Politics

Facebook slammed for ‘censorship’ of patriotic song, reverses course in time for Independence Day

On Tuesday, Fox News reported that Facebook, the social media giant once dubbed the “world’s most dangerous censor” by Breitbart and “Iron FistBook” by cartoonist A.F. Branco, came under fire after it prevented the Wes Cook band from promoting its song, “I Stand for the Flag,” using the site’s paid promotion tools.

Fortunately, the site reversed course late Tuesday, Fox said — just in time for Independence Day.

According to Fox:

The Nashville-based group released a video for “I Stand for the Flag” on Facebook Monday morning. They planned to promote the video using the paid promotion tools that the social network provides. The request was initially approved and then rejected by Facebook, which cited the video’s “political content,” according to the band.

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Late Tuesday, Facebook told Fox News that the decision has been overturned. “We recently announced anyone running ads about political or other major national issues must include a ‘paid for’ label,” explained a Facebook spokesperson. “After looking again, we determined that this ad doesn’t need that label. While this is a new policy, and while we won’t ever be perfect, we think knowing who is behind an ad is important, and we’ll continue to work on improving as we roll it out.”

The song includes lyrics like: “Don’t care if you’re black or white or who you love, I stand for the Flag and the Flag stands for all of us.”

“Our song bleeds unity and love of country. It doesn’t see race, color, religion, or political affiliation,” frontman Wes Cook said in a statement provided to Fox News. “‘I Stand for the Flag’ means I am thankful for the freedoms and opportunities this country gives all citizens, and shows how dependent we all are on each other for the success of our individual American Dream. I believe patriotism is not political.”

Fox added:

Facebook’s handling of ads on its platform has been coming under scrutiny lately. The social network, for example, was recently criticized for mistakenly rejecting ads from businesses such as restaurants and hair salons that were not political.

In an attempt to boost transparency and security, Facebook recently introduced an authorization process whereby people involved in running ads with political content are required to confirm their identities and location as well as enabling 2-factor authentication for account protection.

Incidents like this are the reason yours truly wrote “Banned: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad” with American-Israeli Adina Kutnicki.  The underlying issue may be different, but the Orwellian tactics remain pretty much the same.

Perhaps it’s time for Congress to take measures to end this nonsense before it’s too late…

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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