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Facebook censorship reaches into the White House

The White House Director of Social Media, Dan Scavino, Jr., announced on Monday that Facebook blocked him from replying to posts.

Scavino was temporarily blocked “from making public comments,” according to a screenshot of the message Facebook sent him.

President Donald Trump said he plans to investigate Facebook’s apparent decision to censor one of his top aides’ social-media account on the platform.

“I will be looking into this! #StopTheBias,” the president wrote on Twitter.

The message from Facebook stated: “Some of your comments have been reported as spam. To avoid getting blocked again, make sure your posts are in line with the Facebook community standards.”

Scavino responded by posting a screenshot of the message on March 18 with an accompanying caption:

“Dear Facebook—AMAZING. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME from replying to comments followers have left me – on my own Facebook Page!!?? People have the right to know. Why are you silencing me??? Please LMK! Thanks.”

A Facebook spokesperson told Reuters that the issue was an “unintended consequence” of the platform’s policy on spam. Facebook said it puts a cap on the amount of identical, repetitive activity coming from one account over a short period of time, in an attempt to stop automated bots.

“These limits can have the unintended consequence of temporarily preventing real people like Dan Scavino from engaging in such activity, but lift in an hour or two, which is what happened in this case,” the spokesperson said.

Facebook later said “We’ve been in touch with him and have apologized for the inconvenience.”

Trump lashed out against major social-media companies and accused them of favoring Democrats.

“Facebook, Google and Twitter, not to mention the Corrupt Media, are sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats,” he said on Twitter. “But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA”

Donald Trump, Jr., also questioned the power and agenda of social-media companies.

“As I’ve been saying. This is a disgusting abuse of power, and of course it only goes one way,” he wrote.

Conservatives have long complained about social-media companies treating them unfairly. Twitter has been accused of a practice called “shadow banning,” which limits the visibility of a Twitter user, including on the platform’s drop-down search box.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has recently sued Twitter over the practice.

President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro participate in a joint news conference at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on March 19, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“We have to do something” about the discrimination against conservatives, Trump told reporters at a press briefing with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro March 19.

“It’s different than it used to be. Things are happening. Names are taken off. People aren’t getting through,” he said.


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