Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Conservatives must not have fun
Anyone familiar with the work of Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes would recognize the inspiration behind the thoughts that he recently posted on Facebook. They’re steeped in the events of recent weeks and express contempt for certain currents of opinion:
“I’m about as politically incorrect as you can get. I’m wearing an NRA ball cap, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, reading a Paula Deen cookbook and sipping a 20-ounce sweet tea while sitting in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair with the Gather Vocal Band singing ‘Jesus Saves’ on the stereo and a Gideon’s Bible in my pocket. Yes sir, I’m politically incorrect and happy as a June bug.”
According to Fox News Insider, that message got Starnes banned from Facebook. The site sent him this message: “We removed this from Facebook because it violates our Community Standards. So you’re temporarily blocked from using this feature.” A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the blocking.
Those “Community Standards” are found right here. They outline 10 no-no areas for Facebook users: violence and threats, self-harm, bullying and harassment, hate speech, graphic content, nudity and pornography, identity and privacy, intellectual property, phishing and spam and security.
Unless Facebook covertly added another category — say, “conservative defiance” — The Erik Wemple Blog cannot ascertain which particular rule Starnes’s post defied. After all, the commentator didn’t say that he was sitting “naked in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair,” complete with photograph of the scene. That would have violated the “nudity and pornography” prohibition. Nor did Starnes publish secret Chick-fil-A recipes, which could have put him in contravention of the “intellectual property” provision. And hey, if his post looked like “hate speech,” well then our national dialogue is far less courteous than we thought.
And later, after further review, Facebook realized it overstepped. From a Facebook spokeswoman:
“As our team processes hundreds of thousands of reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. In this case, we mistakenly removed content from the Todd Starnes Page, and worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.”