06:48 GMT21 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Anti-racism activists in Washington, DC are outraged after Facebook removed their page as part of its investigation into so-called "inauthentic" accounts that seek to influence politics in the United States, US media reported.

    Facebook deleted the event, "No Unite the Right 2-DC," which called for protests against an upcoming white supremacist rally in Washington, DC on August 10-12. The decision has drawn the anger of the legitimate activists who were running the account at the time it was taken down, NBC News Washington reported on Thursday.

    On Tuesday, the social media giant announced that it had removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were "involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to a press release from the company. Facebook said there were connections between the fake accounts it removed and false accounts that it claims were operated by Russian agents.

    But the anti-racism activists firmly reject allegations that their event page was fake. They say the organizers behind the event at the time it was taken down include several prominent anti-racism groups, including Black Lives Matter.

    "We do not organize because of Russia, we do this to make sure our loved ones, communities and neighborhoods stay safe from fascists in, and out of, uniforms," organizers of a group called Shut It Down DC, who were among the administrators of the Facebook event page, wrote in a Twitter post about the incident. "White nationalism and supremacy is not a Russian ploy, it's a systemic problem."

    According to a report in the Huffington Post, the Facebook event page was first created by a group called Registers, which then handed it over to anti-racism activists in the US capital, who were in full control of the account when it was taken down.

    The anti-racism activists have since created a new event page for their protest and are trying to rebuild the following that they had gained on the deleted one.

    "We've since created a new Facebook event, but we know real organizing comes from talking with our neighbors and that this is a real protest in Washington, DC. It is not George Soros, it is not Russia, it is just us," Shut it Down DC said in a Twitter post.

    Facebook faced sharp criticism in March after it emerged that personal data of about 50 million of its users had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica without their permission through a special application.

    Facebook was also reportedly entangled in the US election scandal after allegations emerged that it placed Russia-sponsored advertisements that sought to manipulate the outcome of the election.

    Russian officials have repeatedly rejected the allegations that Moscow tampered with the 2016 US election as unfounded.


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    outrage, deletion, fake account, activists, anti-racism, Facebook, United States
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