Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day

The Anti-Cuts Space London facebook group has been taken down without warning or permission. In the last 12 hours, facebook has deleted around 50 sites. Message people in extant groups to warn them, and tell them to get on your email list or twitter account instead. Screw you Zuckerberg.

FACEBOOK PAGES THAT HAVE BEEN DELETED IN THE LAST 12 HOURS:

Open Birkbeck
UWE Occupation
Chesterfield Stopthecuts
Camberwell AntiCuts
IVA Womensrevolution
Tower Hamlets Greens
No Cuts
ArtsAgainst Cuts
London Student Assembly
Beat’n Streets
Roscoe ‘Manchester’ Occupation
Bristol Bookfair
Newcastle Occupation
Socialist Unity
Whospeaks Forus
Ourland FreeLand
Bristol Ukuncut
Teampalestina Shaf
Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut
No Quarter Cutthewar
Bootle Labour
Claimants Fightback
Ecosocialists Unite
Comrade George Orwell
Jason Derrick
Anarchista Rebellionist
BigSociety Leeds
Slade Occupation
Anti-Cuts Across Wigan
Firstof Mayband
Don’t Break Britain United
Cockneyreject
SWP Cork
Westiminster Trades Council
York Anarchists
Rock War
Sheffield Occupation
Central London SWP
North London Solidarity
Southwark Sos
Save NHS
Rochdale Law Centre
Goldsmiths Fights Back
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day

  1. John says:

    and Sheffield Occupation

  2. Jay says:

    Horrific list. Admins of these groups should contact Facebook to find out exactly what part of these sites was infringing the Terms Of Service – and who the request for the takedown came from. Really doubt that all of them could be provably ‘planning illegal activity’ or similar, so the response could be telling…

    …But really it’s a lesson that, despite its convenience, Facebook is NOT a good channel for discussing or planning anything political. Everyone using it needs to assume that nothing they say there is private.

  3. I’m not part of those groups – but may have been part of a couple of them at some point. Tbh I left every group I was in after I realised that some of them had changed their character radically since I signed up – in some cases to supporting causes diametrically opposite to those which they supported originally. The potential for future embarrassment by being associated with groups that I don’t support is huge.

    It’s easy to imagine a conspiracy to close these groups – especially on the eve of the Royal wedding – but I’m not going to get too worked up about Facebook groups disappearing – they are not the future. There are also a good few hate filled groups – often racist – that I’d be quite happy to see go – and I know they do get deleted (and then pop up again) . And OK – free speech and all that – but if I owned Facebook I wouldn’t be hosting a platform for that kind of bigotry. If they want to exercise their right to free speech they’re welcome to host their own social networking sites.

  4. Pingback: Political Facebook Groups deleted for Royal Wedding Day « BitchKitten

  5. Network X says:

    NETWORK X has been taken down.

  6. Kwame says:

    Ourland FreeLand twitter is: @OurlandFreeland
    http://twitter.com/#!/OurlandFreeland

  7. Fred Bloggs says:

    Network X’s facebook page has also been removed

  8. Sheffield Anti-libdemconference facebook account has been disabled too

  9. I’m sure you raise a very good point, but you didn’t even attempt to explain why these groups were deleted.

  10. Pingback: Mass Facebook purge of activist groups | Bright Green

  11. occupy monaco
    and occupare monaco also gone

  12. Mary Tracy says:

    Absolutely shameful. Goes to show how “freedom of speech” and “right to protest” are valid only when the elites want them to be.

    (cool design of the facebook logo at the bottom)

    • Sam Cook says:

      Um, Facebook is a privately owned service, you only have the rights they give you.

      Sorry, but ultimately FB can delete what they like for no reason other than because they can.

      This is why it’s better to use FB as a portal rather than host for important information.

    • Vince says:

      Sorry, Mary. But, Sam’s right. Not only that but, the UK (which most ,if not all, of these sites are) does not recognize Freedom of Speech. Hell, the US Government, in many of it’s forms, doesn’t recognize Freedom of Speech either. But, even if they did Facebook is still privately owned. You can no more use “Freedom of Speech” as a defense there than you can in someone’s house. You DO have the Right (it’s innate) but, I have a Right to Private Property and you can NOT infringe upon that either.

