In another concerning example of Big Tech censorship of conservatives, Facebook reportedly removed a pro-Second Amendment group's page from its platform this week without providing an explanation.
What are the details?
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, an active gun-rights advocacy group in the commonwealth, told the Washington Free Beacon that the group's page suddenly disappeared on Tuesday without any note from the tech giant.
In a statement, Facebook acknowledged the removal, calling its decision final, but made no mention as to why the action was taken.
"This was correctly actioned and we will not be republishing," Facebook spokeswoman Kristen Morea said. According to the Free Beacon, Morea "declined to elaborate on the decision."
Facebook confirmed the action to TheBlaze, noting that the page was removed and administrators were disabled for violating the company's Community Standards. A Facebook "group" operated by VCDL remains active on the platform. Facebook added that its removal of the page came after employees re-reviewed their original action to remove violating content found on the page.
According to Van Cleave, the group reportedly used its Facebook page primarily to organize events and communicate with members about legislative initiatives, such as to raise awareness about Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's controversial 2020 gun control agenda and to mobilize efforts for "Lobby Day," an annual pro-gun driving demonstration.
However, the group's resistance efforts may have been interpreted much differently by some in the media. In a recent article published by the Guardian, VCDL appeared to be lumped into a large group of guns rights supporters that the news outlet said were "openly discussing violent resistance and civil war."
In the article, VCDL was characterized as "a local pro-gun group that's politically to the right of the National Rifle Association" that served as "the main driver" of the state's the sanctuary movement. The movement pushes for local municipalities to act as sanctuaries for gun owners from national or state laws that are thought to impede upon citizens' Second Amendment rights.
Van Cleave was quoted in the article as saying, "I'm telling you, people that have never committed a crime, that are law-abiding, and pay their taxes, do everything right, don't even have a speeding ticket, are saying, 'I'm not giving up my guns.'"
The no-explanation ban issued by Facebook against VCDL may foreshadow similar bans against other conservative organizations, Van Cleave told the Free Beacon.
"If they did this to us, it's just a matter of time," he said. "I think we're a high-profile group and that's why we got singled out. Those who aren't as high profile as we are, I'm sure they're on the chopping block next."
Van Cleave claimed neither he nor the group ever advocated violence or were involved with protesting the 2020 election results.