(guardian.co.uk) Protest groups claim Facebook has taken down dozens of pages in a purge of activists’ accounts
Activists are claiming that dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts have been removed or suspended by the company in the last 12 hours.
The list of suspended pages include those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December’s university occupations.
A list posted on the UCL occupation blog site says the Goldsmiths Fights Back, Slade Occupation, Open Brikbeck, and Tower Hamlet Greens pages as no longer functioning.
It is not yet known how many websites have been affected in total or why they are not working. Facebook is currently looking into the issue.
Guy Aitchison, 26, an administrator for one of the non-functioning pages said, “I woke up this morning to find that a lot of the groups we’d been using for anti-cuts activity had disappeared. The timing of it seems suspicious given a general political crackdown because of the royal wedding.”
“It seems that dozens of other groups have also been affected, including some of the local UK Uncut groups.”
Earlier, it was reported that the Metropolitan police had invoked special powers to deter anarchists in central London ahead of the royal wedding.
Police threw a section 60 cordon around the whole of the royal wedding zone on Friday morning to respond to anarchists masking up at a small gathering in Soho Square in central London.
The section 60 order allows police officers to stop and search anyone without discretion. The police also imposed section 60a, which gives them the power to remove masks and balaclavas from anyone within the area.
Scotland Yard said the decision was made after individuals were seen putting on masks in Soho Square where a group of anarchists had gathered.
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from Facebook.