This article originally appeared at Ammoland.com and is reprinted here with permission.
John Crump, a journalist for AmmoLand News, and Gun Owners of America have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging violations of provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by Facebook.
The complaint alleges Facebook (FB), and/or Agence France-Presse (AFP), and Kamala Harris, the Democrat candidate for Vice President, have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act act in the following ways. From the complaint:
1. the prohibition on corporations making in-kind contributions (see 52 U.S.C. §§ 30101(8), 30118);
2. the limitations on making coordinated expenditures (52 U.S.C. § 30116(a)(7));
3. the prohibition on making Independent Expenditures without disclaimers and reporting (52 U.S.C. §§ 30104(g) and 30120(a)); and
4. the prohibition on foreign nationals making in-kind contributions for the purpose of influencing a federal election (52 U.S.C. § 30121).
The hostility of Facebook against gun ownership, the right to arms, conservative speech, as well as Republicans, has become a notoriously subjective experience for many Second Amendment supporters.
The allegations in the FEC complaint are stark and easily followed. Facebook uses AFP as its official “fact-checker,” which gives the French government-supported news agency significant power in deciding what is acceptable speech on Facebook for U.S.-based users, particularly as it concerns what is or is not “fake news.“
The “fact-checker” is supposed to be unbiased in what it labels as false or true.
The complaint lays out how an article written by Cam Edwards titled “Kamala Harris Says She Supports Your Second Amendment Rights, Her Record Proves Otherwise” on the website BearingArms.com, was taken down [technicaly redirected by overlay] by Facebook.
The FB app would overlay a warning claiming the original article was “False Information” and hijacked interested readers, redirecting these FB users instead to an AFP article, “Kamala Harris does not oppose gun ownership or the Second Amendment.“ Facebook searches for the Edwards article were directed to the AFP puff-piece driving Facebook users to the French article filled with less-than-truthful reporting that failed to mention her history of supporting gun control and limiting Second Amendment rights.
AmmoLand News and John Crump reported on this when first discovered on August 21, 2020, in an article titled ‘Facebook Fact Checker Interfering in U.S. Election, Covering for Harris’s Gun Control‘.
Another blatant example of the false “false information” flagging was when an article by Texas Director for GOA, Rachel Malone was shadow-banned. The article is entitled “Kamala Harris is the Gun Owner’s Worst Nightmare“. Multiple screengrabs, where Facebook took down other articles about candidate Harris’s position on a private right to arms, were easily found all over FB.
See the selection below:
In the filed FEC complaint, “John Crump and Gun Owners of America, Inc. Federal Election Commission Complaint Against: Facebook, AFP Fact Check, and Kamala Harris for Vice President“, goes on to detail how Facebook then deleted the personal FB account of AmmoLand News contributor John Crump. After John attempted to post on the Facebook App a link to the original Kamila Harris court document or Amicus Brief referenced in the Cam Edwards article. That court-filed document, submitted by Kamila Harris in her own words, was once more falsely flagged with the warning. When John called attention to this practice directly with FaceBook his account was shortly thereafter deleted.
What Agence France-Presse (AFP) Convenienty Fails to Report
The AFP paper does not show official statements from the Harris campaign which deny or reject the positions in the 2008 amicus brief. Instead, AFP interprets the statements as though banning some guns and some gun ownership is not an attack on the right to own guns, but only “gun safety” measures.
The AFP paper takes the same political position as the Harris position, which is, essentially, the Second Amendment is or should be, a paper tiger. They cite the Harris statement in 2018:
At a Judiciary Committee hearing in March 2018, Harris called for “common sense gun safety laws” and said “it’s a false choice to suggest that you are either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away.”
Thus, AFP comes down on Harris’ side of a contentious Constitutional issue, which has legal scholars on both sides. AFP only cited experts who hold that Second Amendment rights are extremely limited. AFP did not cite those who hold Second Amendment rights to be broad, such as Eugene Volokh from UCLA, or David Kopel of the Cato Institute.
This illustrates part of the problem with “fact-checkers” on political questions.
Either side can find “experts” to agree with its own beliefs.
When a public forum takes down assertions from one side, and only allows publication from the opposite side of an issue, that publication has taken sides.
The controversy goes deeper than the opinion of experts on the legal issue. It becomes one of a world-view or a philosophy.
The articles about Harris’ statements on more regulation of firearms in the United States cite her positions, and what the writers believe those positions mean for how Kamala Harris will act if she is elected the next Democratic Vice President, one 77-year-old heart-beat-away from being the President of the United States. They are clear and reasonable interpretations.
The AFP paper does not refute the claims of Cam Edwards, Rachel Malone, or John Crump. Instead, they interpret Harris’ statements and positions from the same philosophical base as the Harris campaign. Facebook’s claims and actions are not transparent or easily followed.
The AFP paper never claims Harris approves of a right to own guns, which is what is required to refute the claims of Edwards and Malone.
Instead, it says Harris does not oppose all gun ownership. The two positions are far apart. AFP never mentions the difference.
Facebook and AFP claim they do not take sides. GOA, John Crump, and the complaint say they do, and are doing so in violation of federal election law.
It is a David v. Goliath effort. Facebook is one of the wealthiest and most powerful companies on earth.
With only a few weeks before election day 2020 and early voting already in effect in some states, Facebook and AFP are exerting their influence on the American presidential election let us hope the FEC will hold them accountable.
Update: In an ironic twist of timing, the Biden / Harris Ticket in an open letter to Facebook on Monday is calling for increased, not less, censorship by Facebook.
The World Socialist Web Site, big supporters of the Biden ticket report:
“The campaign of Democratic Party presidential and vice-presidential candidates Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris published an open letter on Monday demanding that Facebook increase political censorship on its platform before the general election on November 3.”
This article originally appeared at Ammoland.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Is John Crump related to Donald Crump?
No. He will be Donald Trump, Jr.’s running mate in 2024. It will be the Trump-Crump ticket.
little diksum…No he is not related. How praytell could you be so stupid to even ask that? Hopefully your stupidity ends with your stupid question and you are not stupid enough to vote for Jim Crow Gun Control joe biden? Answer that question little diksum.
Lighten up Francis.
Unfortunately the election is less than a month away and FB can keep this up until such time as this is settled with the Federal Election Commission. Which will be around 2040 or later. Maybe 2050.
And yet I’m still voting for the Joe/Hoe ticket, what kind of moron does that make me?
The kind of moron we Marxist love, welcome moron! We have special plans for you.
The world needs useful idiots and you both will do fine.
Someone the revolution will eventually claim as a victim when the time is right.
You have already outed yourself as a class enemy.
“…what kind of moron does that make me?”
Well, you’re just a garden variety moron. I didn’t realize there were degrees of moronic inclination, not that it would matter if there were.
Go get em!!!
I’m hoping Facebook and other internet sites who are censoring conservative thought get their comeuppance after the election. I know it’s on Ted Cruz’s radar.
So a privately owned company can’t decide what’s on it?
Sure. But then Facebook needs to abandon the fiction that it is a neutral public forum, and in so doing discard its claims to section 230 immunity.
Of course, if it did so, Facebook would be sued into oblivion in a matter of weeks. And Zuckerberg et al. jolly well know it.
Facebook needs to be forced to declare what it is. Is it a public forum, where all legal speech is permitted (and thus enjoys broad legal immunity, because it is facilitating free speech)? Or does it want to be like a publisher, where “it’s my business, and I can decide what goes out / stays up,” — but then it is subject to liability for libel, defamation, copyright infringement, etc., that occur on “its” platform.
What is needed is a test case that challenges Facebook’s Section 230 immunity, and stuff like this needs to be Exhibit 1 for why it no longer qualifies for it. If such a case were brought in a friendly forum, a finding that Facebook is not entitled to Section 230 immunity would be collateral estoppel (meaning that Facebook could not relitigate the issue in subsequent cases — the matter will have been conclusively determined).
And that would likely be the end of Facebook.
Yes. Facebook, Twitter, et al., are controlling content while playing the public platform card, and eventually something will have to give.
In addition to the issues already mentioned, in which facebook, twitter, google, etc say “Hey, we’re just like the phone company!” and then proceed to act just like any leftist newspaper or website and nothing like the phone company, Facebook and the rest also have millions of dollars in CIA and other government contracts. At some point a company in bed with government is actually an arm of government.
If you don’t think facebook can affect an election, consider that Google has been implicated in affecting elections in India and other countries simply by making slight alterations to the search results that get displayed. And they have bragged about it. They have sales brochures on it.
Facebook can do what it wants. So can I.
That’s a childish myopic statement. If you are placed in prison, will you still be able to do what you want?
how would it prevent him from doing so? ya dope.
I don’t use Facebook. Its my choice. It gets filtered out of my network so it makes no difference to me personally what they do with their system. Too many people get lead by the nose by Facebook and Twitter.
I’m sick and tired of Facebook censorship, and Twitter censorship as well.
Last month, Twitter suspended my account for no apparent reason, but what Facebook did next was even worse, and absolutely unbelieavble. You’re going to think I’m making this up, but it’s true, I swear.
Last week, I posted on Facebook the truth, “Twitter suspended my account”, and Facebook labeled my post as “Fake News” and deleted it, by forwarding viewers to a post about PENGUINS in Antarctica — I am not making this up, this is absolutely true! I have no idea WTF my post about Twitter suspending my account had to do with penguins in Antarctica! I never posted anything on Twitter or Facebook about PENGUINS in Antarctica!
The only thing I can think of is that, in order to deter burglars and identity thieves, for years I’ve had my Facebook hometown listed as Antarctica (because I don’t want burglars visiting my home or identity thieves knowing my private information). But what does my Facebook hometown have to do with my post about TWITTER suspending my account? Nothing!
They are dirty and sick hand-wringers behind the scenes at that “Satan’s Chosen Ones” owned site….
Just more evil being perpetrated on America… a country founded by GODS CHOSEN ONES!
Once Willie Brown’s side piece settles in the Whitehouse she’ll calmly tell us we’re being disarmed and there isn’t a thing we can do about it.
First I’ve heard of Trump having sex with willie brown.
Probably not the first time she gets something wrong.
we need some random link generator that fools the fact check shit! and still links to the right story!
Facebook and twitter have blocked a story that uses emails to show that “Pops” Biden expects 50 percent from everyone of his relatives earnings after getting jobs and pay due to influence peddling. The New York Post printed the story and posted it, their twitter account was locked out. If that is not election interference I do not know what is.