firstname.lastname@example.org (Geeky Anarchist) | 04.05.2011 01:25
On Friday April 29th - royal wedding day - Facebook deleted around 50 profiles belonging to political groups, most of them involved in anti-cuts activity. Among the groups affected was Notts Uncut. I interviewed one of the group to find out exactly what happened.
1. When was your Facebook page deleted?
Our facebook profile was deleted in the early hours of the 29th April. It was still there when I posted something on it at around midnight and had gone by the time I checked it at about 10am on the Friday morning.
2. How did you find out?
I found out it had been deleted when I tried to check the event page for our next action. Initially I wasn't sure what had happened but after a couple of hours starting seeing reports of other activist profiles which had also been deleted.
3. What reason did Facebook give for the deletion?
We were told that the profile had been deleted as it was a breach of facebook's terms and conditions due to being set up in a false name and that facebook profiles were for individuals not groups or organisations. Fair enough, that's true. It was technically in breach of the terms and conditions. However the profile had been in use for months (as had the other 50 ish profiles which were removed) without any issues being raised. It seems that there are many, many facebook profiles which are named for organisations, or in false names, but only the profiles for anti-cuts activist groups were removed.
4. Did you have any activities planned around the royal wedding?
We didn't have any activities planned for the royal wedding. In fact most of us have been so busy recently we were looking forward to a well earned rest and were planning to take full advantage of the free day off work. Unfortunately my free day off was mostly spent trying to retrieve all of the contacts that had been on the deleted profile and replacing the event information for our next action, which had been lost when the profile was deleted.
5. Did you have links with any of the other groups deleted?
We had links with other uncut groups both in Britain and internationally and also with some of the student groups.
6. Has this had an impact on your organising?
Yes. Our website and the UK Uncut website both linked to the facebook event page which had been deleted. As we have an event in the next week it has been really important to get all that information back out there.
7. Are you planning to continue using Facebook?
We will continue to use facebook in the short term as it is a great way of reaching large networks of people, however in the longer term we will be considering different methods of communication. We already communicate via Twitter and have our own website as well as putting details of actions on the UK Uncut website and False Economy so facebook is not our only means of communication. It is however the most interactive at the moment.
8. Do you have a message for Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO)?
Mark Zuckerberg. You may hide behind "terms and conditions" but if you really thought that the actions of facebook in deleting these profiles wouldn't be immediately transparent to the activist community you really are quite deluded.
9 What's coming up for Notts Uncut?
Notts Uncut's next action is on Saturday 7th May. We are going on a field trip to visit well known tax avoiders in a nearby location. We are meeting at Nottingham Railway Station at 10. Train fares should be between £5-£10.
email@example.com (Geeky Anarchist)