  13. Jim Killock says:

    Were these pages, groups, or user profiles?

    Could we have URLs of what was deleted, so we can identify them to Facebook?

  14. Andrea Phillips says:

    what shall we do about this?

    • Patrick says:

      Does the hacking group Anonymous know about this? They might be able to help make Facebook change their minds…

  15. wesleep says:

    North East Walkout (page used to organise for school, college and uni students around walkouts etc.) taken down too. Please put it on your list.

  16. Marie says:

    Maybe they were trying to stop protest groups keeping in touch with each over.

  17. steve says:

    discusting

  18. Gerry Tierney says:

    This is genuinely worrying.

  19. Jimmy Hillfiger says:

    Facebook is free to use and privately owned so don’t complain about it if Facebook decides to do whatever it feels like or feels is best for itself regarding you or your content… Simple. You’re not a customer. You’re a user. Stop moaning.

    • Alicia74 says:

      Er,
      - yes you CAN complain when a free service is denied to you, but not others, on the basis of your political views, when your political views are causing neither harm nor offence to anyone
      - I’m not a user, or a customer, I’m a human. I expect the humans who run facebook to be human, and I’ll expect no less from them.
      If you expect privately-owned services to be run as though bastards run them, maybe you need to explore some facebook pages about other ways we could run our lives, other than by privately-owned services.
      Oh, oops, sorry, you can’t. Facebook just deleted them all.

      • Bruce says:

        Just remember as with just about any free service, you aren’t the customer, you’re the product. The advertisers are the customers.

    • Vince says:

      Jimmy, You can AND SHOULD complain! But, just not in an angry and attacking way. You ARE a customer and as such if you don’t like the product being sold let them know!

  20. Pingback: A good day to close down some websites » Tax Research UK

  21. ianrobo says:

    so wrong, I guess facebook is trying to appeal to capitalist sponsors then

    • Vince says:

      That is most likely the stupidest comment posted here. Since when is the Royal Family “capitalist”? They are a monarchy and would like the UK returned to that state by getting rid of the House of Commons. BTW, Facebook is a ‘capitalist’ company, d-bag. As a private company they can do what they want and Mr. Zuckerberg was probably contacted by the British government and they asked for these sites to be pulled for “safety reasons”. But, you keep pretending you know what you’re doing. You’re just another useful idiot. Wake up.

  22. Newbury Labour profile was deleted too.

  23. Christine Bergin says:

    This is blatant political interferance and censorship. If this is democracy then it is a fairytale perpetrated for the purpose of political gain. One of our most basic fredoms is freedom of speech which means communicating with others. There are a lot of people out in the real world who did not sign up for this sort of thing and a lot of people to spread the nesw that it has happened. This is a despicable act. After Thatcher’s attack on the ‘common’ people I thought it couldn’t get much worse. How wrong I was. I am now a furious 67 year old grandmother and will do my bit to bring the trolls down if I can.

  24. Terry Burns says:

    Orwell 1984/2011 Arrests of people before they commit any crime, charge battered demonstrators with attacking police battons, how much more before we see a real campaign for civil liberties and democratic rights/action

  25. Brian says:

    http://www.unionbook.org/

    They wont delete,censor,redact,remove ,hide, your account,keep Facebook for general stuff,but sign up for Unionbook.

  26. Greg Dean says:

    In Canada, I just had an event to get a voting block for a medium sized credit union deleted, then put back up. If very many people try and visit the event though, it goes down again. It’s a libertarian socialist initiative (participatory economics by Chomsky’ protege).

    • CU in the USA says:

      Would live to hear more…ran a similar sucessful campaign in the US. E mail me at n/o/i/r/23 [at] y/a/h/o/o

  27. Simon Barrow says:

    This is extraordinary… and deeply disturbing.

