Conservative news outlet LaCorte News has had its Facebook Page deleted less than a day before the impeachment hearings against President Trump begin.
LaCorte News' final Facebook post before its entire network was deleted was an image of LaCorte News founder Ken LaCorte alongside text which describes how Facebook and YouTube are banning all mentions of the alleged whistleblower whose complaint led to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
According to information LaCorte News shared with Reclaim The Net, the main LaCorte News Facebook Page, other Pages run by the company, Instagram accounts run by the company, and some personal staff Facebook accounts have been removed. LaCorte News says the Facebook Pages collectively had 3.4 million followers.
Facebook has cited “spam and misrepresentation” as the reason for the Page removals.
A few days before the Pages were removed, LaCorte News was suddenly hit with multiple unexplained community standards violations and threatened with the message: “Your Page is at risk of being unpublished because of continued Community Standards violations.”
At the time, LaCorte News was reporting heavily on the alleged whistleblower but Facebook hadn't introduced its current policy which bans “any and all mentions” of the alleged whistleblower's name. LaCorte News says it complied with this original ban and had the suspension lifted temporarily. From that point, LaCorte News says it never mentioned the whistleblower's name but its Facebook Pages were ultimately still removed.
“First Facebook temporarily suspended us for reporting the whistleblower's name,” said Ken LaCorte. “We complied, and the suspension was lifted. Shortly after we posted an image about the blackout – with the whistleblower's name obscured — the company wiped out all of our pages on Facebook, Instagram and the personal accounts of me and a number of the company's writers and editors.”
The series of events are similar to those that have affected other prominent conservative Facebook Pages including the Page of David J. Harris. Jr. over the last few days. The Pages of Harris and others were suddenly hit with mass, unexplained community standards violations and then warned that they were at risk of being unpublished. Many of these Pages say the warnings were related to them publishing posts naming the alleged impeachment whistleblower.