Laura Loomer, a prominent conservative voice who is currently running in the Republican Primary for the House of Representatives in Florida, is once again facing obstacles from major social media sites.
After being deplatformed in the past by several of the leading social networks, including Facebook and Instagram, also owned by Facebook – Loomer has attempted to set up her official campaign page, this time as a candidate rather than a private citizen, Breitbart writes.
Loomer's original ban – resting on a qualification of the journalist and commentator as “a dangerous individual” – is still being legally contested by her in courts. Be that as it may – Facebook has now decided not to allow her to conduct her campaign on the platform.
As the social media giant has been prone to do of late – the decision has been somewhat sugar-coated as a general policy, rather than a decision targeting one particularly uncomfortable individual.
Facebook has decided against allowing users who had been previously banned to set up new accounts – even if they are now running for office.
The fact that Loomer is now a declared Republican candidate with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) made no difference, as her campaign's account was blocked quickly after being set up.
That's not what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would happen only last month.
“We think people should be able to hear what politicians have to say. I don't think it's right for tech companies to censor politicians in a democracy,” he has been quoted as saying.
He also promised that political ads could not be banned – but a politician can't run them without having a Facebook account first.
Meanwhile, Loomer's campaign is expectedly unhappy with the behemoth's reaction, calling it “blatant election interference” and urging Facebook to change its decision and allow the candidate to reach her potential voters via the platform.
That's not least because allowing some candidates and blocking others might mean Facebook is violating FCC rules around in-kind contributions – stemming from a 2018 case of Republican politicians who faced Twitter censorship.