Facebook briefly deletes Extinction Rebellion Belgium’s page for ‘hate speech’
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    Facebook briefly deletes Extinction Rebellion Belgium’s page for ‘hate speech’

    Credit: Belga

    Facebook took down the ‘Extinction Rebellion Belgium’ page for several days as it considered an event of the climate action group to be promoting hate speech before republishing it on Saturday evening, the organisation said in a press release.

    “We do not know why this event was reported as hate speech, we have not been told what content was considered offensive,” a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion (XR) said.

    The reason for taking the page offline reportedly was an event that was created on 23 February 2020, for a demonstration for women’s rights on 8 March in Brussels.

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    The organisation blames Facebook for a lack of transparency about the rules. “We always comply with these standards and we have never published and will never publish content that incites hate, sexism, or racism, nor will we ever knowingly spread false information,” an XR spokesperson said.

    “These principles are important to us. We do not understand why our page was taken down. Based on the available information, this looks like nothing but censorship,” they added.

    Around 8:30 PM on Saturday, the page was republished. The organisation calls on Facebook to explain why it was deleted in the first place, and to “refrain from censoring peaceful grassroots movements.”

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times