Facebook Just Forced Its Most Powerful Critics Offline

David Gilbert:

Facebook is using its vast legal muscle to silence one of its most prominent critics.

The Real Facebook Oversight Board, a group established last month in response to the tech giant’s failure to get its actual Oversight Board up and running before the presidential election, was forced offline on Wednesday night after Facebook wrote to the internet service provider demanding the group’s website — realfacebookoversight.org — be taken offline.

The group is made up of dozens of prominent academics, activists, lawyers, and journalists whose goal is to hold Facebook accountable in the run-up to the election next month. Facebook’s own Oversight Board, which was announced 13 months ago, will not meet for the first time until later this month, and won’t consider any issues related to the election.

In a letter sent to one of the founders of the RFOB, journalist Carole Cadwalladr, the ISP SupportNation said the website was being taken offline after Facebook complained that the site was involved in “phishing.”

Phishing is when cybercriminals try and trick unsuspecting individuals into clicking on malicious links or disclosing personal information for the purpose of profiting from those actions. It’s unclear what evidence Facebook presented to support its claim that RFOB was operating a phishing website.

Many taxpayer supported K-12 school districts use Facebook (and Instagram) services, including Madison.