Yesterday was Groundhog Day, a day that actually means remarkably little to many of us–I mean, who actually believes the weather is beholden to whether a groundhog sees his or her shadow on a particular day of the year, anyway?–but the movie that shares its name may be a different matter. After all, the premise of the film is that Bill Murray must relive the same day over and over again.
Of course, Groundhog Day now sparks references to that film, making the movie a bigger part of the day than the groundhog itself.
Unfortunately, it sure felt like Groundhog Day yesterday when I read a story about the Virginia Citizens Defense League getting removed from Facebook yet again.
A top Virginia gun-rights group was booted from Facebook without explanation on Tuesday, a move the tech giant confirmed but refused to explain.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, told the Washington Free Beacon that the group’s page disappeared without explanation. The company said the decision to remove the page is final—but did not provide further details.
“This was correctly actioned and we will not be republishing,” Facebook spokeswoman Kristen Morea said. She declined to elaborate on the decision.
Van Cleave said the group used its Facebook page exclusively to communicate with its members as well as organize electoral and legislative efforts. The group’s page helped raise awareness of Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D.) controversial gun-control agenda in 2020 and mobilized activists to help block some Democratic proposals. The league also took to social media to spread the word about COVID guidelines in the months leading up to a peaceful driving demonstration in Richmond on January 18. Van Cleave said the ban deprives the league of such capabilities in the future.
Of course, as previously noted, Facebook has done this before. Back at the end of January, the social media giant removed the VACDL’s page for no reason, only to restore it later. Facebook blamed that previous deletion on an error.
Van Cleave argues that if Facebook will do this to them, they can do it to anyone, and that’s a fair point.
It should also be noted that numerous Antifa pages remain, despite that group’s known propensity for actual violence that was amply demonstrated over and over again during the summer of 2020. Meanwhile, VACDL puts on a peaceful, non-violent protest and they lose their page? Yeah, no signs of bias there.
Look, Facebook is a private company and I’ve always believed that private companies have a right to run their business pretty much however they want so long as their shareholders are happy. I don’t like what they’re doing, but I don’t get a say in it except as a user of the site. I can pull my stuff and leave if I so choose, but that’s about it.
Some will turn to the government and ask them to intervene, but that’s a different disaster in the making.
No, if you want to end this kind of stupid at Facebook, people on the right need to step up and buy it. Mark Zuckerberg owns a little over 29 percent of the Facebook stock. That means more than 70 percent is out there. Buy enough of it and band together and you can make Facebook do anything you want. That includes giving the right a fair shake going forward.
If that happens, VCDL’s page could be restored and this stupidity put to rest forever.