A Florida state representative currently running for the position of Agriculture secretary in the Sunshine State has scored what appears to be a victory over alleged Facebook censorship of an online advertisement on the initial grounds that it promoted the “sale of weapons or ammunition,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
But that’s not what the ad promoted at all. Instead, the advertisement, according to Fox News, said this: “I’m Matt Caldwell. I like guns. I love the Second Amendment, and I support our president. That’s why I’m endorsed by the NRA.”
The short message shows Caldwell firing a shotgun. The newspaper said he was the first candidate in the state during the current election cycle to get an NRA endorsement.
But after Caldwell issued a press release on Facebook’s, the popular social media giant reportedly replied, “We review millions of ads each week and sometimes we make mistakes. We have overturned the incorrect decision and the ads are now running live on Facebook.” That was as of Tuesday evening at “about 8:30 p.m.,” the newspaper reported in an update.
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Caldwell’s initial reaction to denial of his advertisement was blistering.
“Facebook’s liberal agenda is keeping our campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture from sharing our message,” the candidate stated. “Facebook has mislabeled our ad in an effort to censor our pro-Second Amendment support and endorsement from the NRA.”
One of his Democrat opponents responded to the story with an interesting remark.
According to the Fort Myers News-Press, Democrat Nikki Fried, an attorney in Fort Lauderdale, commented, “The position he is running for deals with concealed weapons permits and hunting licenses, what his posing with a shotgun has to do with his candidacy for Commissioner of Agriculture, I have no idea.”
When Fried launched her campaign in June, the Tampa Bay Times recalled, she released a video in which she focused on medical marijuana and guns.
“There is no clearer example of our broken government than medical marijuana and this deadly weapon,” she said as an image of a semi-auto modern sporting rifle discharging in slow motion flashed on screen. “One helps sick and dying Floridians and is over-regulated and the other one is used to terrorize our schools and our communities and is barely regulated at all.”
Attacking gun rights seems to be in vogue with would-be Democrat politicians this year. At the far corner of the country, a candidate for Washington State’s 8th Congressional District, Dr. Kim Schrier, is running an advertisement in which she promises to “stand up to the NRA.” Schrier was profiled by political columnist Joel Connelly at the Seattle P-I.com recently, as a Democrat “favorite” in a district that has gone Republican for many years.
Alienating a large voter bloc, whether in Florida or Washington, could have negative consequences.