Although Facebook denies blocking conservative posts, new cases continue to pop up.
Only a couple months after Facebook threatened to shut down “Chicks on the Right” for what the conservative fan page’s administrators said were posts critical of the Obama administration (Facebook later apologized), a few other Facebook accounts have been visited by the so-called “Facebook police” for what some users think are politically charged reasons.
One of these people is conservative blogger Diane Sori. Sori’s story was picked up Craig Andresen writing for the blog the National Patriot and was also written about by Joe Newby, who, according to his profile for the Spokane Conservative Examiner, identifies himself as a conservative.
Sori recounted the events that led up to what she told TheBlaze is an unjust 30-day ban from Facebook.
As she explained the situation to TheBlaze, she was made an administrator for the group Barracuda Brigade for Our American Girl! 2012, which is a fan page for Sarah Palin, so she could upload links to her blog posts –The Patriot Factor – without having to go through an approval system.
A comment was made earlier this month on the fan page that violated Facebook’s terms and conditions and then resulted in several administrators from the group being banned.
Sori — who is no stranger to being blocked by Facebook as this is the sixth time her account has been frozen — said Facebook informed them as administrators it was their responsibility to police comments for content in violation of Facebook’s policy. But Sori also said she wasn’t online any time when the comment was posted, nor was it ever her responsibility to monitor comments.
“There is no justification for my banning whatsoever,” Sori said.
We looked into Facebook’s policies and found a chart describing the different roles administrators can be given to help run a page, as the responsibilities differ.
In Facebook’s Page Terms, it states that administrators are “required to restrict access to Pages (through our gating functionality) as necessary to comply with applicable laws and Facebook policies, including our Advertising Guidelines and Community Standards.” The Community Standards include the various restrictions on what is considered content forbidden on the site.
Sori said she reached out to Facebook several times — even spoke with a representative from Facebook, Katie Harbath, at a blogging event in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Here was Harbath’s response to Sori, according to the Examiner:
“Looked into this and our policies are to hold all admins accountable for what is posted to a page so we won’t remove the ban. Let me know if you have any additional questions,” she told Sori in an email.
According to Facebook’s terms then, it could be that Sori was given an administrative position, unintentionally, that would have designated her as one of the people who should moderate comments. Sori and three other administrators in the group remain on the ban.
Things became even more questionable when Newby with the Examiner said he was blocked from Facebook for a day after writing about Sori’s case. He claims he wasn’t told by Facebook why the 24-hour freeze on his account was instituted.
Being banned from Facebook matters to Sori because she is trying to inform people about her thoughts posted on her blog. But even more so, she said she sees it as censorship of conservative speech on the site.
“I am doing this for conservatives because if our voices are shut out, then it’s over,” Sori said.
Earlier this month, a Texas man too claimed his account was blocked for simply saying “seizing the day with baby obama,” the radio show KYGL reported (via Examiner). The station recounted Dustin Ford of Longview having a Facebook conversation with a friend about the president the day before this comment was posted.
Here’s what Ford told KLDV News (via KYGL):
Our constitutional rights are being taken from us very slowly, however small this may be. I could understand if they wanted to censor something that could be viewed as violent, but this is not slamming the president. I was just likening my friend to a liberal. If you type the president’s name, are you automatically flagged to be reviewed? There’s something scary about that.”
The Chicks on the Right page was told they were “incorrectly warned” about their political post in January. But a similar excuse came from Facebook last year when a radio host’s ads were denied supposedly using the word “hate,” Facebook again apologized saying the initial refusal of the ad was made “in error.”
(via: The Blaze)