Black Lives Minneapolis organizers are pushing back against Facebook, after the group's main page was temporarily suspended -- along with several supporters' personal pages.
Leaders of the group say Facebook provided a standard explanation: that content posted on the page didn't follow posted terms and standards. Then, as Black Lives Matter supporters posted about the suspension on their personal pages, some of them found themselves frozen out as well.
Black Lives Matter organizer Lena Gardner, who was locked out of her account on Tuesday, said she believes the page was flagged and targeted because the group had been posting about a St. Paul police officer in trouble over his own posts on Facebook directing people to run over Black Lives Matter protesters.
Sgt. Jeff Rothecker was put on administrative leave after a community activist linked him to a comment posted about a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. That post read, in part: "Keep traffic flowing and don't slow down for any of these idiots who try and block the street."
Supporters of Black Lives Matter have taken to Twitter to wonder out loud why those posts were not removed, while posts calling for the officer's firing seemed to cause controversy.
"We understand Facebook is not a right, it's a private entity," Gardner said. "But we feel there are some big issues here around who they targeted."
The Black Lives Matter page was reinstated early Tuesday afternoon, along with Gardner's page. But Gardner said neither were fully functional. When anyone attempted to repost anything from the pages -- or when Gardner attempted to post on her own page -- a similar error message about unsafe links popped up.
Other activists also posted that their accounts had been shut down.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Facebook said the removal of the Black Lives Matter page was a mistake, and that it had remedied the situation: "The page was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We're very sorry about this mistake.”
But Gardner said several Black Lives Matter organizers' personal pages were frozen after Facebook looked into the problem with the group's main page.
"I think clearly we are intentionally stirring up discussion with some very serious racial tensions and issues," Gardner said. "The fact that Facebook doesn't even have processes for allowing this discussion to take place highlights how deep institutional racism goes."