In the midst of a context of profound censorship and persecution of any environmental resistance to the advance of fracking and open-tip mining in Mendoza province, the Facebook group “MendozaSinFracking” built by EcoLeaks to keep people informed and connected had grown to over 42,000 members to become the largest of environmental group in Argentina, and the largest anti-fracking group in the world. It enables the fight to go on despite severe censorship of all mainstream media, rendering useless the government’s efforts to silence the resistance and keep people uninformed. The far-reaching access of the publications made in the group have been a powerful tool throughout the fight, sometimes allowing time sensitive information of reach the public on time to take to the streets.
Yet now Facebook, which is known to be deeply connected to the government and is facing worldwide scrutiny and prosecution over its abuse of user information, selling big data to governments and otherwise manipulating information, suddenly and without any notice deleted 14,000 members from our group.
The government has previously attempted to destroy the group by infiltrating it and creating divisions within, even tainting it as violent with their own trolls publishing calls to violence. Now Facebook is playing into its hands by severely reducing the reach of our most important communicational tool to break through the censorship of the mainstream media.