- Twitch-famous bounty hunter kicks down target’s door in wildly popular live stream 1 Month Ago
- New GOP bill would audit major tech companies for bias 1 Month Ago
- Instagram artist accused of faking her paintings says they’re ‘100%’ real 1 Month Ago
- Trump refuses to apologize for Central Park Five death penalty ads Today 11:08 AM
- While Rubio smiles at Trump’s campaign rally, the internet drags him Today 11:04 AM
- Dr Disrespect is still banned from Twitch. When will he be back? Today 10:36 AM
- ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is returning to theaters with new material Today 10:18 AM
- House fails to pass amendment curbing government surveillance Today 10:12 AM
- What happened when Ed Krassenstein crashed the Chapo Trap House subreddit Today 9:21 AM
- Andrew Yang comes out as pro-Bird Scooters Today 8:59 AM
- Netflix claims Adam Sandler’s ‘Murder Mystery’ broke viewing records Today 8:09 AM
- How to watch ‘Yellowstone’ online for free Today 8:00 AM
- How online allies joined a trans artist’s street art war Today 7:30 AM
- These edited videos show the dark side of your favorite cartoons Today 7:00 AM
- Coca-Cola now exists in ‘Star Wars’ canon Today 6:44 AM
Facebook meme groups go ‘Secret’ after targeted reporting spree (updated)
Stock Catalog (CC-BY)
Numerous popular Facebook meme groups suddenly began going private and unsearchable Wednesday after a mass-flagging campaign took down one prominent group with close to half a million members, Mashable reports.
Facebook users first began noticing something amiss yesterday when a flood of notifications alerted them that the privacy settings for their groups had suddenly switched to “secret.”
— morethanyell (@danielastillero) May 16, 2019
Reports indicate that the sudden shift was in response to the banning of “Crossovers Nobody Asked For (CNAF),” a well-known meme group within the Facebook community. Meme pages stated that they, too, feared removal from mass-reporting.
But who was behind the takedown of CNAF? Information points to the “Indonesian Reporting Commission (IReC),” a group whose purported aim is to remove any controversial content on Facebook, especially that which pokes fun at religion.
In response to allegations that they were responsible, IReC unpublished its Facebook page—but not before someone was able to capture a post detailing all the groups IReC had supposedly gotten removed.
Meme enthusiasts also discovered what they claim is the identity of the IReC’s leader. That individual seemingly confirmed their role after posting an apology in English to the members of CNAF.
“My reason for that wrongdoing was to delete or destroy everything negative in Facebook, like, SARA [religious offensive jokes], hoax, and others, who break Facebook rules,” the statement said. “Also…[I found] some hate-speech or religious offensive jokes.”
“I’m deeply sorry for what happened to everyone, and to our wrongdoings,” the individual added. “I, as leader of IReC, will stop IReC’s operation, and we will take responsibility for everything happened.”
Mashable reports that CNAF’s page has since been restored while other groups have also begun restoring their privacy settings back to normal.
Update 1:19pm CT, May 17: A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot that group pages infiltrated by the mass-reporting scheme will be reinstated.
“We removed several Groups from Facebook after detecting content that violated our policies,” the spokesperson said. “We since discovered that this content was posted to sabotage legitimate, non-violating Groups. We’re working to restore any Groups affected and to prevent this from happening again.”
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.