  28. Will2403 says:

    they have been deleted because they were not setup correctly in the first place.

    facebook had every right to delete them as they broke well known t&c.

    they would be welcome on fb if they were set up as pages by organisations rather than ‘personal profiles’ like that of real life human beings.

    why they were deleted at this time,
    who reported those pages to facebook for deletion and
    why other similar pages were not deleted

    are questions worth finding answers to.

    also, are you an erb reader or poster?

  29. lisadee0 says:

    To what end? It will be interesting to see if the pages are put back up on the 30th…

  30. Pierre says:

    Occupied Oxford has also been taken down.

  31. Ted Baumann says:

    Facebook does not need anybody’s permission to shut down a page. It is a private US company, and it has the freedom to conduct business as it pleases as it long as it complies with US law. That is democracy.

    If you don’t like it, just create your Facebook.

    • Ian Townson says:

      I see. So it’s okay for private companies to act like the North African/Middle East repressive regimes and close down facebook pages without prior notice or explanation. Apart from the fact that it is down right rude and inconsiderate could you explain what is democratic about this?

    • But I can’t call it Facebook can I ?

    • redflags says:

      “If you don’t like the phone company taking orders from the government and denying you service… why don’t you set up your own phone company?”

      Facebook is a utility. It should be open-source and not privately controlled. Every problem with facebook is related to their control, institutional bias and privateering.

      Capitalism is the opposite of democracy. Case in point.

      • M Smooth says:

        Facebook is not a utility. The Internet is (arguably) a utility, but saying privately owned sites are utilities is like saying HBO is a utility.

        Facebook should “be open-source and not privately controlled.” Do you propose that once a site reaches a certain size, that the government steps in and seizes it to take over operations? Because I don’t see any other possibility for eliminating private control from sites.

        While I strongly support open source software, it isn’t relevant to this discussion because it wouldn’t have changed the censorship that occurred when Facebook decided to delete these groups. Actually, large parts of Facebook are already open source: see the Cassandra and HipHop projects. If you’re suggesting that being open source would allow people to form alternate communities that aren’t under the thumb of Facebook management, that is true, but there are already projects out there that aim to do just that (Diaspora https://joindiaspora.com/ comes to mind).

        In short, Facebook is not an inalienable right. It’s a just a service that is provided by a private company which you pay for eliminating privacy in order to provide you with targetted ads. Their terms & conditions pretty much say that they can do what they see fit, and when you find this to be distasteful, you could always walk away from it to one of the many services that shares your own value system, or at least respects your right to express it.

    • Alicia74 says:

      Ted, your post makes no sense. It might not “need” permission, but if they didn’t like how the pages were configured because people had misunderstood the t&c (this is the best case scenario) then they can *use their own service* to email people to tell them to switch over.

      And what happens when a US law is not particularly democratic? Just because people were voted into power in one particular configuration of power allocation, does not mean that everything they subsequently decide is “democratic”. Democracy and debate are part of how we all have to make decisions about how we run our lives – sometimes that means opposing undemocratic laws. *That’s* democracy. All of these sites were examples of democracy in action, just as much as any election or parliamentary sitting. Actually, more so.

  32. The Guardian have found this story. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/29/facebook-activist-pages-purged

    As a PS , Bootle Labour are still on Facebook.

  33. trinny vickers says:

    Cant believe they deleted them all!! Wankers!!

  34. Pete Grubb says:

    What happened to freedom of speech?

    • M Smooth says:

      While I strongly disagree with Facebook’s actions, calling this a “freedom of speech” issue isn’t accurate. Freedom of speech, at least in America where Facebook is based, is the protection of speech against censorship by public entities, i.e. the government. Facebook is undeniably a private entity, and thus any legal obligation to avoid censorship is not applicable.

      The thing that these groups should take away from this incident is that Facebook is not a good platform for political organizing. They’ve shown that they are willing to bend over for corporate interests time and time again, which is to be expected — after all, they are just out to make a buck.

