Monday 19th November 2018

Trump supporters Diamond and Silk claim their content has been declared ‘unsafe’ by Facebook

Jason Smith
by on 8th April 2018

In a tweet published on Friday last week, Diamond and Silk, whose real names are Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, claimed Facebook’s policy team determined their brand and content to be “unsafe to the community”.

The duo achieved overnight popularity in 2015 after launching a YouTube video advocating in favour of Donald Trump’s candidacy, and their Facebook page has attracted over 1 million Facebook fans since it was launched three years ago.

In a series of tweets they outlined what they claim is the content of the message received from Facebook and stated “What is unsafe about two Blk-women supporting the @POTUS @realDonaldTrump?”

They went on to ask more questions, which they addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“2. Our FB page has been created since December 2014, when exactly did the content and the brand become unsafe to the community?
3. When you say “community” are you referring to the Millions who liked and followed our page?
4. What content on our page was in violation?
5. If our content and brand was so unsafe to the community, why is the option for us to boost our content and spend money with FB to enhance our brand page still available? Maybe FB should give us a refund since FB censored our reach.
6. Lastly, didn’t FB violate their own policy when FB stopped sending notifications to the Millions of people who liked and followed our brand page?”

The pair also claims that Facebook stated “This decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way” and that it stopped sending notifications to users who liked their page.

Their comments come in the midst of a number of conservative commentators accusing prominent social media websites of “censoring” conservative opinions.

More recently, Twitter was accused by conservative commentators of initiating a “purge” of conservative voices on Twitter. In response, Twitter told Ars Technica “[our] tools are apolitical, and we enforce our rules without political bias”.

Moreover, going back to 2016, a number of Facebook employees argued for Donald Trump’s posts to be deleted from the social network (a proposal Mark Zuckerberg rejected).

In the same year, Gizmodo published an interview with a former journalist for Facebook’s trending news section. According to the journalist, Facebook employees prevented stories from appearing in its trending news section, even though the stories were trending organically.

In a follow up the interview, another Facebook employee told Digiday “I wouldn’t say that it was a systemic problem with biases per se, but there were things in that Gizmodo article that were accurate.”

The employee went on to say “Ninety percent of the team identified as liberal, including the copy editors, who essentially had the final approval on topics.”

Facebook recently decided to prioritize what it calls “meaningful interactions” in users’ news feeds. The Silicon Valley based organization has also put measures in place to prioritize local news content ahead of national content.

Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also recently addressed the topic of political bias on social media in a live Q&A on Periscope.