On Wednesday, Trump 2020 advisory board member Jenna Ellis Rives shared a pro-life post from blogger Matt Walsh, pointing out how transgender activism undermines key pro-choice arguments. Facebook flagged the post for “hate speech.”
“Facebook continues to suppress conservatives critiquing the progressive left and calling out their hypocrisy,” Rives told PJ Media. “We never see this kind of suppression when it’s actual hatred from the left, for instance, attacks against Mike Pence for his Christian beliefs.”
“Facebook’s ‘community standards’ simply mean they are in the business of censoring conservative thought,” she added.
The post merely included a photo of a hilarious Matt Walsh tweet. Walsh noted key pro-choice arguments about abortion being a woman’s right, so only women can speak about the issue. He also referenced arguments used by transgender activists, celebrating biological men who identify as women as being “real women.”
“Gender is a social construct but I am woman hear me roar but anyone can be a woman but no uterus no opinion but transwomen are women but I demand women’s rights but men are women but men are scum but drag queens are beautiful but appropriation is evil,” Walsh tweeted.
Gender is a social construct but I am woman hear me roar but anyone can be a woman but no uterus no opinion but transwomen are women but I demand women's rights but men are women but men are scum but drag queens are beautiful but appropriation is evil
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) May 14, 2019
Indeed, transgender activism does undermine many central tenets of feminism, and radical feminists have condemned the idea that men can “become” women by identifying themselves as such.
Lesbian feminist Julia Beck has spoken out against transgender activism as a “Trojan horse” that will remove key rights from women. Miriam Ben-Shalom, the first lesbian to be reinstated to the Army after getting booted out for her sexuality, emphatically denied any connections between Trump’s new military transgender policy and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She found such comparisons offensive.
Yet the post pointing out the incongruity of transgender and feminist arguments was branded “hate speech” on Facebook. When Rives posted it, the social media platform warned: “your post goes against our Community Standards on hate speech.”
This block does not make sense. Perhaps the claim that “men are scum” could be seen as an attack on men, but far more likely some transgender activist reported the post for “hate speech” and a Facebook employee agreed. Walsh was clearly mocking these arguments, not endorsing them.
Rives responded to the block by taking a screenshot and sharing that on Facebook, with the message, “Really, Facebook?” “And within 5 minutes or so, that post was also censored as violating community standards on hate speech,” Rives told PJ Media. Both posts are currently under review and invisible to users.
Yet this is not the first time Rives, a constitutional lawyer and author, had a post taken down from Facebook. Before she joined the Trump campaign and got married, and just after the convictions of Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, Jenna Ellis wrote an article explaining why the convictions of Manafort and Cohen did not put President Trump in legal jeopardy. Facebook took down her post and a similar post from CNN contributor Salena Zito, branding their articles “spam.”
The timing seemed rather significant, as many liberal outlets were sharing speculation that the Manafort and Cohen convictions could bring down the president. In the crucial hours after the story, two conservative opinions were silenced on Facebook.
The timing of this block may also be significant. Abortion issues have come front and center in the political debate after the Alabama Senate passed — and Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) signed — a powerful pro-life bill challenging Roe v. Wade. Many Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election attacked the bill, and many of the same candidates celebrated transgender identity back in March.
Matt Walsh’s tweet is salient political speech, and Jenna Ellis Rives tried to give it a platform on Facebook, where she has more than 2,000 friends.
When asked if she thinks the timing was suspect, Rives said, “Absolutely.”
“This is what Facebook does. They censor conservative thought on key issues at key moments to keep us from commenting against the left’s narrative. Then once the news cycle has had 24-48 hours, Facebook comes back with some lame apology and blames their ‘algorithms.’ It’s happened to me personally several times now at key moments for conservative politics with my posts or opinion pieces, and other prominent conservative voices.”
“It’s also very suspect as a member of the Advisory Board. I didn’t even editorialize, just posted a screen shot of Matt’s tweet with an emoji. How is that possibly against their ‘community standards?'” she asked.
At least 17 other Facebook accounts shared the text of the Matt Walsh post, but Rives — a Trump campaign advisory board member — was not allowed to share an image of it.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.