      Facebook is the realization of Orwell’s future with private corporations in charge instead of the state. And we are apparently more than willing to forgo any remaining semblance of privacy in exchange for access to it.

  35. RAGE AGAINST THIS ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH. THANK YOU FOR NOTICING ECOSOCIALISTS UNITE HAS BEEN CLOSED. GUTTED. AN ALTERNATIVE FORUM SITE IS http://WWW.ECOSOCIALISTSUNITE.COM. IN SOLIDARITY

  36. Charles says:

    Well UK Uncut threatened to use and abuse the royal wedding. Britain simply retaliated.

  37. derek blunn says:

    What is this: Syria, Lybia,Yemen, Israel, USA, North Korea….. (add own totalitarian state)? Have you never heard of CREDIBILITY!!!

  38. marwa says:

    Wtf what about freedom of speech I just don’t get it what’s that got to do with the royal wedding !!!

  39. Pingback: Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day « Really Open University

  40. M says:

    Many other sites have also been taken down in recent days for unexplained ‘IP infringement’. No proper explanation was given for their removal:
    http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/04/facebook-shoots-first-ignores-questions-later-account-lock-out-attack-works.ars?comments=1#comments-bar

    Since the integrity and availability of the information has been compromised, FaceBook is no longer an effective communications medium. This trend might continue until FaceBook is little more than a marketing and surveillance database, and I recommend the removal of personal information from user profiles.

  41. Zac Martin says:

    Charles dear, the UK Uncut groups stated that they WERE NOT planning any events for the wedding.

  42. Pingback: @RichardJMurphy a complete wazzock over Facebook

  43. Pingback: Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day | anticutsspace · Ixwebhostingspy Coupon Review Status

  44. FSS34 says:

    #wakeup follow @closingthebook

  45. AnonyObz says:

    The royal wedding is so much fail and shit,i don’t know who quite to point the finger at.

    You time is coming facebook,mark my words.

  46. Michael says:

    Join KILTR.com instead. We wouldn’t have taken down these pages.

  47. Jad Baydoun says:

    Wow wow wow. Let’s keep the comparisons to uprisings in the Middle-East to a minimum. There is no comparison between the oppression in these countries and Facebook taking down a few politically-charged pages.

    Like a few others have pointed out, Facebook owes nothing to its users. As a company, it cares about customers and ad providers. I haven’t read the Terms & Conditions, but something tells me they’re vague enough that they can validate doing something like this. Don’t like it? don’t use Facebook.

  48. angryfinland says:

    so typical, but then hardly unexpected, of course the powers that be will do whatever they feel is needed to stop protesters and potential anarchists or disrupters from being able to operate in times like these. The fact that many of the pages taken down are totally innocent is beside the point, innocents have always been and will always be the victims of the fight between the powers that be and their opposing forces.

    Who gave the order for these groups to be taken down needs to be known though, as is the justification used by facebook to comply with the request.

    At the end of the day we do have to remember that facebook is a private company and that the terms of agreement do state that they reserve the right to do what they want with whatever is posted there as well as to remove whatever posts and groups they see fit to.

  49. Pingback: Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day | anticutsspace · Justbluehost

  50. pjt says:

    A lot of people have some trouble reading and understanding the terms and conditions of Facebook?

    Or just understanding that “Socialist Unity” does not sound like a very credible real name of a person?

  51. Pingback: Social Media Alert – Facebook | SMLRT

  52. Janet Kaiser says:

    Interesting, isn’t it? A lot of parallels to the aftermath of the French Revolution, when all governments and institutions became extremely twitchy and repressive because thought they would be next. I wonder how Mr. Zuckerberg / FB mean to earn brownie points from chopping sites opposed to cuts in public spending and similar? The payback should be transparent, but will it be?

  53. JP-Paxton says:

    It’s very simple: if you don’t like it don’t use it! Vote with your feet!

    FB is not a democracy, it is not own by its users, it is not paid for by its users, it is a private business who is trying to make money out of loonies who think that there is such thing as free lunch.

