Facebook has permanently deleted a major pro-Donald Trump group as the social media platform faces political pressure to crack down on so-called “fake news” in its moderation practices.
The group “Donald J. Trump president of the United States” had 132,000 members when it was recently deleted. The group’s high-profile administrators have tried to find out the reasoning for the deletion, to no avail. The group was a constant source of excitement in the pro-Trump community, with people sharing articles, memes and videos supporting their president.
Tea party leader Lori Saxon, an administrator of the group, logged on to Facebook to find this crytpic message waiting for her:
Saxon said the deletion is similar to other incidents in which she or her pages have been censored by Mark Zuckerberg’s platform.
“Gerry Emery had made me Admin of ‘Wake Up America’ too. I was blocked December 23-26 for calling the guys that harassed Ivanka on the plane S–m (Cu in the middle.) Joe Newby wrote articles about the flag incident. I’ve been blocked for 4 hours quite a few times since the big Deplorables & Libnorants & Deplorables” became active as groups, Saxon told Big League Politics.
“Facebook is not free speech unless you are a lib or killer,” Saxon added.
“They’ve been after that group,” fellow Admin Bob Lindamood told Big League Politics. “It was temporarily disabled 2 months ago, and then it’s already on the radar.”
Lindamood said that nothing on the group violated Community Standards, but the deletion could have been blamed on “silly videos,” and joke and hip hop-themed videos, posted to the pro-Trump page. Lindamood said that another group, “The Deplorables,” that has over 500,000 members, has been subjected to Facebook scrutiny.
“Anything with Tump, that’s game for them to look at with so-called fake news. I haven’t seen anything fake,” Lindamood said.
The group’s creator, Jesse Delcourt, who just returned from so-called “Facebook jail” with his own personal account, told BLP that “Facebook said it wasn’t following the rules…there was nothing foul,” though he noted some “spammers” on the page. “I support Trump. I like our president. It just sucks that Facebook deleted the whole group because it took me a long time to make it to 132,000 members. I really loved the group and my supporters.”
Delcourt said that he plans to form a new group “in the hope that Facebook doesn’t delete it, they keep on deleting my stuff.”
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently urged social media platforms to “hurry up” and moderate the kind of content that she thinks helped Trump defeat her in the election.
“The other side was using content that was just flat-out false and delivering it in a very personalized way,” Clinton said at the California-based Code Conference. “If I put myself in the position of running a platform like Facebook, first of all, they’ve got to get back to trying to curate it more effectively,” she said. “Put me out of the equation, they’ve got to help prevent fake news from creating a new reality that does influence how people think of themselves, see the world, the decisions that they make.”
Facebook shareholders recently pressured Zuckeberg to cut down against “Fake News” while taking a jab at President Trump.
Arjuna Capital executive Natasha Lamb defined fake news as “content posed and disseminated with the intent to mislead, not the mainstream media which the [US] President refers to as fake news”. The supposed epidemic “needs to be managed systemically,” Lamb argued, saying that, “A lack of self regulation could incite government regulation.”
Zuckerberg vowed that Facebook has a “special focus on trying to reduce the prevalence of false news in the system.”
Zuckerberg is generating murmurs as a possible presidential candidate against Trump in 2020. Zuckerberg downplayed presidential speculation after his recent very public road trip across America, saying he was merely “doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we’re best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook and doing the best work to promote equal opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”
The Facebook founder’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently hired Obama campaign veteran David Plouffe and George W. Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman.