A Reddit community of Donald Trump supporters (r/the_donald) was riled up yesterday after one member posted a thread entitled:
“Facebook just removed my non-offensive post defending Donald Trump and banned me from posting for 30 days”.
The illicit post read:
Donald Trump is not anti Muslim. He is anti ISIS. What Trump is trying to say is that Homeland Security can not differentiate which Muslim is radical (sic) wanting to cause harm and which is a harmless refugee. This is why nothing gets done. We are too busy being politically correct. Who is willing to sacrifice their family’s safety for the sake of political correctness? Are you? #TRUMP2016
The poster, abdolf noted in his thread's comment section:
I admin fb pages for a living and moderators on these pages have the ability to remove certain comments and ban certain people from commenting again and I noticed a lot of liberal media fb pages use this when someone comments a dissenting opinion. This is different though, because despite liberal media sites being able to ban you from their page, this was Facebook itself that took action on my post and handed out a 30 day ban with it. I also can't message any of my friends with this ban I've figured out. Wow.
Facebook maintains a set of community standards designed to prohibit threats of violence, bullying, hate speech, graphic content and nudity.
Objectively, abdolf’s post upholds Facebook's moral standards. Which raises the question:
Are Donald Trump supporters being discretionarily censored by Facebook?
A recent Bloomberg story reinforces that this notion may not be outside the realm of possibilities.
Folks, it's time to put on your conspiracy-theory caps.
In September, Bloomberg reported that a microphone mishap divulged a plan at Facebook to create a program to censor particular posts of political interest.
Attending a luncheon on the sidelines of a United Nations development summit in New York on Saturday, Merkel and Zuckerberg were overheard on a live transmission broadcast on the UN website as participants took their seats.
After Merkel briefly queried Zuckerberg about the hate-post affair, the Facebook CEO is heard responding that “we need to do some work” on the issue.
“Are you working on this?” Merkel asked in English. “Yeah,” Zuckerberg responded, before the dialog was cut off by introductory remarks to those present.
Another Redditor, VictoryBells pointed out:
We have to show this irony to the media, Zuckerberg will remove posts of Americans peacefully speaking their mind while giving a place full of terrorist sympathizers a safe space to spread their hate.
Meanwhile this page is still up: “Death to America and Israel".
Death to America and Israel has been an active Facebook group since 2013, their description reads:
I Do Not Hate Americans but I Hate American Politicians. I Hate Illegal & War Criminal State Israel
America and Israel are the greatest threats to peace.
With over a 2k followers, users post anti-Sematic “hate speech” daily, like this gem from yesterday.
Facebook, you have the right to censoring free speech on your private property. I only ask that you set some standards and stop acting like a hypocrite.
Update: After reporting the Facebook group, "Death to America & Israel" for violating community standards that prohibit hate speech they responded with: