As has happened to so many gun-related enterprises in recent years, our friends at The Firearm Blog woke up earlier this week to find that they’d been de-platformed by Instagram. The Facebook-owned site had simply deleted their account without warning or explanation.
You’d think there’d be some kind of appeals process when something like that happens, but in the Alice in Wonderland-style curiouser and curiouser world of social media site standards management, TFB got this message when they tried to contact Zuckerberg’s anonymous drones to find out what happened:
The account you’re referring to has been removed. We’re unable to restore accounts that have been permanently deleted. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
The Instagram Team
Apparently you can only appeal if you’ve been suspended. Removal is forever. Or something.
I talked to TFB’s editor in chief Pete yesterday who was at a loss to explain how they’d run afoul of Instagram’s nebulous, malleable, inscrutable “community standards.” It could have been something as simple as a single angry reader (who may have objected to their take on an ugly gun or something) reporting the site. Then, when the faceless button-pusher who fielded the complaint saw the word “firearm” was in the site’s name, they simply dropped the ban hammer.
Who knows? That’s just speculation.
Such is life these days when your topic of choice is one as déclassé and socially unacceptable to the famously tolerant techno-coastal elite wizards who run online media platforms as guns. You never know when posting something as anodyne as a photo of a rifle might trigger someone who thought they were secure in their safe space.
In the mean time, TFB has established a new Instagram account, here, and has begun the long process of rebuilding their reader base. Consider visiting the new address and giving them a follow.