The administrators of a popular Aboriginal Facebook community claim their page was hacked and taken offline in an attack they believe was racially motivated.
“Blackfulla Revolution” was launched in 2014 and had 157,000 likes before it was removed last Thursday.
Posts on the page focused on Indigenous advocacy and issues like health and education. It was also used to organise rallies.
Administrator Les Thomas told the ABC the timing of the incident — about a fortnight before Australia Day — was suspicious.
Using the hashtag #whitepride, a post to the group “Brothers Unite” took credit for deleting Blackfulla Revolution, saying “now those dumb f**ks will need to start again”.
However, the page reappeared online yesterday, only this time its original administrators claimed to be locked out.
One of Brothers Unite’s administrators told the ABC they had no record of the post on their group, which they said was used to discuss men’s issues.
“I started the page a couple of weeks ago as a community for men to talk about issues like mental health, and what they’re doing on the weekend,” they said.
“I’ve no record of that post and the discussion on our group is not racist so the whole thing has surprised me.”
Brothers Unite is a closed group of about 3,500 members. An investigation of the page by the ABC did not find any racist posts.
‘It’s very suspicious’
Mr Thomas has been contributing to Blackfullas Revolution since 2015.
He said the internet was now a haven for “petty” racial abuse, and that social media could often become a “propaganda” battleground.
“There is a lot of far right, white supremacists online,” he said.
“You’ve got all sorts of people online getting up to mischief.
“I guess the timing of things is going to create immediate suspicion, and our page is central to organising events and rallies to highlight Aboriginal community concerns and ongoing injustices.
“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. It’s very suspicious.”
Blackfullas Revolution administrators claim they were scammed last Thursday after clicking on a rogue link sent to the page’s inbox.
However, administrators did not reveal how they regained control of the page again yesterday.