CrossFit Storms Off Facebook and Instagram

“CrossFit, the branded workout regimen, deleted its Facebook and Instagram pages earlier this week and explained the reasoning through an impassioned press release,” reports the Verge.

TechSpot has more details: In a press release, CrossFit revealed the breaking point: the deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan user group, without warning or explanation. Banting is an alternative high-fat low-carb diet with no set meal times or processed foods, and its Facebook group had 1.65 million users, including 1 million from South Africa. The group mostly posts testimonials and discusses the merits of the diet or how it might be implemented. While the group has been reinstated (still without explanation), CrossFit is right to call into question why Facebook removed it in the first place. While Banting is probably inadvisable, groups advocating for it have a right to exist.

Still, that’s far from the only reason CrossFit abandoned the platforms…
CrossFit sees itself as a community of 15,000 affiliates and millions of individuals against “an unholy alliance of academia, government, and multinational food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies,” according to their press release — so they may be feeling vulnerable. CrossFit, Inc. defends relentlessly the right of its affiliates, trainers, and athletes to practice CrossFit, build voluntary CrossFit associations and businesses, and speak openly and freely about the ideas and principles that animate our views of exercise, nutrition, and health…

Facebook and its properties host and oversee a significant share of the marketplace of public thought… 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. CrossFit, Inc., as a voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.
CrossFit says they’re “suspending” all activity on the platforms while they investigate “the circumstances pertaining to Facebook’s deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan and other well-known public complaints about the social-media company,” adding that CrossFit “will no longer support or use Facebook’s services until further notice.”