CITY protestors fighting to save the climate have hit out at one of the world’s largest social media platforms, after their online space was allegedly banned.

It is the second time that the Southampton-based group have had their page removed, which first happened in May, according to protestors.

According to a spokesperson at Extinction Rebellion (XR) Southampton, part of a global movement to protect the environment, social media company Facebook has removed their online group.

Now Facebook has launched an investigation into the matter, a spokesperson told the Daily Echo.

The first reason that was allegedly given by Facebook for removing the page was that the group had violated their Community Standards by “impersonating a business, group or individual”.

But now, members of the group have accused the site of targeting Extinction Rebellion, which is known for running several protests fighting against climate change.

XR Southampton spokesperson Manthan Pathak said: “We believe that Facebook is targeting XR groups and is preventing our members from exercising their legally-enshrined right to free speech.

“There is no protected online public space for discussion of ideas or for organised protest, and social movements like ours rely on privately-owned social media platforms like Facebook to reach out to the public.”

Manthan said they looked through their recent posts and couldn’t find any that would “constitute such a violation”.

They then appealed to having the page taken down, which received more than 3000 likes.

There was no response from Facebook and no timescale was given as to when the appeal would be reviewed, according to Manthan. They then created a separate page under a different name.

That page was then allegedly taken down on Wednesday July 15 for “being similar to one previously removed for violating our Community Standards”, which the group immediately appealed against.

Manthan added: “While they are within their rights to censor what is published, they have removed a forum on which an entire community depends without good reason.

“Their activities should be regulated more closely, and their decisions made transparent to users.

“We have been left with no option but to explore legal options, and believe strongly that this is a principle worth fighting for.”