The main Facebook page of the Irish Republican Socialist Party has been deleted in its entirety, just three weeks before its first Stormont Assembly election.
The move was described by the party as “a well coordinated and sophisticated cyber attack on our movement” and “a clear attempt to silence us”.
On Thursday 14th April, the IRSP’s National Facebook account, the party’s main means of communication with supporters, disappeared from the platform “without any warning or explanation”, the party said.
“At around 7pm, the personal pages of all the admin accounts on the main page received emails suggesting that their personal accounts may have been hacked and needed to be secured.
“Once they regained access to their accounts, the admins quickly realised that the main page of IRSP had disappeared.”
They said there was “no warning by Facebook or any proclaimed breach of its ‘community standards’, which indicated to its media and cyber team that “this was a politically orientated cyber attack against the IRSP”.
Since announcing its intention to stand in the upcoming Assembly elections, the IRSP have encountered extraordinary resistance from officialdom.
The party narrowly avoided having the opportunity to stand denied by the rejection of its application to te Electoral Office. Officials only backed down after being threatened with legal action.
There has also been well documented harassment and disruption of its election workers by the PSNI in Belfast and Derry.
“We know the state fear us, we know the prospect of the IRSP having positions in the highest levels of the elected chambers will rattle the very foundations of the state and we believe they are now doing everything in their power both openly and discreetly to avoid this prospect,” they said.
“The IRSP are well versed on state attacks, we have faced the worst they can throw since 1974 including assassinations and infiltration.
“While they may believe an attack on our social media, harassment and intimidation of our members may work they cannot stop this movement and the growing politically organised working class eager for the change and an overthrow of this very system. We expect no quarter, and no quarter will be given.”
The party organised a well attended Easter commemoration in Belfast last weekend (pictured). It is running two candidates in the election, Dan Murphy in West Belfast and Colin McLaughlin in Foyle.