Singapore—He’s back. And with renewed (self-)righteous zeal, it appears. Polish blogger Michael Petraeus, whose page “Critical Spectator” was removed from Facebook on July 8, started posting again on Facebook on Wednesday, July 29.
In one day he has posted no less than seven times, which may be a new record for the blogger, although some of his posts are recycled from his website.
He wrote in one post that “the most handsome man in Singapore” helped get him back on Facebook, prompting a collective eyeroll from non-fans of Mr Petraeus often right-wing, ultra pro-government views.
However, the suspension from Facebook meant that Mr Petraeus missed a portion of the most critical period in present-day Singapore, as he was removed from the social media site just before Election Day and he missed out on all the post-GE chatter online.
In his second post since his return, Mr Petraeus explained how and why his page was removed and what he did to get it back. Facebook told him that the reason for his removal was because he used two separate accounts in managing the Critical Spectator page, and clarified why he did this.
“I know it’s against Facebook’s T&C to have more than one personal account but mine has been hounded by people for the past 4-5 years. And the way FB works is that when your personal account is banned you lose access to all your pages too. So in the gamble between being banned by trolls (and being blocked for months on end) vs. risking having an alternative account I chose the latter.”
He argued that many of the people he knows follow the same procedure, and can have between two to five separate accounts.
But Mr Petraeus added that he does not believe this was the reason for his expulsion from Facebook, “Anyway, me using a second account was a handy excuse for Facebook to ban me just after my posts got a lot of attention of some people in SG – not always good attention, of course.”
And in getting back on the platform, he wrote that he “had to pull all the strings that I could, push Facebook’s support and get the case higher up, while trying to find friends with contacts in the company, who could get me more information.”
Intriguingly, he added, “Ultimately, I was helped by the most handsome man in Singapore who got his name on the line to help me out.”
The cryptic turn of phrase had netizens wondering who the man may be, with some guessing that Mr Petraeus may be referring to businessman and former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng, who shares many of the same views with the blogger.
Other netizens, however, were less than thrilled to see Mr Petraeus again.
Mr Cheng wrote a post noting that Mr Petraeus’ page had been reinstated, but said he did not always agree with everything the blogger says.
“The critical spectator page is back.
I disagree with various things Michael P posts, especially about China, but I do not think he has ever crossed the line,” wrote the former NMP on July 29.
In another post he wrote, “I am indeed the most handsome genius in the Republic,” further fueling speculation that he had been the one who helped get the Critical spectator page back on Facebook.