It began as a small group of Conservatives who were “fed up” due to what they feel was unfair censorship and suspensions from Facebook. On August 8th, a handful of Conservatives opened a group calling for all Conservatives to deactivate or suspend their accounts for 24 hours starting at midnight on August 25th. Their aim is to send a message to Facebook by doing the following:
1. Taking Facebook members off of the “live member” tally and
2. Preventing anyone from clicking on a member’s page and sending ad impressions for FB to charge their advertisers.
As of 8/11, the event has over 16,500 Conservatives participating in the event with still almost 2 weeks to go.
Many of those participating have shared stories in which they were banned or suspended and feel that Facebook is targeting them because they are Conservatives. One participant claims that she was banned for 12 hours for saying the word “Muzzie” while others claim to have been banned for sharing posts and pictures, “too many” friend requests, and non-threatening comments. Whatever the reasons for the bans, Conservatives are fighting back. They want to send a clear message to Facebook that they are being targeted and they have had enough.
Although the number of participants may be small in comparison to the number of Facebook users, the event seems to be gaining momentum. It is unknown how many will participate when the 25th rolls upon us but for now, those that organized it are happy with the groups success.
Another common complaint from those participating is that there are many pages on Facebook that are offensive and even violent, yet Facebook chooses to ignore these pages and amidst all the reporting and complaints, the pages still exist. One such page is titled, “I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive”. This page was started on May 24, 2010 and depicts a cartoon picture of Sarah Palin pointing a gun to her head. The page has been violent at times although in their description they make the claim that they in no way advocate an assassination attempt on Sarah Palin’s life. However, many of the comments from those who frequent the page are quite offensive and have even called for violence against Palin as well as other Conservatives. These are just a few examples of what this group constitutes as Facebook’s unfair tactics against Conservatives.
It is not known what impact this event will have regarding Facebook and it’s advertisers but for those participating in the Facebook Blackout, it is a chance for them to make their voices heard. They want to take a stand and this event gives them just the forum to do it.
If you would like more information on this event or would like to participate in the blackout, you can find the information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/148283362032955/?ref=br_tf