After Facebook was caught Tuesday encouraging violent threats against individuals that it deemed “dangerous” on its platform, including Laura Loomer and Paul Joseph Watson, the company has quietly removed that part of its terms of service Wednesday.
“UPDATE: Facebook has deleted its new policy that allowed violent threats against ‘dangerous individuals” after a backlash. ‘Dangerous individuals’ included anyone Facebook didn’t like,” PJW said on Twitter.
The policy basically declared open season on anyone whom Facebook declared to be “dangerous.” That obviously meant Loomer, whom the company banned from its platform for exactly that reason in May. Tuesday, the same day as the policy came to light, Loomer announced a $3 billion lawsuit against the company for punitive damages.
This site reported on the policy:
A draconian update to Facebook’s Community Standards effectively allows for detractors of banned Conservative media personalities to issue death threats against those classified by Facebook as “dangerous individuals”.
According to Facebook’s recently-updated policy on “violence and incitement”, death threats and incitement of violence are banned across the platform, unless your death threat is aimed at someone the social media company has labeled an acceptable “target”. Yes, really, they used the word target as if it’s some sort of bounty…
Do not post:
Threats that could lead to death (and other forms of high-severity violence) of any target(s), where threat is defined as any of the following:
- Statements of intent to commit high-severity violence
- Calls for high-severity violence (unless the target is an organisation or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organisations Policy)
- Including content where no target is specified but a symbol represents the target and/or includes a visual of an armament to represent violence
- Statements advocating for high-severity violence (unless the target is an organisation or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organisations Policy)
- Aspirational or conditional statements to commit high-severity violence (unless the target is an organisation or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organisations Policy)
As Facebook stated on May 2, 2019, their list of “dangerous individuals” includes InfoWars host Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, conservative activist Laura Loomer, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Loomer made the following statement on the company’s policy reversal:
I am absolutely mortified to see that Facebook, one of the largest and most powerful social media companies in the world, has declared open season on my life. Upon seeing the adjustment to Facebook community standards yesterday, I thought it was so obscene that it must be Photoshopped. It then prompted me to look at their community standards myself, and to my horror it was not Photoshopped at all.
Facebook banned me permanently on May 2, 2019 and declared me and others who they banned that day as “dangerous individuals.” According to Facebook’s own description of what a “dangerous individual” is, it is somebody who is a terrorist or a mass murderer, or somebody who promotes violence. I have never done any of those things and by labeling me as a “dangerous individual” and defaming me as a “dangerous individual,” Facebook already put my life in danger.
But yesterday after filing a $3 billion lawsuit against Facebook for defamation, Facebook must have decided to retaliate because they updated their community standards to say that it is OK to murder me. Paul Joseph Watson, who was also labeled as a dangerous individual reported on this as well. After our reporting, Facebook has decided to secretly update their community standards to save face for the fact that they called on their nearly 2 billion users to murder us and post death threats about us.
This is absolutely egregious and shows that tech censorship is no longer just an issue of the Internet and the digital square. It is now a life or death matter for people like myself who have been labeled as a “dangerous individual” it is time for President Trump’s administration and members of Congress to take serious action against big tech, because they are now promoting and inciting violence against Trump supporters. I urge President Trump to discuss this at the social media summit which will be taking place at the White House tomorrow – a summit to which I was not invited – and neither were any of the other so-called “dangerous individuals.”
While this article was being written, Facebook provided a statement, backtracking about its policy reversal and insisting that the language it used was used mistakenly.
“The language we previously used to describe our policies against violence and incitement was imprecise,” the statement said. “We have since replaced it to more clearly explain the policy and underlying rationale.”
Loomer has a video of Facebook removing the old policy, which will be published on this site later.
This story is developing.
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Peter D’Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.