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Facebook accused of censoring UK activists

Posted: July 16, 2013 |   Comments

( Facebook has removed dozens of profiles from its site, causing outcries from political activists. Deactivated pages include UK Uncut, and pages created by students during 2010's university occupations.

A list posted on the Stop Facebook Purge group says Chesterfield Stop the Cuts, Tower Hamlet Greens, London Student Assembly, Southwark SoS and Bristol Uncut sites were no longer functioning. Administrators for the profiles say hundreds of links between activists have been broken.

Guy Aitchison, 26, an administrator for one of the non-functioning pages, said: "I woke up this morning to find that a lot of the groups we'd been using for anti cuts activity had disappeared. The timing of it seems suspicious, given a general political crackdown because of the wedding. It seems that dozens of other groups have also been affected, including some of the local UK Uncut groups."

It is not yet known how many groups have been affected in total. A Facebook spokeswoman explained that the profiles were suspended because they had not been registered correctly and denied that the removal of pages was politically motivated or instigated by law enforcement concerns before the royal wedding.

Jim Killock, 38 who runs the Open Rights Group, which campaigns for civil liberties on the net, said: "It's pretty flatfooted of Facebook to pull profiles without notifying users. Clearly, if you just take down sites without any warning, people are going to feel aggrieved, they're going to have activities disrupted and be unable to organise politically."

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