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Republican Senate Candidate Blocked From Facebook for AR-15 Rifle Giveaway

Austin Petersen writes open letter to Mark Zuckerberg over his 30-day block from the site

A Republican Senate candidate in Missouri has been blocked from Facebook for violating its community standards by hosting a giveaway for an AR-15 rifle in a Facebook Live video.

But Austin Petersen disagrees with the 30-day block, and responded by writing an open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on his campaign website.

“It’s difficult to ignore that this action comes during a period of heightened tension regarding Facebook’s role in our elections and its perceived bias against conservative voices,” Petersen wrote, and said he was “shocked” to find his profile blocked and the Facebook Live video promoting the giveaway removed, along with a status update about the giveaway.

Petersen said he is “confident” that his posts were “consistent with Facebook’s policies,” although the social media website clearly states  the prohibition of the trade of firearms: “The purchase, sale or trade of firearms, ammunition and explosives between private individuals isn’t allowed on Facebook… We understand that some of these items may not be legally regulated everywhere people use Facebook.”

Petersen took promoting his giveaway to Twitter instead:

Petersen’s concerns with Facebook echo Donald Trump’s, who recently said “Facebook was always anti-Trump.”