|Counterfire's statement on Facebook shutting down the Socialist Workers Party page
On Friday Facebook took down the pages of the Socialist Workers Party and several of its local groups and the accounts of several leading activists. No reasons for this action were provided.
It can only be assumed that this is an act of political censorship which must be reversed immediately. There should be no tolerance for attacks on free speech of this kind.
There has been a concerted effort among right-wing activists to report without cause the accounts of left wing political groups and individuals on Facebook and Twitter who have posted about Palestine or in support of Jeremy Corbyn recently.
Whether or not this censorship of a British left wing organisation is part of that is yet unknown. What is clear however is that the unaccountable power of executives and administrators of social media companies and the manner in which they determine what is and isn’t acceptable public discourse must be opposed.
Facebook must reinstate the Socialist Workers Party pages and activists' accounts immediately.
SWP Press release
Facebook have reinstated the Socialist Workers Party’s (SWP) national Facebook page, some local pages and activists’ profiles, after an online campaign. Within hours of the ban, thousands of organisations and individuals put pressure on Facebook to reverse the decision- which was a clear attempt by social media bosses to shut down voices of resistance.
However dozens of SWP activists and local branch pages remain suspended.
The SWP, one of the of the biggest left wing organisations in Britain, is calling for all the remaining ones to be restored.
Facebook’s partial climbdown comes after the party’s national Facebook page—as well as accounts of local pages—were removed from the site with no explanation on Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the SWP said: “We thank all the socialists, trade unionists and campaigners for their solidarity. Their pressure forced Facebook to reverse their decision.
“We’re now calling for all Facebook to restore all of the remaining profiles and pages—the site should not be shutting down our voices.
“Facebook had already suspended dozens of our accounts in the autumn of 2020—this must not happen again.”