Solidarity pushes back Facebook ban on community and women’s groups

January 30, 2021 Greg Butterfield

Social media network Facebook is relied upon by millions of people around the globe for communication. But under billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow owners, Facebook serves the interests of profit, not people. Facebook launched its latest attack on leftists and people’s organizations shortly after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. 

Pages of several left organizations in the U.S. and Britain were summarily removed on Jan. 21-22. Hundreds of activists affiliated with those pages had their Facebook profiles “disabled” — that is, banned. When activists tried to appeal the decision, they were all notified that the ban was permanent and could not be appealed due to alleged, unspecified “violations of community standards.”

In the U.S., the pages of the Peoples Power Assembly, a leading anti-police brutality group based in Baltimore, and Women In Struggle/Mujeres En Lucha, a nationwide women’s organization affiliated with the Women’s International Democratic Federation, were removed by Facebook…. 

“It was solidarity that won the reversal,” said Sharon Black of the Peoples Power Assembly. She pointed out that there was no avenue to restore the pages until the targeted groups alerted supporters and media and threatened legal action.

“We began to hear from many other activists about unfair censorship and arbitrary Facebook decisions, without a clear appeals process. Most of those impacted have been Black, Latinx, Palestinian, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color], women and other communities whose voices have too often been marginalized.”

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