At least eight Facebook groups supporting Bernie Sanders were shut down within 15 minutes of each other. It what appears to be an organized effort to flag these groups to Facebook, these groups were reported as harassment, promoting hate speech, containing sexually explicit content, etc.
@JordanChariton I am one of the admins of the Bernie Believers group over 50,000 members and we got taken down around 10PM EST.
— Angel Rivera (@AngelRiveraLib) April 26, 2016
Here are the largest reported Facebook groups impacted by this attack:
- Unofficial: Bernie Sanders for President 2016 (117,963 members)
- Bernie Sanders is my HERO (60,155 members)
- Bernie Believers [Bernie Sanders] (51,469 members)
- Bernie Sanders Activists (42,665 members)
- Bernie Sanders 2016 – Ideas Welcome (33,834 members)
All fingers point to Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC “Correct The Record,” headed by long Clinton ally, David Brock. Last Thursday the group announced that it would spend more than $1 Million into “Barrier Breakers” initiative. The purpose of the project is to “push back against” Sanders supporters on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram. While most anticipated the pushback to be 1-1 “correction” of negative (or non-positive) social media posts by Bernie Sanders’ supporters, few anticipated these attacks to stoop to this level. Many progressive authors, websites, and blogs have experienced this same type of censorship from conservative attack-groups who organize to flag progressive leaning material, particularly on Facebook. Sadly, it appears that this same tactic is being used by “progressives” against progressives. Many criticized the Super PAC’s last effort. It was heavily ridiculed on social media:
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) April 22, 2016
They learned this from conservatives doing it to them last year. Makes sense that Brock would co-opt https://t.co/hCNMcwxv95
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) April 26, 2016
All Facebook pages are back up and running.
Update: Correct the Record’s communications director, Elizabeth Shappell, denied any connection to the attacks and sent along this response to the Progressive Army:
Correct the Record’s Barrier Breakers 2016 had nothing to do with this. Currently, Barrier Breakers is exclusively engaged in positive messaging supporting Hillary Clinton.