The SGP acts with its work to prevent a nuclear war that would mean the extinction of the human species. It shows possibilities and perspectives for how this can be done—namely by eliminating the reason that is responsible for the war in Ukraine as well as for the policy of mass infection during the pandemic and the massive social attacks: capitalism.
“If the SGP is now censored, this not only reveals the character of the ruling class, which does not want to allow any left-wing opposition to its inhuman policies—it also shows the fear within the ruling class that the SGP can spread its program among millions of workers.
“All workers and young people should firmly oppose censorship. Tech companies such as Facebook must be placed under the control of the workers to ensure the democratic exchange of ideas. Anyone who agrees with this position should contact the SGP as soon as possible and fight for the preservation of democratic rights, democracy and peace.”
Daniel, a worker from Dresden, commented:
“The censorship of the video is a first step by the ruling class to actively suppress and silence a serious opposition to war and criticism of the aggressive hate speech against everything Russian. The war crimes of the US and its NATO allies in the last 30 years and beyond are not mentioned in the official discourse. The video is absolutely important to understand the current situation and to place it in its correct historical context. The war won’t be ended by NATO, but was incited by it! Only an independent movement of the working class, the great majority of humanity, can bring the war and wars in general to an end. Support the SGP and the ICFI and strongly condemn this censorship!”
We strongly appeal to our readers to write further statements denouncing Facebook’s censorship under the hashtags #StopCensoringSocialism and #DefendSGP and to disseminate the censored video and WSWS articles on the topic as widely as possible.