An anonymous Facebook page created at the University of Illinois may have been among the first White Student Union pages to on Facebook. (Photo/Facebook Screenshot)
More than 30 White-oriented student union pages have surfaced on Facebook since the Nov. 18 appearance of an “Illinois White Student Union” page.
Created shortly after Black students held a rally at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the page announced itself as “a new page for White students of University of Illinois to be able to form a community and discuss our own issues as well as be able to organize against the terrorism we have been facing from Black Lives Matter activists on campus,” The Daily Illini, an independent student-run campus newspaper on campus.
Since then, anonymous pages apparently affiliated with schools including George Washington University in D.C., New York University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have appeared on Facebook, causing university officials to report the pages to the social media company.
NYU White Student Union page created on Facebook. (Photo/Favebook Screenshot)
“Other universities around the country have seen similar pages being created in the last week in what appears to be an orchestrated effort. Many have already spoken out against the vitriol and we are asking that the other universities (tagged below) join us in asking Facebook to delete these pages, which are being used for harassment and intimidation,” George Washington University posted on its own Facebook account on Nov. 23.
According to USA Today, a spokesperson from Facebook said accounts can only be deleted if they violate community standards.
“Accounts that don’t violate community standards will not be removed including pages publishing content which “directly attacks people based on their race,” a Facebook spokesperson told the newspaper.
However, Facebook said some White student union pages which joined the social media site using an unauthentic name and identity were deleted because they violate community standards.
Several universities also sought to protect their school’s identity, such as New York University, which took action against a student union page intended for its students.
“There is no such organization as this at NYU, the Facebook page is using NYU’s logo illegally and without permission, and we have contacted Facebook to demand the NYU logo be removed,” Matt Nagel, director for public affairs at NYU, told the New York Daily News. Nagel encouraged other schools to reject the Facebook pages.