As some of you have recognized, our Cowspiracy Facebook page was taken down on June 29. We appealed the decision on July 6, at first believing there was an algorithm or technical glitch. We have sent numerous emails to Facebook, asking for an explanation of our "violation" and have received zero response, other than that the case was closed on August 11. Our team continues to message Facebook, asking for an explanation and requesting for our page to be reinstated/published. We are being cautious to make any assumptions in regards to Facebook's intent, but here's a web site listing all the pages that Facebook has deleted over the past few months. There does appear to be a correlation...
We recognize that this compiled list only includes unpublished groups relating to our industry, but the quantity of removals over the last few months appears to be more than coincidence and quite possibly targeted. We also recognize that Facebook's reason for removing the Cowspiracy account may be completely unrelated, but their refusal to provide any sort of explanation is suspect in and of itself, and gives us no other recourse but to seek answers based on the information available to us.
From our friend, Ryan Shapiro, President, Property of the People
"Though Facebook is fairly secretive about precisely what makes certain content so offensive it requires removal from the platform, content deemed to be “violent,” “dangerous,” or promoting “terrorist activity” falls within that category. However, these designations are often vague and subjective, and this renders them open to abuse.
Because animal rights activists threaten corporate profits by exposing the horrors of factory farming and other forms of systemic animal exploitation, animal industry groups and their allies at the FBI have long sought to cast animal activists as terrorists. Indeed, largely as a result of heavy lobbying from industry, in 2004, the FBI classified the animal rights and environmental movements the number one domestic terror threat in the United States. This is despite the fact that neither of these movements has ever once physically injured a single person in this country. Big Ag and other animal industry groups have subsequently exploited this preposterous designation to marginalize animal activists whenever possible. It is entirely plausible that industry groups successfully pressured Facebook to remove Cowspiracy’s page by falsely reporting Cowspiracy for alleged promotion of so-called animal rights terrorism.
Relatedly, as a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted by the transparency organization Property of the People, we know Big Ag groups are aggressively monitoring and seeking to silence pro-vegan and pro-animal social media efforts. For example, documents Property of the People obtained through FOIA reveal the USDA’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association identified Cowspiracy as a potential “crisis,” were “closely monitoring the social media conversations” about Cowspiracy, and strategized about how to counter Cowspiracy’s social media influence. In like vein, the USDA’s National Pork Board monitored Cowspiracy’s tweets, as well as those of celebrities endorsing the film. Other documents the organization obtained through FOIA reveal the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance sought to prevent plant-based companies from using Twitter handles containing the term “clean meat.” And a previous FOIA request of Property of the People’s exposed unlawful collusion between the USDA and Ag industry groups conspiring against the plant-based food tech company Hampton Creek, including a heavy focus on limiting Hampton Creek’s social media reach.
So, while we don’t know for sure that representatives of Big Ag conspired to have Facebook improperly remove Cowspiracy’s page, we do know this is exactly the sort of underhanded tactic the factory farming lobby has been using to silence pro-animal speech online for years. Perhaps the Ag groups didn’t do this, but their extensive history of deception and sabotage makes them the obvious and most likely culprit." -Ryan Shapiro, PhD
As a concerned community rooted in transparency and truth, we ask that you use your voice and write to Facebook, demanding reinstatement of our Cowspiracy Facebook page.
"Regardless of how and who the instigators were that took the Cowspiracy page down, we will be unyielding in our quest for re-publication, for a liberated voice."
-Kip Andersen, Co-Director of Cowspiracy