Senator Tim Scott blasted Facebook and its apparent censorship of conservative views as he demanded to know what was “unsafe” about two black women who support President Trump.
The South Carolina Republican was referring to Diamond and Silk, aka Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who accused Facebook of discrimination and censorship after being labeled “unsafe to the community.”
In a bit of irony, I’m posting video from our HELP Committee hearing today. As I’m sure many of you know, Mark Zuckerberg is on the Hill to testify today, and though I’m not on the Commerce or Judiciary Committees where he is being questioned, I did want to take the opportunity to express my concerns with Facebook seemingly censoring conservative views.
Russians trying to influence our elections? Kick them off. Racists or others trying to incite violence and hate? Goodbye forever. But @Diamond And Silk? Two black women sharing their conservative views? They are hardly “unsafe to the community”.
Posted by Tim Scott on Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Scott, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, posted a video of his remarks about Facebook during his committee’s meeting while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with senators on Capitol Hill.
“In a bit of irony, I’m posting video from our HELP Committee hearing today,” he wrote, explaining that he wanted to express his views on “Facebook seemingly censoring conservative views.”
Diamond and Silk spent months trying to get an answer from the social media giant about why there was a drop in engagement on their Facebook page. Facebook finally informed them: “The Policy team has come to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community.”
“What is it about two black women espousing their support of the president of the United States that makes them ‘unsafe’ for the community?” Scott asked.
“They aren’t bullies. They aren’t violent. They aren’t inciting riots,” he continued. “I don’t always agree with their methodology or even some of their statements. But I don’t have to agree with them. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment, isn’t it?”
Scott went on to address the racial discrimination he also sees in the Facebook actions.
“Tell me, if they were two African American liberals espousing their views about a liberal political figure, would they too be considered ‘unsafe’?” he asked. “I don’t think they would.”
Scott slammed the move as the “height of liberal hypocrisy,” accusing Facebook of only honoring freedom of speech if that speech is furthering the liberal agenda. He wondered where is the outcry over the blatant censorship of Diamond and Silk and pointed out that Facebook “often defends itself using the First Amendment but doesn’t care about using those policies for their users.”
“If you’re Russians trying to influence the elections, kick them off. But they didn’t. If you’re inciting violence and hate, kick them off, absolutely. But if you’re two African American conservative women sharing your somewhat colorful but ultimately harmless opinions, I’d like to think that’s okay for the community,” Scott said.
Facebook walked back its original statement on Diamond and Silk, saying the situation was not handled properly and they had directly “communicated” with the women to set things right.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 10, 2018
But the women called out the company on it’s “lie” during an appearance on Fox News, arguing that Facebook “never communicated” with them other than the initial declaration that they were a danger to the community.