News and Commentary

Facebook Finally Removes Page Inciting Violence Against Republicans

Facebook seems to be enforcing its community standards equally for once by removing a page that called for violence against Republicans, but only after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) brought it up in a hearing.

According to The Hill, Gaetz had aired his concerns about the page to Facebook previously, but was dismissed. Only after Gaetz presented the page to Facebook’s head of global policy management directly during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing examining how social media companies filter content did the social media giant finally get on board.

The page, titled “Milkshakes against the Republican Party,” called for “crazed shooters” to gun down the GOP’s congressional baseball team and attack the NRA. Gaetz said during the hearing that when his office originally contacted Facebook, it argued the page did not meet its criteria for removal.

Following the hearing, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert said that any calls for violence violate community service. The page was removed as a result.

Gaetz expressed gratitude to the social media giant for doing the right thing.

“I am glad Facebook swiftly removed this offensive page; while I unconditionally support the First Amendment, inciting violence against others due to their political affiliation is not Constitutionally-protected speech,” Gaetz said in a statement. “While removing this page was a small step forward to making Facebook a safer place, bigger questions remain.”

In the controversy over how Facebook filters content, conservatives have rightly expressed concern that the social media giant has a bias against their work. In the Tuesday hearing, Gaetz asked if Facebook considers itself a content publisher or a neutral forum.

“This distinction is not merely academic, as they are governed by different laws and different rules. If Facebook claims to be a neutral forum, it cannot continue to limit conservative content; if Facebook claims to be a publisher, it will lose its legal ‘immunity’ under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” he said.

“They simply cannot have it both ways. My colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee look forward to exploring this important distinction in the future.”

The hearing came just two months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced to major (left-wing) media companies that the social media empire will be rolling out a new feature that that ranks news organizations based on trustworthiness, and promotes or suppresses its content based on that metric.

In terms of enforcing community standards equally, Facebook once used kid gloves on a group wanting to burn a Christian mom alive all the while censoring that same Christian mom for once quoting the book of Leviticus.