Last week, Facebook shut down dozens of pages and accounts, including some that were publicizing plans for protesting the fascist “White Civil Rights Rally” in Washington, DC, on August 11, claiming suspicions that the accounts were fronts for Russian agents meddling in US politics.
One of the deleted pages, called “No Unite the Right 2 — DC,” was helping to organize a protest among a coalition of anti-fascist groups. The justification for the deletion was that one creator of the page among several was a page called “Resisters,” which Facebook investigators suspected of being connected to Russian hackers.
As the Huffington Post reported: “In addition to the Resisters, there were five other legitimate co-hosts listed on the ‘No Unite The Right 2- DC’ event page, Facebook officials acknowledged. But because the company was concerned about Resisters, it opted to wipe out the entire event.”
The ability of this monopolistic social media giant to erase “hundreds of hours of online and on-the-ground organizing,” as activists told Huffington Post, is alarming, not only for the perils it poses to organizing and First Amendment rights, but also for its underlying ideology.
Facebook’s logic is that inflammatory or radical political posts are “divisive,” and therefore, there is therefore a strong likelihood that they are the work of Russian or other foreign actors looking to weaken the US system.
I wish I could say this was a one-time mistake, but I know different. My own political Facebook posts have been censored — pending my ability to prove that I am a US citizen! The implications of this policy for immigrants exercising their rights on social media are ominous.
I was attempting to advertise on Facebook for a protest in Syracuse, New York, calling for immigrant justice and abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, when I received a message that my promotion…