    FB does not have to have T&C that please you, it does not have to respect freeedom of speech, it does not have to be “nice”. It is a business model which built on the limited ability of its users to actually think where they are putting their fingers in and have become addicted to the “me” society.

    OK you may want to use it for something else than navel-watching or planing a revolution. Fair enough, but FB do not have to comply to your demands and you can do that with other tool on which you can have real control. 6 billions people live without it and they don’t make a tantrum.

    So stop behaving like a 4-year old who has had his lolly taken away and start behaving like real citizen in the real world. I know it’s much harder…

  54. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  55. Pingback: Facebook is not your Village Green « Making Hay

  56. wandering raven says:

    I think it shows the risks of using these private sites to organise progressive events and actions. Becoming dependent on them makes us vulnerable, as this hiccup shows.

    Even being dependent on the internet makes us vulnerable. We shouldn’t expect that our governments will be any more sympathetic than the Chinese government, when push comes to shove.

  57. nonserviam says:

    The whole idea of “love it or leave it” is nuts. I’ll use effective tools as I please, demand and achieve what I and the vast majority of those that actually contribute labor want, and win the war against capital. Your liberal democracy is a smoke screen, facebook is ran by humans just as guilty as judges – they’ll fall.

  58. MeanDean says:

    Why were the FB pages taken down? Your guess is as good as anyone’s.
    How were they taken down? Read this:

    http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/04/facebook-shoots-first-ignores-questions-later-account-lock-out-attack-works.ars

    Basically, any jackoff with a grudge can have a FB page removed, with no recourse for the page admin.

    Fuck Facebook. Fuck ‘em with a brick.

  59. Pingback: Political Facebook Groups Deleted On Royal Wedding Day | anticutsspace | Get Online MLM Secrets

  60. Ky says:

    Facebook isn’t a utility, it’s a capitalist company that manages a large online database that people voluntarily sign up to by agreeing to it’s t&cs which basically say ‘we can do what we like with the website we own.’
    That many if you don’t seem to get this very, very basic fact and are tatting on about your freedom of speech being violated demonstrates a deep lack if understanding about
    A) The nature of Facebook
    B) The nature of freedom of speech. No one on this thread has been denied freedom if speech or political association in the public sphere by FBs actions – the very existence if this thread demonstrates that.

  61. Pingback: “Committing a protest”: The Charing Cross arrests | The Great Unrest

  62. Tom says:

    I’m happy to inform you that all the groups which used CamelCase to make Multi Word Groups into DualWord Groups were infringing the rules already, regardless of intent.

    If you have a place like

    BensBarAnd Grill, it’s a business using a personal profile instead of a page. Some examples:

    Chesterfield Stopthecuts
    Camberwell AntiCuts
    IVA Womensrevolution
    ArtsAgainst Cuts
    Whospeaks Forus
    Ourland FreeLand
    Bristol Ukuncut
    Teampalestina Shaf
    Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut

    All of these are businesses or organizations representing themselves as individuals. This is not okay. For example, let’s say I’m Prince Harry (I’m not), and I “friend” (not “like”, these aren’t pages) Ourland FreeLand because I agree (I don’t know what they represent, so I don’t). Should Ourland FreeLand have the ability to decide that I am lying and reject my friend request? Should the others?

    Did you know if someone clicks “I don’t know this person”, that’s a negative mark, and multiples can get you banned from Facebook for spamming? If all these groups masquerading as people blocked Prince Harry, he might lose his facebook account even though he was just trying to say he agreed with their causes.

    THANKS. Facebook Isn’t MySpace, so you don’t have to be a 109 year old ‘person’ when you’re a company, or whatever the trend is.

  63. Pingback: facebook and the left | Kevin Burctoolla's gaming world

  64. Javier says:

    Open Right Group is keeping a list of all groups affected here:

    http://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/FB_takedowns

  65. human bean says:

    Farcebook is evil, I don’t use it and never will. It is designed for sheep. Nice docile do what you are told and sig heil as directed sheep.

