Activists Decry Facebook 'Blanket Censorship' - Multichannel

Activists Decry Facebook 'Blanket Censorship'

Say legit page caught up in 'inauthentic author' deletions
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Don't count net-neutrality activist group Fight for the Future (FFTF) among those praising Facebook for taking down almost three dozen pages suspected of being "inauthentic," part of the social media platform's attempts to weed out fake news and posts from Russian election meddlers and others.

Facebook headquarters (Menlo Park, Calif.), sign at entrance

Facebook headquarters

According to FFTF, one of the pages taken down was for a "perfectly legitimate" protest organized by activists in D.C. against a Unite the Right 2 rally, a sequel to the white nationalist event in Charlottesville, N.C., last year.

Related: Sen. Warner Says Facebook Deletions Show Ongoing Election-Meddling Threat

“Arbitrary mass censorship is not the solution for the challenges democracy faces in the digital age,” said FFTF deputy director Evan Greer. “Calls for more censorship, whether they come from the left or right, pose a dangerous threat to legitimate freedom of speech and undermine the power of the Internet as a tool for people to organize, educate themselves, and challenge tyranny and corruption." 

“Dragnet censorship operations, whether related to copyright or political content, always come with serious unintended consequences, where legitimate content is taken down," Greer added.

Video: UK Politicians Say Facebook Creating 'Crisis in Democracy'

Facebook has received plenty of plaudits for the take-down, including praise on Wednesday (Aug. 1) at a hearing on social media's efforts to combat fake news and posts.  Greer also praised the move during the hearing and said other social media platforms must "continue" to fight fake news.

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