Republican U.S. Senate candidate Austin Petersen says he was “blocked” from using Facebook after he posted a video announcing an AR-15 giveaway.
He says he learned of the block via a notification informing him he had “posted something that violates Facebook’s policies.”
On September 28 Petersen published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, which said in part:
In my campaign for the United States Senate, I have made Facebook a centerpiece of my outreach efforts. I have used both my Personal Profile and my Official Page to connect with friends, family, and supporters, and to share and express our views about the future of the country.
That’s why, on September 22, I was so shocked to receive a notification from Facebook informing me that I had been “blocked” from using Facebook for thirty days because I “recently posted something that violates Facebook’s policies.” Believing this to be a mistake, my campaign reached out to Facebook for more information. Today — six days later — I still have not received an explanation, and the block remains in effect.
At the same time the block was affected, a Facebook Live video I had posted to my Official Page promoting my campaign’s AR-15 giveaway was removed. A few days later, a Status Update posted to my Profile referencing the same giveaway was also removed.
Petersen went on to express his confidence that the AR-15 giveaway is not against Facebook policies, as “several posts promoting the giveaway, including paid ‘Dark Posts,’ remain visible on [Petersen’s] page.” He observed that the continued visibility of the posts make it “unclear” why the giveaway “would warrant an immediate takedown and thirty-day ban.”
While awaiting a response from Zuckerberg, Petersen is working around the Facebook block by using Tweeter to let supporters know they can still win the firearm:
— Austin Petersen (@AP4Liberty) September 24, 2017
In another portion of the open letter to Zuckerberg, Peterson wrote, “It’s difficult to ignore that this action comes during a period of heightened tension regarding Facebook’s role in our elections, and its perceived bias against conservative voices.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org