There is a deeply disturbing development going on now at Facebook: Its management is dismantling groups, eliminating their memberships with an “upgrade” that is only available to some groups. And there is every indication Facebook is using political criteria to determine which groups get the upgrade and targeting conservative groups for elimination.
In mid-May, my group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) had this warning plastered across the top of our Facebook group page, which we use to keep in touch with our members, notifying them of rallies, events, conference, and various other initiatives:
This group is scheduled to be archived
Over the next few months, Facebook will be archiving all groups created using the old groups format. Moving forward, you can create groups using the new groups format, which makes it easy to share with the important groups in your life.
Understand that some groups are given the option (a link) to upgrade. If your group page has this link, you can upgrade and keep all your members.
But what happens when a Facebook group doesn’t get offered the upgrade option and instead gets archived? You lose your members, that’s what. The Facebook notice explained that “when your old group gets archived, it will be converted to the new groups format. Almost everything from your old group will be available in the archived group, with a few exceptions.” Casually tossed in among those “few exceptions” was “the members of your old group.”
That means that with this upgrade, Facebook can wipe out networks some people have been painstakingly building for years and make them have to start from scratch.
Our SIOA group has well over 15,000 members – but they will not be migrated to the “new group.”
So who gets the upgrade option and why? Who decides? Here is a short list of some of the groups not given the option; therefore, they will lose all their members: Americans Calling for Impeachment of Obama; International Burn a Quran Day; Rally Point For Victims of FB-Jihad; Anti-CAIR; CAIR Observatory; World Wide Elimination Of Sharia Law; and The Order of The Burning Quran.
Meanwhile, groups that are not to be archived and will keep their membership include Americans Against Islamophobia; Islam … religion of peace; the Cordoba Initiative (that is, the group planning to build an Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero); and LoonWatch.
Neil Munro over at the Daily Caller has picked up on the story and done some digging. He points out that the Coalition to Save Marriage in New York, which tried to stop a gay-marriage initiative in New York’s State Assembly, didn’t get the upgrade, but the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has fewer members than the Save Marriage group, got the upgrade with no problem. Jason McGuire of the Coalition to Save Marriage in New York commented: “Nobody else that I know got one. You do have to wonder if Facebook is leaning towards liberal positions, instead of being on open format.”
Andrew Noyes, the company’s manager for public policy communications, claimed that groups that were less active didn’t get the upgrade, but he was lying. SIOA was a large and active group. So why didn’t we get the upgrade?
Munro offers a clue as to why: Facebook’s “employees donated heavily to the Obama campaign in 2008, just as did the employees of Google and Microsoft. Facebook founder Chris Hughes worked as head of the online-organizing campaign for the Obama campaign, while company chief Mark Zuckerberg has declared himself to be an Obama supporter.” Munro reported that Noyes also admitted that he had “worked informally with gay activists to knock down Facebook pages they disliked.”
Ah, yes. Clearly this is a politically motivated move, as we move into the presidential election year, to dismantle the apparatus of groups that rely on grass-roots efforts to combat the massive left-wing machinery Barack Obama and Co. used so effectively in 2008 to mobilize his constituency.
This censorship is outrageous. And yet it hasn’t so much as raised an eyebrow in big-media circles. The left-wing media won’t care about the death of free speech in the United States until the crocodile they’re feeding turns around and eats them.