Colorlines, “Was It Racist for Facebook to Take Down a Page Opposing the ‘Unite the Right 2’ March?”

Large group of people forming a letter F icon. Social media concept. 3d illustration

While Facebook continues to be a haven for White nationalism, Holocaust denial and Islamophobia, it has recently drawn criticism for taking down an event page for a protest against the “Unite the Right 2” rally on Saturday (August 11) in Washington, D.C. The first Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, ended with the killing of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer and the wounding of 19 others. One year later, the rally’s “alt-right” organizer Jason Kessler is trying again.

Facebook officials claimed they took down “No Unite the Right 2-DC” and 31 other unrelated pages because they violated the company’s ban on “coordinated inauthentic behavior” by ”bad actors.” The D.C. counter-protest page was hosted by “Resisters,” a page with a passing link to the U.S. election-meddling, Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency. But on-the-ground antifacsist organizers said they had taken over the page and were using it to spread the word about their counter-protest

In a statement obtained by the Associated Press on August 2, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said that “legitimate Pages unwittingly helped build interest in ‘No Unite Right 2 – DC’ and posted information about transportation, materials, and locations so people could get to the protests.”

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