This Friday, February 11, 2022, several administrators of the Facebook group “Freedom convoy” have been banned from the social network. Inspired by the movement that has paralyzed Ottawa, capital of Canada, for several days, this French group wishes to protest against health measures and the decline in purchasing power by invading Paris.
Concretely, the movement aims to block all travel in Paris by flooding the ring road with trucks, cars and other vehicles all weekend. Faced with the massive influx that is coming, the Prefecture of Police has banned such demonstrations during the weekend in order to maintain public order. In a press release, the authorities also undertake to “prevent the blocking of roads, verbalize and challenge violators of this ban”.
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Facebook is accused of wanting to censor the freedom convoy
In this context, Facebook has kicked out multiple admins of the French Facebook group over the past few days. On the Telegram messaging dedicated to the movement, they claim that the social network seeks to censor their actions. Supporting screenshots, several leaders show that their Facebook account has been deactivated. The social network allows you to challenge the decision for 30 days. Once this period has passed, the account will be permanently blocked.
“The group ‘freedom convoy’ and its 360,000 users has just experienced the worst censorship ever”, explains Olivier Rohaut, figurehead of the movement and claimed antivax, in a video posted on YouTube. Deprived of its three flagship administrators, the Facebook group, which has nearly 360,000 members, became inoperative. Publications must indeed be validated by an administrator.
Questioned by our colleagues from BFM TV, Facebook suggests that the administrators have sought to inflate their number of subscribers by creating fake accounts. “In France, as in other countries, we have deleted groups, personal accounts and pages concerning these protest movements for having broken several of the rules of our platforms, in particular for having spammed and deceived people to monetize their interest. for this movementexplains Facebook, which denies wanting to censor the movement.
In the past, Facebook has already taken more radical decisions to put an end to a movement gaining momentum on its platform. In 2019, the social network had no hesitation in removing the event that organized the invasion of Area 51.