Facebook Lifts Permanent Ban on Gun Rights Groups, Says It Is an ‘Enforcement Error’
Facebook has restored the page of a leading gun rights organization on its website. This comes after the social media company admitted to committing another “enforcement error” when dealing with pages of gun rights groups.
Last Saturday, Facebook restored the page of Virginia Citizen’s Defense League (VCDL). It had received a ban from the platform late last January. The social media company previously stated that they had reviewed the ban and that it was final. However, they eventually lifted the ban and admitted that it made a mistake.
The social media site kept on going back and forth when it comes to banning and restoring pages of gun rights groups such as this one. Back in late January, Facebook also banned and restored VCDL’s page, apologizing and claiming that they removed it “in error.”
However, right after the said incident, a Facebook spokesperson revealed that they reviewed the case. The platform said it will not republish the page. Almost a month later, however, its decision has seemingly changed without letting anyone know the reason.
Facebook’s Content Moderation Targets Gun Rights Groups
American Gun Association’s Facebook was also one of the groups targeted by this “error,” but made it clear they would not be silenced. AGA gave notice and had sign up’s ready for PatriotPlanet.com. Unfortunately, other conservative groups were not so lucky in having a platform ready for this situation. The American Gun Association private gun group is still under review for unregulated goods. Newsflash, American Gun Association does not sell any unregulated goods….. Go figure.
The social media company’s ways of moderating pages of gun rights groups, or any other conservative group, remains shrouded in mystery. Because of this, many conservative legislators have scrutinized and are skeptical of the way Facebook enforces its policies.
With the way Facebook targeted a top gun rights group such as VCDL, conservative lawmakers in Congress may push for inquiries connected to such cases in order to reform content moderation laws related to new forms of media.
The social media website said that VCDL did violate its community policies. Although, it refused to share details on which policies the group broke. However, a spokesperson said that while this was the case, a permanent ban was not called for. Facebook also warned that if the page violates community policies again, that may be the final straw and it may cause the page to be banned again.
Conservative Groups Now Look For Other Community Platforms
Given this lack of transparency in terms of moderation, conservative groups are uncertain of their stability in a platform like Facebook. VCDL’s president, Philip Van Cleave, said that a social media website as big as Facebook makes it easier to reach out to the organization’s followers. However, given the way Facebook moderates content, he’s started looking for other platforms to use in the future.