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Facebook censors Stanford College Republicans’ post that Kenosha shooter acted in self defense

Media giant claimed photo of shooter violates rules against ‘nudity and sexual activity’

Facebook removed a post by Stanford College Republicans because it violated the social media company’s rules against “nudity and sexual activity,” according to screenshots of the notification provided to The College Fix by the conservative student group.

But the post in question had nothing to do with nudity or sexual activity.

It was an article from WayneDupree.com, a conservative news website, that discussed a photo appearing to show someone pointing a gun at Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager recently charged with homicide and other crimes for killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The CR’s August 26 post included “commentary on the Kyle Rittenhouse case arguing the evidence indicated that what took place was an act of justified self-defense,” according to an email from Stephen Sills, president of Stanford College Republicans, to The College Fix.

Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded another person during violent protests in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police on August 23.

Rittenhouse shot in self-defense, according to an August 28 statement from his attorneys.

The removal of the post by Facebook on August 27 demonstrates “a clear case of censorship of anything which contradicts the left’s current narrative of what is going on in Kenosha,” Sills said.

The group posted a screenshot of the article on August 28 and explained why it disagreed with Facebook’s decision and criticized Facebook for saying that it might not be able to review the decision because of COVID-related staffing issues.

College Republicans wrote:

As managers of a page with over 5,500 followers, we fully embrace our responsibility to adhere to Facebook’s rules, and we strive to honor these rules at all times. However, if our content violates Facebook’s rules, we would appreciate it if Facebook would be transparent with us about how the content constitutes a violation. If simply undercutting the left’s narrative about Rittenhouse falls under the category of ‘hate speech,’ why doesn’t Facebook just say so, instead of absurdly claiming that our content is pornographic? When we attempted to request a review, we were told that Facebook is no longer accepting reviews due to COVID-19.

The group “made sure to carefully word the post” in order to avoid censorship again, Sills told The College Fix.

Facebook’s Community Standards describes several examples of what it constitutes as nudity or sexual activity. It includes “[e]xplicity sexual intercourse,” “[i]mplied sexual intercourse” and depictions of genitalia.

Facebook did not immediately return an emailed request for comment to its general press email address from The College Fix.

MORE: Facebook removes post highlighting anti-Asian comment by lawmaker

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.