Yesterday I wrote how Facebook takes down Elizabeth Warren Wiki page devoted to documenting her Cherokee and other controversies.

The Facebook page went live in February 2013, at the same time that ElizabethWarrenWiki.org went live.

The takedown was based on the plainly false claim that the Facebook page violated Facebook’s “Impersonation” policy:

We clearly do not violate this policy. The Wiki page does not purport to “impersonate” Warren — the title of the page specifically has “Wiki” in it indicating it is not purporting to be Elizabeth Warren. Beyond the title, the “About” section makes the following disclosures (which are what the Facebook policy says should be done — see above)…

Mission

Elizabeth Warren Wiki’s mission is to be the most comprehensive repository of information and links regarding Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This Wiki site is not affiliated with Senator Warren or her campaign.

So the Elizabeth Warren Wiki Facebook Page in its title relates to Elizabeth Warren Wiki, which has been in existence since February 2013, does not purport to be Elizabeth Warren, and just so there is no confusion, has disclosures of the type Facebook specifically says should be made.

Nonetheless, the page was taken down without warning based on a false claim that it violated Facebook’s Impersonation policy.

The takedown generated substantial media and social media attention.

My tweet announcing the takedown has received almost 1000 retweets:

The story was covered by Fox News, Prof challenges Facebook for removing Warren controversy page:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/facebook-elizabeth-warrens-controversies

…. Jacobson maintains that the page was in line with Facebook standards as it carried a disclaimer that said that it was not affiliated with Warren’s campaign or Senate office. He posted a screengrab of that disclaimer in an article for Legal Insurrection. He also said that the site never attempted to impersonate Warren, even with the disclaimer.

“The page is called ‘Elizabeth Warren Wiki’ and it has a link to the wiki website and all of the content posted was from the wiki website, so no one could look at the page and think this is her campaign or Senate office because everything was from the wiki website,” he said.

“I think we covered all our bases, and I don’t know how this happened,” he said.

The Washington Time also covered the story, Facebook shuts down professor’s page debunking Warren’s Native American ancestry claims:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/oct/1/facebook-shuts-down-professors-page-debunking-warr/:

Facebook has removed an Ivy League professor’s 6-year-old page, Elizabeth Warren Wiki, saying the site chronicling the Massachusetts senator’s debunked Native American heritage claims violates the tech giant’s rules against impersonation.

The page’s manager, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson, said Monday he received a message from Facebook saying, “Your page has been unpublished,” because it “doesn’t follow the Facebook Page Policies regarding impersonation and pretending to be an individual or business.”

Mr. Jacobson, who also runs the conservative news-and-opinion outlet Legal Insurrection, contested the decision, noting that the page states in its mission that, “We are not affiliated with Elizabeth Warren’s Senate office or any of her campaigns.”

“We clearly do not violate this policy,” Mr. Jacobson said on Legal Insurrection.

He said there had been no indication of problems with the page, a companion to his Elizabeth Warren Wiki site, until supporters of Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Warren rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary nomination, began citing it on social media.

“It may be ‘coincidence’ that just after the Wiki received attention in the looming Bernie-Warren battle, Facebook took down the Wiki’s Facebook page (not the Wiki website, which thankfully Facebook does not control) based on a demonstrably false claim that the page violates Facebook’s ‘impersonation’ policy,” Mr. Jacobson said.

He posted tweets from Sanders supporters who linked to information on the Wiki page, including her allegedly plagiarized “Pow Wow Chow” cookbook recipe and her claim that she was the “first nursing mother” to take the New Jersey bar exam, which a state judiciary official called unverifiable.

Both the Fox News and Washington Times articles indicated they had reached out to Facebook for comment. That media attention likely was a big factor in the page being restored. I received this notice at 7:11 p.m. tonight:

So the page is back, but the risk of shutdown by big tech remains.

 
 
donate
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.