Facebook has deleted a Facebook post from a GOP lawmaker. The post called for the indiscriminate murder of American citizens and political opponents.
It seems like hardly a month goes by without a political official in the US posting content so vile, that social media is forced to take it down. Last month, Facebook and Twitter took down a Trump video showing him saying that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.
This month, a Republican lawmaker called for the murder of political opponents on Facebook – a post that was deleted by Facebook. From The Hill:
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) suggested in a Facebook post on Tuesday that armed demonstrators in his state should be met with force, leading the social media platform to remove it for breaking its policies against inciting violence.
In the post on his campaign account, Higgins attached a photo of Black men with guns and wrote: “One way ticket fellas. Have your affairs in order. Me?… I wouldn’t even spill my beer. I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand.”
“Nothing personal. We just eliminate the threat. We don’t care what color you are. We don’t care if you’re left or right. If you show up like this, if We recognize threat… you won’t walk away,” Higgins continued.
Higgins further warned people “aggressively natured and armed in my presence” that “that is where your journey will end.”
The article goes on to say that the post has since been deleted by Facebook. This point is confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson. The reason the post was deleted is that it incited violence – an obvious violation of the rules. As it turns out, Higgins isn’t pleased with having the book thrown at him and responded:
“No, I did not remove my post. America is being manipulated into a new era of government control. Your liberty is threatened from within,” Higgins wrote.
“Welcome to the front lines, Ladies and Gentlemen. I suggest you get your mind right. I’ll advise when it’s time gear up, mount up, and roll out,” he added.
Here’s the thing in all of this. Last I checked, uttering a threat like this is illegal in US law. This isn’t some political debate or left vs right thing. This is an issue of right vs. wrong. If anything, charges should be laid in this incident. When you directly threaten the lives of other people, you cross a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
What Facebook did here is make the obvious move – enforce the rules. This is not even close to being a partisan move as suggested by Higgins. In a sane world, such comments would be universally condemned for, at minimum, inflaming tensions in the country. Really, Facebook didn’t have much choice in the matter. If Facebook left the comments up, it would be seen as an endorsement. As it stands now, social media already has a bad reputation for leaving comments up that should’ve been removed from people of a particular political leaning. Leaving those comments up would be seen by critics of further proof of this. As far as we’re concerned, Facebook did nothing wrong in this case.