A journalist was temporarily banned from Facebook after a post in which he called Trump supporters “a nasty fascistic lot”, in the latest example of the social media platform’s censorship of journalists.
Facebook “reviewed and restored” the post by Kevin Sessums after being contacted by the Guardian and dropped the posting ban.
“We’re very sorry about this mistake,” a spokesman said. “The post was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong.”
Sessums, who is well known for his celebrity profiles for Vanity Fair and two best-selling memoirs, says that he shared a Facebook post from ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd that read: “In the last few hours I have been called by lovely ‘christian’ Trump fans: a jew, faggot, retard. To set record straight: divorced Catholic.”
Sessums added his own commentary, writing:
But as those who do hold Trump to the standards of any other person have found out on Twitter and other social media outlets these Trump followers are a nasty fascistic lot. Dowd is lucky he didn’t get death threats like Kurt Eichenwald. Or maybe he did and refuses to acknowledge them. If you voted for Trump and continue to support him and you think you are better than these bigoted virulent trolls, you’re not. Your silence enables them just as it did in the racist campaign that Trump and Bannon ran. In fact, hiding behind a civilized veneer in your support of fascism I consider more dangerous. We’re past describing you as collaborators at this point. That lets you off the hook. You’re Russo-American oligarchical theocratic fascists.
Soon thereafter, Sessums received a notification from Facebook that the post violated the company’s “community standards” and that he was barred from posting for 24 hours.
“It’s chilling. It’s arbitrary censorship,” Sessums said. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute, do I have to be careful about what I say about Trump now?’”