Facebook yanked a page Tuesday for encouraging violence against Republicans after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.— whose concerns were initially dismissed by Facebook — reportedly raised the issue on Capitol Hill.
According to The Hill, Gaetz highlighted content posted on a page titled "Milkshakes against the Republican Party" that called for "crazed shooters" to target the GOP's congressional baseball team and attack the NRA during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
The lawmaker said the social media platform previously said the page did not meet its criteria for removal when his office contacted them about the posts.
At the hearing, Facebook's Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert asserted any calls for violence violate their terms of service — and promised to address the content, The Hill reported.
Afterward, the page was removed.
"I am glad Facebook swiftly removed this offensive page; while I unconditionally support the First Amendment, inciting violence against others due to their political affiliation is not Constitutionally protected speech," Gaetz said in a statement, The Hill reported.
"While removing this page was a small step forward to making Facebook a safer place, bigger questions remain."
The Hill noted Republicans argue Facebook is biased against conservative content, and Tuesday's hearing examining how social media companies filter content was the second on the subject.
"This distinction is not merely academic, as they are governed by different laws and different rules," Gaetz stated. "If Facebook claims to be a neutral forum, it cannot continue to limit conservative content; if Facebook claims to be a publisher, it will lose its legal 'immunity' under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
"They simply cannot have it both ways. My colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee look forward to exploring this important distinction in the future."
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