@LADFLEG versus #Facebook

Have loyalists finally taken the fun out of Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD)?

Here is LAD’s own brief timeline: founded in December 2012 at the height of the flag protests, it was unpublished and then republished in July 2013 in anticipation of further protests. After acquiring 6000 likes, it was then removed from Facebook amid claims of sexual content (LAD claim there has never been any). They then launched LAD 2, getting 3,000 likes in a week and were then unpublished (as reported in the Irish News). After this they launched LAD3, which Facebook quickly unpublished. Facebook then re-instated it and then removed it again within 24 hours. LAD4 was launched next, which Facebook unpublished on 6th October after a mass reporting campaign by loyalists. LAD5 was then launched on 6th October, got 3,000 likes in 12 hours then was removed without explanation. LAD6 lasted less than three hours.

You can view excerpts from Facebook posts by loyalists urging others to report LAD here or see a typical example below.

For those who have any doubt about who they are, LAD’s own explanation is:

We exist to satirise the extremist dickheads within society who are intent on dragging Northern Ireland back to the bad old days. The six people who put LAD together are from across the political/religious spectrum and we do this for no financial reward.

LAD say they will continue as a blog, on Twitter (as @LADFLEG) and You Tube:

The obvious (and insane) paradox at the centre of this is that the offensive material being reported on the various LAD Facebook pages was being reported by the people who made the original statements on Facebook. Since Facebook uses a series of bots to register reports and complaints, they utilise a computer-based reporting profile that automatically determines when sufficient complaints have been received to close a page. Facebook simply doesn’t have the staff to manually monitor and adjudicate each individual complaint it receives.

Having repeatedly had it’s page taken down by loyalist Facebook users who know how to work the system exposes a fragility of satire: what happens when you satirise those who are beyond being satirised? As Brian John Spencers first guest post on LAD blog stated:

You either stand up and show the nonsense for what it is, or you capitulate to the enemies of modernity and let all the good that has come to the north of Ireland unravel.

What LAD has amassed over its various incarnations, is a significant archive of online comments, many plainly offensive and some clearly breaching legal guidelines. Having now reached an impasse on Facebook, it seems LAD may have to do what it exhorted others to do in terms of showing leadership. To do that, it may have to significantly break character and issue a complaint to the PSNI about some of the loyalist posters on Facebook including the evidence as posted online. While guidelines on social media with a stiff test for prosecution now exist, recent cases, such as Tony Perrins, included threats and language not markedly different from that found on many of the Facebook posts LAD lampoons.

While the comedy talent in LAD will outdoubtedly resurface elsewhere, it seems that it is time the loyalist protestors stopped being treated as a joke and were finally exposed to the rigours of the law.

, , , , , , ,

  • Rory Carr

    We could always replace the caveat, ‘Cry wolf’ to the more current, ‘Cry PissBaby !’ each time the Fleggers (and their like) come up with a new howler. Of course Tom Elliot, who has warned against ‘themmuns’ imposing “their Irish language” on poor, unsuspecting unionists, might then accuse republicans of imposing the English language on them as well.

    The poor dears. Doesn’t your heart just go out to them ? Yeah, mine neither.

  • paulG

    Rory,

    ‘Cry Pissbaby’ – like it.

    Poor, poor Tom. At least the Fleggers had a plan, albeit a moronic Pissbaby one. What great strategy did Tom have when he was in charge of the party?

    What has he just done for their prospects in Lisburn, Craigavon and Armagh?

    Thankfully, we can all sleep soundly tonight, knowing the the future of the Union is being vigilantly guarded by these inept fools.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “…pity poor Tom, for his nose is frozen, and he does shiver, and HE’S MAD! ” – Blackadder II (with a nod to Shakespeare)

  • between the bridges
  • between the bridges
  • between the bridges

    sorry about the links! this will give the flavor…https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=425941284173552&set=a.425941267506887.1073741827.100002730531955&type=1&theater

    ”Damn right Comrade! That’s good news there’s loadsa Guns for all of us. Great news for those of us in DAAP and RAAD.”

    I am sure LAD will be all over it…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    BTB

    Dude, you’re just starting to sound bitter

    One of those images (the KKK-OO one) was highlighted before you even up the link.

    The rest are quite bad too.

    But no one said that there we NO offensive imagery from ‘the other sort’, possibly just less.

    Also, they’ve made the effort to go after Loyalists around the time of ‘Fleg-a-geddon’ which I can only imagine meant using loyalisty type facebook profiles.

    If they want to come across Republican stuff then they’ll have to go diggin’, like you did.

    It strikes me as if the go for the more easily obtainable dirt, which Loyalists provide a seemingly endless supply of.

    Not all of the links worked BTW, so forgive me if there was something horrifying, I just couldn’t see them all.

  • between the bridges

    AG some of the comments on here so far…
    ——
    Is it that there’s a shortage of comparable material or no one up to the job?
    .
    LAD demonstrates that one ‘side’ is much, much worse than the other; that the problems on the unionist ‘side’ run far more deeply than on the nationalist ‘side’.

    LAD has shone a light on the vile hatred that is readily posted onface book and the like in a way that the MSM and other blogs including this one dare not.

    The charge that LAD do not treat crazy nationalists and crazy unionists similarly assumes that they are two sides of the same coin and that they behave in the same way. This isn’t true.

    If one side/element/faction behaves in a way as to invite ridicule, derision and parody then that is what will follow.
    If the other side(s)/elements/factions do not, then it will be hard for their opponents to emulate said ridicule, derision and parody.

    In the absence of evidence to the contrary, yes it appears that there are no republicans worthy of parody.
    I don’t see why this is so hard to believe, or why believing this is evidence of a pro-republican bias.

    It strikes me as if the go for the more easily obtainable dirt, which Loyalists provide a seemingly endless supply of.
    ——-

    i disagree with these comments and provide links to support my point of view…”Damn right Comrade! That’s good news there’s loadsa Guns for all of us. Great news for those of us in DAAP and RAAD.” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=425941284173552&set=a.425941267506887.1073741827.100002730531955&type=1&theater%5B

  • between the bridges

    AG sorry you meant the other links weren’t working… they were for facebook pages such as ‘tricolor at city hall’ ‘friends of irish freedom’ ‘northern irish is not a proper nationality’ ‘irish against tom dick and harry,’The North of Ireland is NOT part of Britain.’ and so on go on one and follow the ‘liked’ pages you will see what i mean…ps i’d rather sound bitter than boring dude…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    i’d rather sound bitter than boring dude…

    I second that, death over drudgery.