Facebook has removed an Ivy League professor’s 6-year-old page, Elizabeth Warren Wiki, saying the site chronicling the Massachusetts senator’s debunked Native American heritage claims violates the tech giant’s rules against impersonation.
The page’s manager, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson, said Monday he received a message from Facebook saying, “Your page has been unpublished,” because it “doesn’t follow the Facebook Page Policies regarding impersonation and pretending to be an individual or business.”
Mr. Jacobson, who also runs the conservative news-and-opinion outlet Legal Insurrection, contested the decision, noting that the page states in its mission that, “We are not affiliated with Elizabeth Warren’s Senate office or any of her campaigns.”
“We clearly do not violate this policy,” Mr. Jacobson said on Legal Insurrection.
He said there had been no indication of problems with the page, a companion to his Elizabeth Warren Wiki site, until supporters of Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Warren rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary nomination, began citing it on social media.
“It may be ‘coincidence’ that just after the Wiki received attention in the looming Bernie-Warren battle, Facebook took down the Wiki’s Facebook page (not the Wiki website, which thankfully Facebook does not control) based on a demonstrably false claim that the page violates Facebook’s ‘impersonation’ policy,” Mr. Jacobson said.
He posted tweets from Sanders supporters who linked to information on the Wiki page, including her allegedly plagiarized “Pow Wow Chow” cookbook recipe and her claim that she was the “first nursing mother” to take the New Jersey bar exam, which a state judiciary official called unverifiable.
Mr. Jacobson said he has filed an appeal with Facebook. The Washington Times has reached out to Facebook for comment.
“Even if the page gets restored (hopefully someone with sense at Facebook will look at this), the question remains how this happened, and why a Page that is several years old was taken down without warning,” he said. “It’s another reminder, as when our YouTube page was taken down without warning, that we can’t rely on big tech.”
Ms. Warren, who has apologized for claiming to be Cherokee while teaching at Harvard Law School despite not being enrolled in a tribal nation, has surged in the 2020 presidential polls, moving ahead of Mr. Sanders and gaining on the front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
Two late September polls — Quinnipiac and Economist/YouGov — show her with a slim lead over Mr. Biden but within the margin of error.