By James Wigderson for Media Trackers
Steve Toft is already facing tough odds in the race against Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI03), but now he has Facebook against him, too. Mysteriously and without explanation, Toft’s ads were pulled from Facebook over the Memorial Day weekend for “Unauthorized Political Content” even though they met all of Facebook’s terms and were posted on a political page up since October 2017.
“It is unconscionable that Facebook would target my campaign and our ads for censorship. As a first-time conservative candidate, who is challenging a 22-year career politician in Ron Kind, its highly suspect I was targeted for political reasons,” said Toft, a retired Army colonel living in Osseo, WI. “While we were honoring and celebrating the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country on Memorial Day, Facebook was trampling on my First Amendment right to free speech.”
According to Toft’s campaign consultant, David Fladeboe of Persuasion Partners, the campaign reached out to Facebook but so far only one of six ads has now been approved by Facebook – after the Memorial Day holiday. The other five ads remain in limbo. The Toft ads ran for more than a week before being mysteriously targeted for censorship.
Facebook has been heavily criticized for how it treats, and censors, conservative speech. In 2016, Gizmodo reported on systematic suppression of stories that were favorable to conservatives. Among other examples of Facebook censorship, conservative commentators “Diamond and Silk” were labeled “unsafe” by the social media company, temporarily blocking them from communication with their followers which became an issue at Senate hearings on Facebook and political information gathering.
You can view the Toft ads at the links below:
- Toft Proven Leader Ad 1: https://fb.me/1GU1DSQfU8V1JzS
- Toft Military Values Ad 2: https://fb.me/9uJeLNgjaybiEi
- Toft Career Politician Ad 3: https://fb.me/1IKmStLBOPws9P6
- Toft Ron Kind of “Conservative” Ad 4: https://fb.me/1HDjmpaMpR1yNWl
- Toft Born and Raised Ad 5: https://fb.me/2gsiiAtbedoJYix
- Toft Ron Kind of “Leadership” Ad 6: https://fb.me/9xIbHDW2pN4VXC