crackdown by Facebook on some social media posts for political content has resulted in a 30-day ban for Roberta Dobie, a member of the Live Oak County Republicans who also updates the party’s Facebook page, which has resulted in scrambling to make sure area residents stay informed on political developments.
“I did share information about the election and what’s going on,” she said. “I posted about whether President Trump has a right to protest the election.
“I can see posts but I cannot comment, post or share,” she said. “It’s unfortunate because I was the one running the local Republican Party Facebook page, and I can’t do that either.
“There have been so many changes in 2020 it’s mind boggling. It’s torture for me because I’m so hooked on it. I only got one message (from Facebook) and no other warnings – it was really strange. I had an inkling it was going to be happening.”
Dobie said she started posting on another Live Oak County Republican Facebook page started by a Lagarto couple, and added that page has now been deleted.
“They had no warning and I had posted quite a bit on that page. I’m fortunate that at least my ban is only for 30 days.”
Still, Dobie said she is concerned about the chilling effect the ban has had on her ability to communicate with some Live Oak County Republicans, and also to the limit of the free flow of information.
She has set up accounts on MeWe (considered to be a Facebook alternative) and Parler (considered to be an alternative to Twitter).
In one strange twist, Facebook posts that Dobie made years ago which have been recently re-posted as memories have also been flagged to questionable content. Those posts that were fine at the time they were made are now called into question by Facebook monitors, she said.
“I’d been posting political memories and I’d get a notification from a fact checker,” Dobie said. “It was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know it would happen that suddenly.’
“I do think we have a problem with (Facebook censorship) and it’s going to be a major topic of conversation. Why I was banned, I don’t know. They just said it was because of groups I had been in. People say you can appeal but I don’t see a way to appeal. I do think this is a major issue that needs to be addressed.”
Those who want to receive updates from Dobie can send an email to email@example.com.