In another Big Tech purge, Facebook recently banned the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a top Second Amendment advocacy group, without any explanation. While they confirmed to yanking the account from its platform, they refused to elaborate on the justification of the ban.
“If they did this to us, it’s just a matter of time. I think we’re a high-profile group and that’s why we got singled out. Those who aren’t as high profile as we are, I’m sure they’re on the chopping block next,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
The group said this wasn’t even the first time. At the end of January, Facebook blocked the group from posting before later restoring its page – also without explanation. They blamed the removal on an “error” and apologized. At the same time, Facebook suspended Cleave’s personal account and would not offer details due to a “very real and credible threat that people can game the system” if they understand how it works.
The lack of clarity in the ban suggests that the move is ‘political’ by silencing conservative voices and will soon expand to other gun groups. Cleave confirmed that the group never advocated violence or were involved with protesting the 2020 election results. “It’s just a yo-yo effect: Apologize. Put it up. Take it down. It sounds like it’s just the politics they don’t like,” he said.
The group’s page helped bring awareness within their own state and Gov. Ralph Northam’s controversial gun-control agendas. They helped organize electoral and legislative efforts to block several Democratic proposals. They also used the page to spread the word about COVID-19 guidelines in the months leading up to a peaceful driving demonstration in Richmond. Cleave said the ban would also deprive the league of such capabilities in the future.
Facebook spokeswoman Kristen Morea issued a statement that “This was correctly actioned and we will not be republishing.” She declined to elaborate on the decision and called it final. Facebook said the page was disabled for “violating content” and broke the company’s Community Standards.
Facebook’s hostility towards free speech and the Second Amendment have angered conservative voices nationwide, but is nothing new. They’ve also been the target of criticism from the radical left who claim that social media platforms do not do enough to “stop the spread of misinformation and extremist content.” According to the left, it’s only misinformation if it doesn’t fit their narrative.
Other pro-gun and pro-law enforcement groups shared their stories of Facebook removing their pages with little warning. The group Michigan 2A for Sanctuary Counties was shut down last October because it “violated” Facebook’s policy on militarized social movements. The group was founded as a way to organize support for local resolutions to declare counties ‘sanctuaries’ for the Second Amendment.
Facebook repeatedly avoids the questions that specify what was violated and when. It’s clear they have it out for our constitutional rights and will do whatever it takes to silence the majority. It was the First Amendment and now it’s the second on the chopping block.