Facebook Page Admins Claim Selective Enforcement, Yet Continue To Post Content That Violates Terms Of Service

By David Cohen 

There are two sides to every story. Take, for example, the story of page administrators for Facebook page Barracuda Brigade for Our American Girl! 2012, a fan community for former Alaska Gov. and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who claimed in a story on Examiner.com Sunday that they were being unfairly punished by the social network, while posts that clearly violate Facebook’s terms of service were still appearing on the page at the time of this post Monday afternoon.

Examiner.com spoke with Diane Sori of The Patriot Factor and Craig Andresen of The National Patriot, both conservative blogs, and they claimed that an anti-Islamic link that was posted to the Barracuda Brigade Facebook page resulted in various punishments for the page’s admins, from warnings to suspensions lasting three to 30 days.

A Facebook spokesperson would only confirm that the content posted on the Barracuda Brigade page violated the social network’s terms of service, citing the section of Facebook’s community standards dealing with hate speech:

Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

However, a source close to Facebook said there have been a “number of issues” with admins of the Barracuda Brigade posting content that violates the social network’s terms of service, including an image of a beheading — a clear violation of the sections of Facebook’s community standards covering violence and threats and graphic content, reproduced below, respectively:

Safety is Facebook’s top priority. We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning, or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.

People use Facebook to share events through photos and videos. We understand that graphic imagery is a regular component of current events, but must balance the needs of a diverse community. Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited.

And earlier Monday, the page posted a link to a video of two beheadings, another clear violation.

According to Examiner.com, Katie Harbath, a manager of public policy in Facebook’s Washington, D.C., office, looked into the matter and told Sori in an email:

Looked into this and our policies are to hold all admins accountable for what is posted to a page, so we won’t remove the ban. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Andresen responded in an email to Examiner.com:

I have SCOURED the FB rules, regulations and policies and can find NOTHING of this sort in them ANYWHERE!

Readers: Did Monday morning’s post on the Barracuda Brigade Facebook page of a link to a video of two beheadings make its claims of selective enforcement by the social network seem hollow?

“Banned” image courtesy of Shutterstock.