Reed’s facebook censorship

problems-3On July 21, a constituent complained about Reed’s censoring of constituents’ views on his public facebook page.

Reed responded:

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.

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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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19 Responses to Reed’s facebook censorship

  1. Bob McGill says:

    You do worse than that right here on this blog ! Maybe Reed has a CRACK-POT filter

  2. whungerford says:

    I’m glad to hear from you, Bob. It has been awhile.

  3. pystew says:

    This was on Reed’s Official Government Facebook page today, posted at 4:32.

    “Democrat patriotism!!😉 😂 Let’s see how many Republicans show up to burn the American flag at the other party’s convention!😉”

    It sounds campaign related to me.

  4. Tom Loid says:

    Reed’s Facebook censorship goes beyond removing posts that are singled out as unfavorable. Reed’s Facebook administrator actually fully blocks users who are critical of Reed from posting comments or liking posts. To me, this is far worse than just removing the occasional critical post. It’s exclusionary and prevents feedback from his constituency–he is in the public service after all. I have been blocked and have heard from others who havd been blocked.

  5. catkestler says:

    Sounds campaign related to me as well.

  6. Ellen Agnello says:

    His base rarely has comments deleted.

  7. whungerford says:

    Occasionally posts like this are removed after someone complains.

  8. whungerford says:

    As annoying as political censorship, is Tom’s tolerance for content that is explicit, racial, or vulgar. In spite of his stated standards, content that offends community standards of decency is often allowed.

  9. Steve Beikirch says:

    Add me to the list of people blocked from Reed’s official Facebook page. Actually I have been blocked twice. After the first time I called Reed Washington office and complained. I was reinstated only to be blocked again. Poor Tommy Boy, what will he do next?

  10. catkestler says:

    I always make sure I staunchly follow the posting guidelines. I have been blocked by Twitter, his campaign page and the only way I can leave a comment is to comment on a post that he leaves, then it’s usually deleted. I have started taking screenshots of my comments to prove they were there, then I file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee.

  11. whungerford says:

    Please tell us if you get a response from the House Ethics Committee.

  12. Deb Meeker says:

    Thank you for covering this topic. I too have been curbed severely from posting and commenting on the Rep.Tom Reed’s official page, and have been totally banned from his campaign page for many months.
    The censorship appears to be selective however. On Tom Reed’s campaign “Tom Reed” page he allows at least some negative remarks about himself to remain. This is a strange way to filter two different pages. From what I understand, Reed is allowed to strongly filter his campaign page, but not the official page, except for what is stated in his blurb above.
    Mostly deleted are facts that reveal Tom Reed’s words to be opposite his actions, or have proven to show he speaks two or three different opinions to different groups. It may be that Tom Reed can’t handle that some people remember his past actions and votes.And very likely he’s afraid that posts and comments would link him to Donald Trump.

  13. whungerford says:

    Deb, you wondered some time ago why this post by Frank Acomb was grayed out. It has since been restored. Could it have been because it mentioned “Trump?”

    Listen in on Frankly Speaking this week for RNC coverage. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be joined by Wendy Long 2016, Rep. Tom Reed , Rodney J. Strange – 15th District Chemung County Legislator , and Julian Raven from Unafraid & Unashamed – Trump Presidential Painting.

  14. Deb Meeker says:

    That could very well be it. How can Tom Reed say he’s bringing unity when all he does is back off what Trump says, and does? Tom’s “worried about Trump’s rhetoric and has talked to Trump about it”. That sounds more like chastising than support.

  15. I don’t think I ever tried posting to Tom’s official government Facebook page. I have posted to his unofficial political page. He not only blocked me from commenting, he removed all my posts–they have all disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole. I guess he doesn’t like it when someone brings facts to the table indicating he doesn’t know what he is talking about on the Iran deal.

  16. whungerford says:

    There is little difference between the two pages. Almost everything Tom posts on either page is self-promotion; he seldom reports on his official responsibilities. He deletes anything he dislikes on both pages–anything he dislikes can be said to be “campaign related.”

  17. Tom Taylor says:

    Just to point out how wrong all your whining and complaining is….I’m a Reed supporter who enjoys refuting many of the anti Reed trolls who are complaining above who have blocked me on Facebook from seeing there posts…..and guess what?

    Today I found myself blocked from posting on Reed’s Facebook page!

    To many campaign related posts, I guess, although I got no warning.

    I was just blocked today. The rest of Facebook works; I’m only blocked at Reed’s Government Facebook site.

    So I guess all your persecution conspiracy theories are worthless!

    Blocks are apparently not based upon whether you are a Reed supporter or not.

  18. Steve Beikirch says:

    Poor Dr. Tom Taylor – now you know how it feels. All your rants and comments belittling others have now been swept into the trash bin of history. Your support of Tommy Boy kept you around a lot longer than many of us.

  19. Deb Meeker says:

    Perhaps you’re no longer radical enough to be useful to Tom anymore –
    He’s on the Trump Train now, leaving behind the old HO steam engine Republicans behind.

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