CrossFit Suspends its Facebook and Instagram Accounts After Censorship

By Rachel Alexander Published on May 28, 2019

The popular fitness and health program CrossFit is fighting back against Facebook censorship by suspending its accounts. This includes its Instagram account. Facebook owns Instagram.

Last week, without any warning or reason given, Facebook deleted Crossfit’s Banting7DayMealPlan user group. It had 1.65 million people. The group discusses a low carb, high fat diet. CrossFit offers nutritional guidance that goes against common beliefs. The company posted a lengthy response on its website about the incident.

Facebook reinstated the group. But CrossFit isn’t backing down. Its accounts remain shut down. The group explained, “Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.”

Facebook serves as a de facto authority over the public square.

CrossFit observes that “Facebook … serves as a de facto authority over the public square.” The company points out that this status “mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process.” CrossFit says it must remove itself from this public square. Facebook has betrayed its duties.

8 Complaints

CrossFit listed eight complaints it has with Facebook over data and privacy concerns. First, it listed Facebook sharing user data with authorities. Second, Facebook working with government security groups on massive surveillance programs. Third, Facebook censors user accounts for unknown reasons. It does this at the request of foreign governments. Fourth, Facebook collects and sells user data. It uses data-mining and surveillance tools.

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Fifth, Facebook tailors its newsfeeds to its own beliefs. They are vulnerable to misinformation campaigns. Sixth, Facebook has weak intellectual property protections. Seventh, it has poor security protocols. This has resulted in the largest security breaches of user data in history.

And finally, Facebook acts in the interests of the food and beverage industry. It deletes the accounts of users who, Crossfit claims, have “identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease.” This perspective has “resulted in the deaths of millions through preventable diseases.” This makes Facebook “complicit in the global chronic disease crisis.”

Boycott Continues

While the Banting7DayMealPlan user group has been restored, CrossFit is leaving its main Facebook and Instagram accounts shut down. It is looking into the suspension and other grievances with Facebook.

CrossFit had 3.1 million followers on its Facebook page. It had 2.4 million followers on its Instagram account. The company’s Twitter and YouTube accounts are still active.

Facebook has come under fire in recent years for suspending and banning user accounts and pages. Many on the right have discovered that they were targeted by Facebook. This may be the first time a large group not associated with political views on the right was targeted by Facebook. It also is unusual to have a suspended group fight back by boycotting Facebook. Due to its size and influence, CrossFit’s boycott will probably have some effect on Facebook.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC. Follow The Stream at streamdotorg. Send tips to rachel.alexander@stream.org.

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