Facebook Deplatforms Hundreds of Anti-Racist Skinheads and Musicians
‘They wanted to see my ID before they would give me my account back’
Hundreds of anti-racist skinheads are reporting that Facebook has purged their accounts for allegedly violating its community standards. This week, members of ska, reggae, and SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) communities that oppose white supremacy are accusing the platform of wrongfully targeting them. Many believe that Facebook has mistakenly conflated their subculture with neo-Nazi groups because of the term “skinhead.”
“We apologize to those affected by this issue,” a Facebook spokesperson told OneZero following the publication of our report. “These accounts were removed in error and have been reinstated. We are reviewing what happened in this case and are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
It’s unclear exactly how many accounts and Pages were disabled. British journalist Garry Bushell, who is also a musician and former manager of the punk band Cockney Rejects, tweeted on Monday that hundreds of Facebook profiles in the United Kingdom were taken down. On Reddit, members of the punk subreddit complained of a “Facebook Skinhead/Punk/Oi Mega-Ban,” theorizing that simply liking or following SHARP and other non-racist skinhead Facebook pages caused people to be locked out of their accounts. On Twitter, dozens if not hundreds of people reported the same — from users in the U.K., United States, Canada, Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica.
Since the subculture intersects with various music scenes, bands and musicians were affected as well. That includes Neville Staple, Jamaica-born frontman of the well-known ska band The Specials. Staple has been referred to as the “original rude boy,” and is known for his legacy in the 2-tone ska community — a diverse musical genre with roots in Jamaica. “Please look into things before doing a general cull,” Staple tweeted on Tuesday. Staple regularly performs live music sets on Facebook, according to The Sun. (Facebook told OneZero on Wednesday that…