FACEBOOK — August 13, 2015 — An unknown Facebook administrator shut down a popular conservative page, Locked and Loaded, allegedly over a remembrance picture.
The Marine Corps military logo (above) was modified to include a black ribbon to express sympathy and support for the families of four Marines and one Navy sailor. The soldiers were killed in the terrorist slayings at a recruitment center and US Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, TN, on July 16, 2015, by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized citizen.
The administrators of Locked and Loaded ended up losing three years of work and over 53,000 members. Luckily, they had prepared for this possibility a short while back and started a corollary website built to serve as an extension of their page. The group can now be found under a second start-up page, https://www.facebook.com/LockedAndLoaded2. and at their group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lockedandloadedhangout/
Locked and Loaded provides more details, and news stories, on their ordeal here:
So the question then becomes, what to do? For non-government entities, social and legal remedies are available. Facebook provides an appeals process by which page owners can demand a decision be reversed.
However, this should be a warning to all users – if your material could possibly be subject to censorship, it might be a wise decision to start an archival blog on a platform such as WordPress, with reciprocal linking between the Facebook posts and the blog posts.
Here are some ideas for direct action in order to protest the censorship of a conservative group that is supportive of the United States and its military:
- Hashtags – use #lockedandloaded to protest in support of the group.
- Shares – share this, and other articles and posts, that support the group.
- Paired tagging – pair hashtags such as #marines and #navy with #lockedandloaded
- Twitter – tweet about Locked and Loaded, and the censorship of military support!
If you run a conservative group or page on social media, please mitigate against the loss of your data and followers by spreading your content across several different social media platforms and consider a corollary blog to document your progress and preserve your data.