  66. Jessie Bee says:

    Some friends of mine are working on a social interest network called Tribus, it aims to compete with facebook but gives the user more control and security rather than protecting the interests of the state :\

    Its in early stages at the moment, we need people to reserve user names so that we can apply for funding and bring jobs to the North East which are very much needed in the area at the moment.

    The site is http://www.tribus.mobi

    everyone seems to complain about facebook and they have a multitude of flaws that are caused by their own greed, so why not try to help out an alternative and BE THE CHANGE! :)

  67. They were always breaking the rules and in theory they all would’ve got taken down regardless, had they read the terms and services before registering they would know they were breaking the rules, the question is not why, but why now?

    Why were they removed at the time of the royal wedding? Was it a coincidence? Was it just because a bunch of people went around and reported each profile? Facebook is trigger happy when removing things, I had a photo of my bum removed from Facebook because it fell under ‘porn’. (as flattering as someone jacking off to my bum is it was hardly nudity yet alone pornographic)

    Facebook should have told these profiles to move to a page as opposed to outright deleted, quite harsh really.

    In my opinion it’s a really bad idea to discuss activism on Facebook anyway as they record literally everything and in theory the police could abuse this to their advantage and make arrests, so in a weird way maybe Facebook is actually helping activists by forcing them to discuss their plans via a different medium, my advice would be to set up a forum to dicuss things or better yet when Diaspora is online everyone transfer to that, it’ll have complete data protection which is perfect for activism/politics etc whilst maintaining all your social networking needs.

    • Hiace says:

      The police have used Facebook in Australia to track down criminals.

      I wonder – why is it okay for the police to use FB to target crims when a FB protest page is considered to be ‘unlawful’?

      And yes – be careful what you post on FB. It can be officially be used as ‘e-evidence’ now. FB are happy to provide ‘e-evidence’ if it saves their butts.

  68. Hiace says:

    Facebook is blocking radical groups because it doesn’t want to end up with the same problems that Wikileaks has faced – i.e. having to shift between ISPs to remain active and legitimate. Eliminating the potential ‘problem’ users not only keeps FB in business, but it means the company has chosen to succumb to overarching, overbearing U.S. ‘democratic’ legislation that denies free speech.

    Long live Wikileaks.

  69. rr safety says:

    LOL… you folks don’t know the difference between a Profile and Page?

    FB is ALWAYS taking down fake profiles.

    Non-story.

  70. Patrick says:

    Forget Facebook. Check out RiseUp https://riseup.net/
    They can do most things Facebook can (ok it may not be as fancy as Facebook). RiseUp was started with radical groups in mind.

    Social neworking is still under development, but their other services should meet most of your needs.

    They are very unlikely to be sympathetic to any Chief Inspector Plod who phones up asking if certain groups can be taken down.

  71. Patrick says:

    Jason ‘vertmb’ Brown says:
    April 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    “Why were they removed at the time of the royal wedding? Was it a coincidence?”

    Why were lots of squats smashed up and raided at about the same time? Well, a royal wedding means most peoples attention is focused elsewhere.

    I think maybe Inspector Plod has been told by the Home Office to start getting nasty with would-be dissidents, and he made a few calls to Facebook. The government are expecting a summer of discontent, general strikes etc. etc. and are preparing for battle.

  72. Patrick says:

    One more link for you to check out for a Farcebook replacement, https://we.riseup.net/crabgrass/about

  73. Patrick says:

    Sorry for all the posts, I’m no trying to take your site over, but I just got this email from RiseUp’s Critical Mass group, and thought it may be of interest:

    Regarding the recent discussion about facebook, I just came across this list of
    facebook pages that were taken down in the last few days, seemingly to prevent
    people from organising protests against the royal wedding…
    http://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/FB_takedowns

    Facebook are justifying it because their rules were supposedly breached
    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/facebook-deactivates-protest-pages-in-britain/?partner=rss&emc=rss
    But this seems to be a regular pattern of events now. Pages publicising last
    month’s anti-cuts protests taken down just prior to that event too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s