On July 21, a constituent complained about Reed’s censoring of constituents’ views on his public facebook page.
House ethics require us to remove posts and comments that are campaign related. These are generally hidden by default, based on the filters that we have set. If you would like to discuss this further, please call our office at 202-225-3161.
The claim that comments are censored impartially by “software filters” is dubious. This, I think, would be rather difficult to do, particularly in light of the evident bias against views that Reed likely finds repugnant. I believe the censoring is done manually. There is plenty of evidence that unfriendly views are singled out.
Even if the censorship is implemented with software filters, it isn’t necessarily fair. As Reed has created the filters, he clearly can and does favor material he approves over material he dislikes.
The claim that only campaign related comments are deleted won’t stand scrutiny. Again and again comments that mention no candidate and have no apparent connection to any political campaign evaporate. Comments that do have a connection to Reed’s campaign, but are uncritical, are often allowed. For example, comments critical of Obamacare, a campaign issue, seemingly are welcome.
One can easily test Reed’s statement–just post an otherwise innocuous comment critical of Tom Reed and see how long it lasts.
On July 22, Tom posted this:
It was our pleasure to be hosted by Mayor Lovely Warren, of the City of Rochester, NY – Mayor’s Office. We spent the day learning more about those who are struggling in our cities and how we can fight poverty by joining together to develop solutions across the aisle. A very special thanks to our new friends at the Freedom School on North Goodman Street for the warmest welcome and for being great hosts. To learn more about our plan to fight poverty, visit Better.Gop.
There were several comment; all have vanished. It took 20 hours, which strongly suggests manual intervention rather than software.
Reed has no apparent reason to be nervous, yet only a desperate officeholder would be suppress the views of constituents. While Reed claims to respect the Constitution, he evidently does not think the First Amendment applies to his supposedly public facebook page.