CrossFit Suspends Its Facebook, Instagram Accounts Over Privacy Concerns

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CrossFit has dropped its Facebook and Instagram accounts, with the fitness company saying it is concerned about privacy for the millions of users after the abrupt and unexplained deletion of one of its pages.

The company announced late this week that Facebook had taken down its Banting7DayMealPlan user group, which had more than 1.65 million members. The company said that it defends the right of its trainers and athletes to practice CrossFit and build voluntary associations and businesses and speak freely about their ideas and practices regarding fitness and that the action went against these principles.

The statement noted that the company and its social media pages had “long catalogued CrossFit’s tireless defense of its community against overreaching governments, malicious competitors, and corrupt academic organizations,” and that the actions by Facebook undermined these efforts.

The site that had been deleted was since reinstated, but CrossFit said the abrupt deletion “should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.”

The fitness company added that it has lost its faith in Facebook after the incident.

“Facebook thus serves as a de facto authority over the public square, arbitrating a worldwide exchange of information as well as overseeing the security of the individuals and communities who entrust their ideas, work, and private data to this platform. This mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process,” it said.

Facebook has come under fire this weekend for other decisions, including choosing not to delete altered and deceptively edited videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made it look as if she were incoherent and inebriated. Facebook defended its decision not to delete the videos, saying instead it would add a disclaimer saying that the video had been altered and allow users to make decisions for themselves about it.

The decision came under fire, especially among those still critical of the platform for not taking action against Russian propaganda that spread there during the 2016 presidential election.

CrossFit’s decision to delete its Facebook and Instagram pages had caused some initial confusion among users, with many taking to social media to inquire about whether the deletions were intentional or an accident.

The decision also earned some praise from Facebook critics, both on the left and right, who have taken aim at the social media outlet for what is seen as efforts to quash political voices.