UPDATE: It looks like Facebook has removed all “Kill Zimmerman” pages as a result of pressure.
By Willie Deutsch
Following the racially charged George Zimmerman case, some people went hysterical that he was declared “not guilty.” Calls for Zimmerman’s death quickly popped up on twitter and Facebook as violence broke out in places as far from Florida as Oakland by protestors angry with the result. The New Black Panthers have also declared that this verdict means war stating the “white man’s justice system” proves “the white is right theory.”
In the middle of this I came across a Facebook page entitled “Kill Zimmerman.” It included posts like the following.
In a climate where people are taking to social media to advocate Zimmerman’s death, it seemed something that should be reported and taken down. The response from Facebook was astonishing. Facebook stated that this page met it’s standards. I reported it first for being a “credible threat of violence” and then for “harassment.” Facebooks responses are below.
You can read the Facebook community standards for yourself to see what they define as harassment or threats of violence.
If Facebook had an open policy where they barely deleted anything, this might not be a problem. However, stories regularly pop up of conservatives who were banned permanently or temporarily from Facebook. On January 3rd, the Examiner published an article entitled “Is Facebook Actively Censoring Conservative Bloggers?” January 22nd, Foxnews wrote an article about Facebook being forced to apologize for threatening to shut down a page that was critical of Obama. On March 27th The Blaze reported on three new cases of conservatives being unfairly blocked on Facebook. Just a couple weeks ago on June 29th, The Blaze reported on someone who was blocked from Facebook for bragging about being politically incorrect for supporting Chick-Fil-A, the NRA, Paula Deen, and Jesus.
If political incorrectness can violate Facebook’s “Community Standards” but advocating someone’s death does not, then it has become a social media site that engages in viewpoint discrimination while allowing itself to be used as a platform to advocate murder.
This double standard and the political viewpoints that Facebook clearly seems to push are important for conservatives to remember as they rely on Facebook to spread their message.
Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government.