CrossFit Boycotts Facebook After 1.65 Million Strong Facebook Group Is Banned
Today the popular workout and diet program CrossFit announced its decision to discontinue all use of Facebook after one of its affiliate groups, which had over 1.65 million users in its Facebook group, was banned from the platform without explanation.
After the Banting7DayMealPlan Facebook group was banned without explanation, CrossFit announced its decision to end all use of both Facebook and Instagram in an apparent boycott.
According to CrossFit, the group was used by over 1.65 million users to share advice, testimonials, and provide encouragement to users pursuing the CrossFit health plan.
Recently, Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.
Facebook and its properties host and oversee a significant share of the marketplace of public thought. To millions of individuals and communities across the world, Facebook and its properties remain the platforms where ideas and information are exchanged. Facebook thus serves as a de facto authority over the public square, arbitrating a worldwide exchange of information as well as overseeing the security of the individuals and communities who entrust their ideas, work, and private data to this platform. This mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process.
The fitness organization offered several specific complaints against Facebook. They take issue with Facebook collecting user information and providing it to government officials, specifically in the “massive citizen surveillance” program “such as PRISM,” its frequent censorship of “user accounts based on unknown criteria” and its decision to create a news feed that is “censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists,” while still “remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns”.
Then, specifically, they say that Facebook is meddling in the “food and beverage industry”:
Facebook is acting in the service of food and beverage industry interests by deleting the accounts of communities that have identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease. In this, it follows the practices of Wikipedia and other private platforms that host public content but retain the ability to remove or silence—without the opportunity for real debate or appeal—information and perspectives outside a narrow scope of belief or thought. In this case, the approved perspective has resulted in the deaths of millions through preventable diseases. Facebook is thus complicit in the global chronic disease crisis.
Earlier this month Facebook and Instagram banned several prominent right wing media figures, including Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer. Facebook is going even further with its ban of Jones, and may ban any Facebook or Instagram user who posts videos or links to videos of Jones’ TV and radio show.