Proof Facebook censors pro-gun content

The Gun Writer Facebook page averaged between 35 to 40 new likes per day until mid-June, when the likes suddenly stopped.

by Lee Williams

I’ve long heard allegations that Facebook censors pro-gun content but, until recently, I lacked any first-hand experience with the censorship.

Things changed around mid-June, when we noticed that “likes” on The Gun Writer Facebook page came to an abrupt halt.

We place a high value on our page likes, as we do every form of reader engagement. They’re positive feedback that someone approves of our content. To us, they meant a lot.

We had averaged between 35 to 40 likes per day. This suddenly stopped June 15. We’ve plateaued ever since, and haven’t had a single like.

At first, we thought our content may have been the cause, so we examined all of our posts and found it had not changed. We were still posting a heady mix of original content, shared stories of interest, as well as some hilarious memes.

Once we realized our content hadn’t changed, things became surreal. We grew concerned that our content was being censored, because readers cannot like what they cannot see.

Soon, we’d have more evidence of Facebook’s shenanigans.

The Feinstein factor 

Last week we received definitive proof that our Facebook posts were receiving a bit more scrutiny than they had before.

I posted a couple pics of notorious anti-gunner, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, along with the admonition that if readers didn’t go to the range over the weekend, there would be more Feinstein pics to follow.

It was meant to be a joke.

For some reason, Facebook decided to fact-check the post, and they added a link to a Snopes story, which cleared Sen. Feinstein of any wrongdoing, after allegations were raised that she used her influence to get her husband a USPS contract.

To be clear, my post made absolutely no mention of the USPS allegations against the Senator. As some astute readers pointed out, it was clear that our Facebook page was receiving more than its fair share of scrutiny.

Why did we deserve this?

Ask Facebook.

I tried and got nowhere.

I reached out to their corporate communications department, and I’m still waiting for an official response.

Takeaways

While we find this censorship and additional scrutiny of our page troubling, it pales when compared to what Facebook has done to other conservative, veteran-oriented and pro-gun pages.

The worst example of Facebook censorship I’ve seen involved the Dysfunctional Veterans Facebook page.

They had more than 1.7 million followers — mostly veterans — until Facebook shut them down for reasons that remain unknown. Even though their page raised money for veterans and veterans’ groups, this was never taken into consideration and the site was closed. Thankfully, the guys were able to start a new page, but they lost almost all of their followers.

Personally, I find this type of censorship troubling — especially since we have no track record of misbehavior.

In more then six years, we have never once had so much as a single warning from Facebook that our content violated any type of community standards. We’ve never had a post or meme removed. We’ve never been told we have done anything wrong — period.

We even tried to lend to their coffers when we purchased Ad Boosts from Facebook. After three in a row were “Not Approved” because of content, we accepted that Facebook would reject anything we tried to promote through non-organic methods, like boosts, and we chose to respect their business model and not raise a fuss.

Now, we can only conclude that the anti-gun, anti-conservative and anti-veteran reputation of the Facebook shot-callers is very true and very well deserved.

I look forward to hearing Facebook’s official explanation, but I’m not holding my breath while waiting for a response.

In the meantime, all we can do is call them out for their shenanigans on pages like this one, which they cannot control.

As a journalist, a veteran and a proud gun owner, I venerate the First and Second Amendments. It’s odd to me that something so entrenched in American culture as Facebook would choose to value neither.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

8 Comments

      • Actually, people could delete their Face Book page. Obviously go through FB contacts and make sure you have need contact info. Announce on your FB the date you will be deleting so people have the chance to reach out and get your contact info, then delete the account. I deleted mine (part of a personal time management system). If I don’t like a certain pair of shoes, I don’t buy them. If I don’t trust a certain car manufacturer, I don’t put my family in the car.
        Why people who do not like FB managing posts but still use it is beyond me. (FYI Instagram is also owned by FB)

        • Christopher winter on

          I’m a young man still going into 10nth grade. But I had to most stupidest thing happen to me back in January. I was going to go check one of the groups I’m in and it says my account was disabled. The thing is that I made one post and it was for a demolition derby back in August I had posted a vidoe saying come down for the secind night.

  1. Manuel E Gutierrez on

    You can do more than calling them out. Contact your members of Congress and ask them to inquire into Facebook censorship policies. Good luck on that suggestion on account of our divided Congress too. 2020 is not that far off though. Privacy is another issue in the hopper. As you know Facebook is another attention merchant among many others with the exception that what is published in The Web, stays in The Web most likely for ever. Remember The Cloud… .!

  2. Chris Baden on

    I frequently hear the argument that it’s a private business and they can set policies on content as they see fit. Funny how the same crowd contends the bakers had to bake a gay wedding cake or face prosecution for the outrageous denial of the couple’s civil liberties. Apparently you have be a very large private business to set your own policies on content.

    • It seems obvious that we need someone to start up a conservative competition to Facebook. If only it could be.

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