Deletes Court Reports Exposing Collapsing “Pollution” Case
FACEBOOK has removed posts and suspended the page of a journalist covering a controversial court case after a targeted campaign by anti-fracking activists.
Journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer has condemned Facebook for allowing the censorship of posts that are court reports of an important case. The attacks on the FrackNation page started as McAleer’s posts on the alleged Dimock Water Pollution trial proved popular and revealed just how weak the case is.
Dimock is the village in Pennsylvania which has been described as the “ground zero” of fracking pollution. It has featured in documentaries such as Gasland and hundreds of other national and international media articles.
Phelim McAleer, the director of the FrackNation documentary
, is the only reporter permanently covering the case and his reports on the FrackNation Facebook page, before the page was shut down, revealed there was almost no evidence to back up the allegations in the lawsuit.
It is McAleer’s extensive and detailed coverage that has infuriated anti-fracking activists who have been using the Dimock case as a centerpiece of their campaigns.
McAleer said the attack on his articles and videos was an attempt to censor the truth.
“Bit by bit- it is coming out that there is no truth to the Dimock allegations. I was posting many articles showing how weak the case was often just using the plaintiffs words and admissions under oath,” McAleer said.
“As they have watched the case collapse anti-fracking activists have become ever more determined to censor my reports and prevent the truth from gaining a wider audience,” he added.
Activists have launched a concerted campaign labelling McAleer’s reports as “inappropriate content” therefore prompting Facebook to remove them. McAleer’s page has now been reported so often that the page was suspended for 24 hours over the weekend.
McAleer has condemned Facebook for removing the posts and suspending the page.
“This is about justice and a high profile court case about a matter of public importance. Facebook are censoring court reports because one side does not like what is coming out under oath. They are now helping coverup the truth. This needs to stop, they need to republish the deleted posts and lift the threat hanging over the page.”
Two Dimock families are suing Cabot Oil and Gas, a Texas company in a case that had gained worldwide publicity as an example of pollution following fracking.
However McAleer’s reports have revealed that:
The court case before a jury is expected to end later this week.
Phelim McAleer is a filmmaker and investigative journalist. He most recently produced and directed FrackNation – a documentary to uncover the truth about Fracking. He has produced documentaries for CBC (Canada) and RTE (Ireland) and two independent feature length documentaries. Before becoming a filmmaker, Phelim was a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times in Eastern Europe. He also covered Romania and Bulgaria for The Economist. Before that he covered Ireland for the UK Sunday Times. He has worked as a filmmaker and journalist in many countries including Romania, Uganda, Madagascar, Bulgaria, Chile, Indonesia, Canada and China. McAleer has appeared on or is a regular contributor to an array of international media organizations including Fox News, CNN and the BBC. He has been interviewed on over 100 US and international radio shows.
FrackNation was acquired by and premiered on AXS TV
, owned by a maverick billionaire Mark Cuban. It was subsequently picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures and is now available on Netflix
, iTunes and VOD. The movie was financed through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. It raised $212,000 in 60 days
and was one of the most successful documentary campaigns ever funded through Kickstarter.
The New York Times described FrackNation as “provocative and meticulously researched.”