Fox News correspondent, Todd Starnes, was the target of censorship after Facebook deleted a lengthy post about his political beliefs.
“I’m about as politically incorrect as you can get," Starnes wrote. "I’m wearing an NRA ball cap, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, reading a Paula Deen cookbook and sipping a 20-ounce sweet tea while sitting in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair with the Gather Vocal Band singing 'Jesus Saves' on the stereo and a Gideon’s Bible in my pocket. Yessir, I’m politically incorrect and happy as a june bug.”
Facebook blocked Starnes’ access to Facebook and deleted the post, putting in its place the warning, “We removed something you posted. We removed this from Facebook because it violates our community standards.”
The news led to outrage as supporters — both of Starnes and of the First Amendment — voiced their disgust over the deleted post. Apparently those opinions, unlike Starnes' opinion, were acceptable because Facebook listened. The company restored the post and gave Starnes access to his account.
It is peculiar that Facebook opted to delete Starnes’ post. Posts like the ones that Starnes made are a dime a dozen on Facebook. One would not have to go far to find a comment about Paula Deen, Cracker Barrel, the NRA or any combination thereof. In fact, nearly every one of the things that Starnes mentioned already has a Facebook page.
On second thought, the only group that does not have an official page is the june bug. Perhaps it was Starnes’ comment about the large beetle that ticked off Facebook.
What is even stranger about Facebook’s actions is that the company apparently thought that banning the post would go over well. Censorship is almost universally reviled on the internet, and censoring political opinions on a social media web site is odd. Facebok has been a platform for political movements for years. What would be the point of deleting such a harmless comment?