Openly gay Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims has been banned from Facebook. The politician shared on his social media channel a homophobic slur that was sent to him by a Baltimore resident named Jill Freb. She decided to message the man, “You get out faggot.” When Sims shared the message to his followers to show the kind of things people write to him, Facebook banned both his public and private accounts for 24 hours.
Sims did not violate any agreement terms when he reposted the message, and after he called out Facebook, his account was restored within 15 hours.
“We get that Facebook is a multi-billion dollar, multinational corporation. So, no, I don’t expect that for every user, there’s a corresponding employee reviewing any and all complaints. However, both anecdotally and in my own personal and professional life, I’ve seen so many examples of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, xenophobia, both direct and broad, and have called out to who Facebook tells us is responsible for reviewing those, and nothing happens. Or, something like this happens, where somehow the flip side of the appropriate action is what Facebook decided to take,” he wrote.
Facebook responded: “We allow people to share messages they receive even hateful ones. Removing this post was a mistake in misunderstanding that it was discussing a message Representative Sims had himself experienced. The post also does not violate our Community Standards and has been restored and Representative Sims is no longer in a feature block.”