If elected, I pledge to give likes to every man, woman, and child in America.
"If elected, I pledge to give likes to every man, woman, and child in America." a katz / Shutterstock.com

Did you sense something strange in the force yesterday? As if millions of Bernies suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced? Facebook seems to have gone on a mass purging of Bernie-supporting groups, and nobody's exactly sure who's responsible.

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Here's what we know: a ton of unofficial pro-Bernie groups have vanished over the last day — lousy timing, given that today's a big voting day in some important states. Some of them had tens of thousands of members, leaving a lot of people clicking frantically for a group that just isn't there anymore. (But don't worry: the group "Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash" is still up and running.)

Conversation turned pretty quickly to conspiracy theories, bolstered by (unconfirmed) reports that some unidentified person or group of people was posting a ton of pornography throughout the top Bernie groups, then reporting the groups for inappropriate content.

That doesn't completely make sense — if someone is posting porn in groups, surely it's the bad-acting users who would get banned, not the group, right? Then again, Facebook's devotion to free expression has always been pretty murky, so who knows: Maybe they got a ton of abuse reports, and the easiest way to respond is just to force the groups to close up shop.

Sanders supporters may be right to be a little suspicious. A political operative named David Brock is apparently running a pro-Clinton super PAC called "Correct the Record" that's spending $1 million to spread pro-Clinton messages on social media. They're calling the initiative "Barrier Breakers 2016" and it's a little unclear exactly what it does, other than "serve as a resource for supporters looking for positive content and push-back to share with their online progressive communities."

So who knows — maybe this little program is funding Facebook trolls. Weirder things have happened in politics.

There is, however, a more plausible explanation.

"We’re aware many of the pro Bernie groups were removed from Facebook," wrote the admin of a group called "The People for Bernie Sanders 2016. "They’re back. It was a Facebook database error, not a conspiracy or an attack.

Wait, what?

"All of the groups are back up and it wasn’t just Bernie groups," wrote Aidan King, founder of the "Sanders for President" Redding group. "Facebook hasn’t released a public statement but they had a bug and it closed a ton of Facebook groups. Our supporters are just more vocal so the Internet blew up with ‘Bernie groups being shut down’ rather than ‘Facebook groups are being shut down.'"

So is there a conspiracy or what? So far the only actual evidence of Facebook malice is one random guy who posted that he reported the group "Bernie Sanders Activists" for a "credible threat of violence," and got it taken down. But the group is actually still up, so ... huh, weird.

At some point, the Bernie zealots and the Hillary zealots are going to need to join forces and united behind the nominee if they want to defeat the GOP. Hopefully this little Facebook group dust-up isn't an indication that they'll be unable to do so.