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Pro-gun Facebook fan page sabotaged by anti-gun Brady Center?
On December 4, 2009, Buckeye Firearms Association launched a Facebook fan page. Within two months, we grew to over 4,400 fans who were hungry for pro-gun news and information.
On February 8, 2010, our Facebook fan page vanished. No warning. No reason given.
How could this happen? We have only one clue: The day before, our Facebook fan page administrator had the audacity to post a pro-gun message on the Brady Center's anti-gun fan page.
Did the Brady Center sabotage our page? We have no proof, but you can be the judge.
Normally, we have no contact with the hoplophobic Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. But a news item prompted our administrator to visit their Facebook page. There were comments there on both sides of the gun rights issue. So, the administrator posted a short message:
If you're tired of the anti-liberty nonsense here, visit Buckeye Firearms Association.
That's it. No cursing. No threats. Nothing discourteous or out of line. Just a simple invitation.
Shortly afterward, ALL the pro-gun comments vanished. And so did our Facebook page. Coincidence?
Perhaps we should see if we violated a code of conduct. Here's what Facebook includes in their terms:
Accounts can either be disabled for repeat offenses or for one, particularly egregious violation. What offense did we commit? What did we do that was "egregious"? Is an invitation to a pro-gun page egregious? Is it egregious to suggest that they hold an anti-liberty point of view?
We do not allow users to send unsolicited or harassing messages to people they don’t know .... There was no unsolicited message. The Brady Center's page was open for comments. There was no harassing message, unless you consider "anti-liberty nonsense" to be harassment.
We also remove content, photo or written, that threatens, intimidates, harasses, or brings unwanted attention or embarrassment to an individual or group of people. Was the Brady Bunch threatened? Intimidated? Embarrassed? Could it be they are so thin-skinned, so "intimidated" by all the millions of freedom-loving Americans, that they burst into tears whenever they encounter a dose of reality?
Again, we have no proof that the Brady Center lodged a complaint claiming that we were "harassing" or "intimidating" them. Facebook will not divulge the reason for their actions: Unfortunately, for technical and security reasons, Facebook cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content. All we know is that we wrote one little comment on the Brady Center's page and now our own Facebook page is gone.
Oh, and we were just a day or two away from surpassing them in the number of fans we have. Could that be it? Were they "embarrassed" that a state organization could attract more fans than a national organization so quickly? I guess that is embarrassing, isn't it?
And just to be clear, we would never remove an anti-gun comment from our own page. We would certain remove any outright profanity or highly abusive personal comments, but we prefer to let people openly share their opinions. An anti-gun comment would merely provoke discussion. Isn't that a good thing in a free society?
The fact that the Brady Center and others like them fear opposing viewpoints and refuse to allow discussion reveals something about them. It shows the sort of world they long for, where there is only "approved" opinion and adherence to central authority.
As we've pointed out many times, the fight for gun rights is about more than guns. It's about liberty, freedom, individualism, and self-reliance. These are ideas that "intimidate" anti-gun advocates.
We've done a little research on this and found that we're not the only page to be removed. A supporter informed us that a Glock page has been removed. And a brief Google search revealed that thousands of other pages have also been deactivated, usually with no warning or reason given.
Is Facebook anti-gun? Who knows? What is certain is that they show little concern for the time and effort users put into their pages. They have grown into the second most popular website on the planet. Perhaps this rapid growth has gone to their heads and caused them to shrug off the many complaints of poor customer service and the draconian practice of deleting sites without warning.
We have filed an appeal with Facebook and will wait patiently to see if our page re-appears. If not, we'll just create a new one. If that one vanishes, we'll create another one. If Facebook won't let us get our message out, we'll find another way, and another, and another.
If the Brady Center is intimidated by us now, they're in for a real surprise in the years ahead. Because we're not going anywhere. And they ain't seen nothing yet.
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