'On Sunday, polling day in the European elections, the largest Facebook group associated with the “yellow vest” protests in France, with more than 350,000 members, was frozen so that members could not publish or share information in it.
The group, named “France in anger—Map of rallies” (France en colère—Carte des rassemblements), is used by its members to organize locations for “yellow vest” demonstrations against the Emmanuel Macron government and to share news articles, political statements and videos of police violence.
At 12:29 p.m. on Sunday, one of the group’s administrators posted a notice informing members that “following automatic changes introduced by Facebook beginning on May 6, 2019, notifications for Yellow Vest groups hardly appear, giving the impression of inactivity of the movement.” The message provided instructions for members to manually override the changes introduced by Facebook to show notifications for new activity.
The administrators further announced that “we have been encountering major technical difficulties since this morning,” without providing further information. “We are not able to find a durable solution at present. We are therefore taking the delicate decision to put the group on pause. We hope for a resolution of the situation at the end of the evening.” The freeze lasted until the early hours of yesterday morning.
In a Facebook group, every member can post material to the group’s feed, which is visible to every other member. Many group members posted comments in response to the announcement opposing Facebook’s act of censorship. Some said they were able to add comments to existing posts, but could not publish or share posts.
“In effect, I made the change as indicated because it seemed that no one was commenting. Long live Facebook’s censorship,” said one. “I’m sure that Facebook is intentionally disrupting this group,” said another. “Impossible to publish and therefore to inform,” replied a third.'
Read more: “Yellow Vest” Facebook group with 350,000 members frozen on European election day
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