The great de-platforming of 2019 continues.
The Facebook page for Natural News, a conspiracy-laden website that had almost 3 million followers, disappeared from the social network over the weekend. The Daily Beast first reported the news. It comes more than two months after Facebook vowed to crack down on pages that spread medical misinformation—such as anti-vaccination content—by reducing the distribution of such pages in the Facebook news feed.
Even before Facebook’s vow, the company had been quietly culling so-called alternative health communities. In August 2018, Fast Company reported that Facebook removed dozens of fringe health pages in an apparent crackdown on pseudoscience. But Natural News, among the most popular and incendiary of the pages, appeared to remain unscathed until now.
Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the page was removed for violating its policies against spam.
In an inflammatory blog post, Natural News founder Mike Adams, who goes by the nickname “Health Ranger,” called out the major tech CEOs for censoring speech that “questions any official narrative.” Natural News content had already been de-indexed from Google News, and its Wikipedia page is, shall we say, less than flattering.
“These criminals like Zuckerberg, Dorsey and Cook are un-elected, subject to zero transparency and offer no mechanism for due process whereby channels who are banned might defend themselves against unfair, dishonest smears or fake news attacks run by left-wing journo-terrorism hacks,” Adams wrote. “In essence, the entire internet is now run by the most lawless evil war criminals imaginable, and they have zero respect for human rights, human dignity or free speech.”
This post has been updated to reflect input from Facebook.