Facebook removed 32 pages and accounts it said exhibited “inauthentic behavior” similar to that of the Russian propaganda operation running during the 2016 election on Tuesday. As a side effect of this action, Facebook also deleted a real event page organized by real Americans with real political concerns.
The deleted event page, called “No Unite the Right 2 – DC,” was a protest organized by a collection of anti-fascist, anti-racist, socialist and anarchist groups. The event page was the main public tool activists used to organize a protest against an upcoming white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. on Aug. 12, the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where an alleged white supremacist rammed his car into a group of protesters, killing one woman.
The No Unite the Right 2 – DC event page was created by a Facebook page called “Resisters,” before a coalition of local activists called Shut It Down D.C. took over planning for the event. According to Facebook, the Resisters page exhibited behavior similar to Russian-operated social media accounts that worked to sway public opinion during the 2016 election. And when the tech company deleted the Resisters page on Tuesday, it also took down the anti-Unite Right event page.