If you can remember much of anything from the 2016 campaign — and it feels like that was almost a decade ago now — you might know that Austin Petersen was an active challenger for for the Libertarian party nomination for president. He was narrowly defeated by the befuddled Gary Johnson, but he’s now running as a Republican for the right to challenge Missouri incumbent Senator Clair McCaskill next November.

Imagine his surprise, then, when he was informed that the opaque powers that be who run Facebook had suspended him from his own page.

As Petersen told reason.com,

In that email interview today, Petersen writes that “I was signed out of Facebook on all my devices [last week], and when I signed back in, I received a message saying that my livestream had been the cause of me being banned for 30 days. This was a livestream done on my professional public facing account (Austin Petersen), but it was my personal account (Austin Wade) that got the ban.”

The livestream in question was promoting a raffle giveaway of an AR-15 rifle. Fox News in reporting on Petersen’s ban today thinks it found in Facebook’s posted “community standards” a reason: “The purchase, sale or trade of firearms, ammunition and explosives between private individuals isn’t allowed on Facebook.” (Fox was not able to get Facebook to speak directly about the matter.)

You don’t say. It was easier to get an audience with Howard Hughes than it is for a typical user to get a hold of anyone who runs the Book of Faces.

The good news is that, in response to accusations of bias by the Commander in Chief himself, none other than Grand Vizier Mark Zuckerberg has assured us that the social media giant doesn’t take sides politically.

Zuckerberg responded with a Facebook post, saying his site had helped generate discussion of a number of topics during the election, that efforts by the company had encouraged “as many as 2 million people” to register to vote, and that the site had not taken sides.

“Trump says Facebook is against him,” Zuckerberg said. “Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like. That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”

Well that’s good to know. So if that’s the case, it would take a real tin foil hatter to conclude that Petersen’s suspension had anything at all to do with politics.

Petersen wonders aloud in his open letter to Zuckerberg about the propriety of seemingly arbitrary clampdowns on a political candidate, especially considering that the company’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has donated “the maximum allowable amount to my opponent” (incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill).

Surely there’s no connection between Petersen’s political leanings and the preferences of high-ranking Facebook execs. Right? As Petersen wrote in his open letter to Geat and Powerful Zuck,

I’ve been following with interest your recent statements defending Facebook as an unbiased platform “for all ideas.” I hope that’s really true. However, blocking a candidate for the United States Senate for exercising support of the Second Amendment — especially when that candidate is challenging an incumbent favored by members of your board — is cause for concern and worthy of a larger conversation and a public explanation.

That’s just kooky talk. Isn’t it?

 

30 Responses to US Senate Candidate Austin Petersen Suspended by Facebook Over Gun Give-Away

  1. I wonder if he was sending Draft Kings NFL spam bullshit to people like TTAG is now apparently doing…way to sell my fuckin Email address you dicks. Taking a page from the NRA playbook I see.

  2. I emailed his campaign earlier today. Already got a response: He will introduce NFA repeal if elected and supports Controlled Substances Act repeal. Once his staff finds out his position on the Fair Tax I’m donating.

    • He’s a libertarian-conservative, so I suspect his position is that no tax is “fair”, and that he’d vote for any bill reducing taxes or spending that didn’t have a clause violating some other principle (e.g. cut taxes 10%, but introduce a federal gun registry).

      I didn’t know he was running before this. Hopefully this story will turn out as a “no such thing as bad press” situation for him and increase his profile among the voters.

  3. I saw a pic of his post, the rifle wasn’t bad but I’d really want that flintlock pistol he’s posing with.
    Appreciate the trigger discipline too…

  4. Banning certain ideas and promoting others. “That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like.” I hope Mr. Petersen wins, and Zuckerberg has a well earned enemy in the U.S. Senate.

  5. Oh well buddy you ARE running to be an establishment pol. Deal with it. I myself spent a coupla’ daze in fakebook jail for using a BAD word. Gay…about a gay thing. And that’s ALL I typed…f##k fakebook.

  6. Meh…rookie failure. No gun sales OR raffles on fakebook. I was recently in FB jail for using a “bad” word…😈😈😈

  7. “Austin Petersen” — “Austin Powers?”, “Jordan Peterson?” It would be a brilliantly chosen stage name, except for … that would mean accusing a Libertarian candidate who couldn’t beat Where’s My Johnson? of being competent.

    • LP presidential race doesn’t have an actual primary, they just have a mysterious council pick candidates without member input.

  8. One of my local gun stores (and first responder outfitter) keeps getting booted from facebook for advertising products in his store.

    He’s following all of their made-up-on-the-spot rules, and every three to five days they drop the banhammer on him about thirty minutes after his first “I’m back” post.

  9. Well I guess as a private company, Facebook can deny a gun give away. And just like a gun store can refuse to sell guns to a Muslim. Or a Christian baker can refuse a gay wedding cake customer???

    I’ve been told by libertarians a business can racially discriminate if it wants to.
    So the gun store is ok? The bakers are ok?
    But Facebook is definitely ok.

    Over a hundred years ago the only way a black person could get a newspaper in the South was if a Pullman Porter through one out a moving train. No business wanted to carry a Negro Newspaper back then. Even tho that white business would have made money selling negro newspapers.

    • It’s way past time for Fvckbook and Google to have some anti-trust actions lodged against them from the government.

      If you look at anti-trust actions in the past the previous companies were not near as powerful and dominant as Fvckbook and google ar today.

    • Good points all around once again , Chris T in KY . Something about the Appalachian mountains helps with the reasoning processes . We can out smart the Face Book Trolls if we use a little imagination ……………… I do it all the time , get our sides point of view across in non provocative ways and occasionally even getting a thumbs up from some die hard liberals . Reason and truth often rule the day if we are gentle in our approach .

  10. I have a bit of a mancrush on Austin. I’ve been busily trying to convince my Democrat friends to vote for him in the primary. Claire is going to lose no matter what (unless she gets another genius of an opponent who says something over the top like there are no rape babies because God would never allow a woman who was “legitimately” raped to conceive a child. Missouri has solidified itself as a solid red state since she won re-election five years ago. My hope is that since a Republican is going to win, we can at least get the best possible candidate elected and not another blowhard scumbag like Roy Blunt.

  11. No news is bad news. More exposure for one of the most exciting politicians in a long time. Hope he wins and that we get an actual “Stop spending so much money” Republican in office.

    This current stock of Republicans are an embarrassment. Tax cuts are worthless if they aren’t combined with spending cuts. The 20 trillion debt isn’t going to go away just cause Trump says he will wave his magical “Market growth” wand.

    • You confuse two separate issues. We must cut spending because 1.) most is unconstitutional, 2.) being blown on BS 3.) We can’t afford what we are spending. 4.) We can’t afford what we already spend. 5.) Destroying a capitalistic economy (as if we still have one).

      Tax cuts DO spur economic growth. In particular, when rates are at the obscene levels that currently exist. If you don’t understand this get your head out and find an education. With the exception that even at the lowest income level EVERYONE pays in something.

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