Either way, damage to the campaign has already been done. The communications blockade, which was being organized and promoted on Facebook, was going to involve flooding KKR’s phone lines and email addresses. Group members were going to ask the firm to stop funding the 416-mile, $5 billion pipeline and informing KKR that the project would violate the rights of the Wet’suwet’en people and further the climate crisis. The organizations planned to begin the online action on Monday, but without access to Facebook, organizers said, they were unable to post updates, message participants, or remain in contact with Wet’suwet’en leaders whose primary form of online communication is Facebook Messenger. So they had to cancel the action altogether.


I don’t think Facebook censoring political organizing of any stripe is a good idea. But as the organizers noted, it’s not as though the platform is taking steps to universally stop political activity. While they were prevented from engaging in activism against the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, Facebook hasn’t taken the same steps against right-wing activists.

“Videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are allowed to persist on Facebook,” Nikal said. “Yet, we are banned and receive threats for permanent removal, for posting an online petition.”


The blockings are particularly notable because they came so soon after Facebook launched its climate science information center, which obscures the massively outsized role of the global elite and fossil fuel companies in causing the crisis. The company also allowed wildfire misinformation to spread across the platform by far-right extremists before belatedly taking it down. Earlier this year, an investigation by the CBC found that fossil fuel companies and groups linked to them spent over $110,000 on Facebook ads denouncing widespread protests against the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, which means Facebook also makes money from climate disinformation.

If Facebook actually want to address the climate crisis, not censoring environmental activism, being stooges for gas companies, and allowing conspiracies to spread seems like a good place to start. Which is maybe why it hasn’t take those steps in the first place.