Anti-Fracking Activists Get Fracking Facebook Page Suspended, One Appears to Assault Journalist

By Rachel Alexander Published on March 10, 2016

The Fracknation Facebook page was suspended for 24 hours after anti-fracking activists pestered Facebook with complaints about the pro-fracking page. Journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who produced and directed the documentary FrackNation, is covering a trial over alleged fracking pollution in Dimock, Pa. McAleer said he was the only journalist consistently in the court, and had been covering the plaintiffs’ case on the Facebook page where he argues the case is close to collapsing due to lack of evidence. Two families had filed a lawsuit claiming an oil and gas company polluted their water.

The activists flagged a couple of his posts as “inappropriate,” and Facebook deleted them, alleging they “violated community standards.” The page was suspended with a warning that it could be permanently deleted if the posts continued.It would set a troublesome precedent if Facebook had continued suspending the site, simply due to politically unfavorable reporting.

Happily, once media sites started reporting on the suspension, Facebook backed down and unsuspended the page.

McAleer described the posts that were targeted:

I’ve reported on the parent who alleged the gas company poisoned his children but never bothered to take them to the doctor (but did find time to take them to the media and trial lawyers for a lucrative lawsuit).

I’ve also revealed how Dr Tony Ingraffea — the favorite scientist of the anti-fracking movement — was caught lying about not being an activist and was forced to admit under oath that he had no proof that Dimock’s water was polluted by fracking. Watch him run and hide behind a woman as I ask some tough questions.

And even better I was able to report that the plaintiffs’ own lawyer admitted they had “no scientific evidence” that fracking fluids had ever polluted Dimock’s water.

McAleer wrote on the page about the suspension, “This is serious — there is so much that needs to be known about this case that has only emerged under oath in the courtroom.”

He also filmed and posted a confrontation he had outside the courtroom with a woman he describes as anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins. The incident occurred right after he tried to ask the plaintiffs if they would apologize for what he described as false allegations of water contamination by fracking. At one point in the video, Scroggins appears to attack the journalist.

As for the trial, the jury is deliberating and is expected to issue a verdict soon.

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