Is Facebook Discriminating Against Conservative Fundraisers Too?
We’re all aware of social media sites censoring conservatives on their platforms. Twitter is arbitrarily suspending conservative accounts and purging their followers. Last year, Facebook starting purging accounts over alleged violations of community standards, and teaming up with liberal fact-checking sites to verify the quality of stories shared on their platform. Many conservatives report having their account features restricted for a period time (otherwise known as being in Facebook Jail) over unknown violations with no real opportunity to appeal. Myself included. While Facebook’s anti-conservative bias has been demonstrated in many ways, PJ Media has been informed that they may also be discriminating against personal fundraisers hosted on their site. Facebook introduced personal fundraising into its platform in 2017 in order to compete with sites like GoFundMe.
A month ago, conservative activist Joe Diamond created a personal fundraiser called the Coalition to Get Ilhan Omar Off The House Foreign Affairs Committee. Diamond told PJ Media that the goal of the fundraiser was “to pay for billboards and rally expenses,” such as fliers, posters, and other necessities.
Facebook’s fundraiser policies do state that they won’t approve personal fundraisers that “benefit a political campaign, Political Action Committee (PAC), or otherwise benefit a candidate for office or an individual currently holding political office.” But Diamond explained to PJ Media that he felt this wasn't applicable to his fundraiser because it wasn't connected to electoral politics, but rather to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitism, which makes her unfit to serve on a such a powerful committee. Facebook's initial screening process seemed to agree it didn't violate their rules, as the fundraiser was submitted and approved by Facebook within an hour, and remained active and accepted donations for a month, raising nearly $3,000 of its $5,000 goal before the plug was pulled.
GoFundMe similarly halted a fundraiser on their platform for the Christian bakers who wouldn't make a gay wedding cake to help them cover the costs of the monetary damages they were forced to pay for standing up for their religious beliefs.
Screenshots of Diamond's inquiry to Facebook and their responses were provided to PJ Media.
Diamond was not satisfied by Facebook’s response to his requests for more information. “My political instinct tells me that the timing is suspicious. They pulled the plug right as we had raised enough for a billboard,” he told PJ Media. He was particularly bothered by the fact they wouldn’t specify what rule he had broken. “It’s like they were telling me ‘you decide why we took you down.’” Facebook’s lack of clarity has only raised more questions. “What is their policy? Are they selectively enforcing it?” he wondered.
PJ Media has reached out to Facebook for comment but has not received a response.
According to Joe Diamond, lawyers are currently looking into the situation. “Facebook now controls the town square of the globe… they need to clarify their policies,” he said.
Jeff Wiesenfeld, the chairman of the group, recently spoke with Gary Baumgarten of Fox News Radio about what’s been happening.
The Coalition to Get Ilhan Omar Off The House Foreign Affairs Committee organizes via their Facebook group and website. Niger Innis, who is a member of the advisory board, was recently on Fox News Business and mentioned the group’s efforts, and why what they’re doing is so important. “For [Ilhan Omar] to be able to have access to sensitive national security material is a threat to all Americans,” Innis said on Trish Regan Primetime.
Despite Facebook’s abrupt ending of the fundraiser, the Coalition to Get Ilhan Omar Off The House Foreign Affairs Committee was able to raise funds through other means to secure the purchase of a one-week billboard campaign which will run in the Times Square area starting Monday, May 20, 2019.