Facebook temporarily banned gay, HIV-positive author/journalist Kevin Sessums for a post calling Trump supporters a “nasty fascistic lot.”
Sessums said the critical comments were a response to ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd’s claim that “lovely ‘Christian’ Trump fans” had called him “a Jew, faggot, retard.”
In the last few hours i have been called by lovely "christian" Trump fans: a jew, faggot, retard. To set record straight: divorced Catholic
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) December 29, 2016
After that, Sessums posted to his Facebook page that Trump supporters are “a fascistic lot” and said, “If you voted for Trump and continue to support him and you think you are better than these bigoted virulent trolls, you’re not.”
Sessums was notified soon afterward that the post violated Facebook’s “community standards” and that he would be barred from posting for 24 hours. If he continued such speech he faced a permanent ban, Facebook warned him, according to Sessums.
“It’s chilling. It’s arbitrary censorship,” said Sessums, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair who has penned two bestselling memoirs. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute, do I have to be careful about what I say about Trump now?’”
Sessums Speaks Out
Sessums took to his Instagram account to post an image of himself raising a defiant fist and holding a sign with the words “Censored and banned by Facebook”:
I have been banned for 24 hours posting on Facebook because I shared a Matthew Dowd post about being trolled by Trump voters and his being called a "retard and faggot and Jew" even though he pointed out he is a divorced Catholic. I then called them Russo-American oligarchical theocratic fascists and was was flagged by someone – no doubt a fascist or fascist collaborator – and FB told me that what I posted did not meet its community standards and this would serve as a warning but they if I continued to post such things I would be permanently blocked. To be censored and blocked rightfully naming the rise of fascism is a form of fascism itself and corporate collaboration. On the same day that the celebrity fascist Milo Yiannopoulos gets a $250,000 advance from Simon $ Schuster to write a book they are spinning as one about free speech I am censored for my political speech and banned from posting on Facebook. We are living in dangerous Orwellian times. Maybe take a screenshot of this and post it on your own Facebook pages. Thank you. RESIST.
Facebook later lifted the ban, brought back the post and called their actions a “mistake,” according to The Guardian.
Facebook has a long history of overzealous censorship. If Sessums weren’t famous, would Facebook have restored his post? Probably not. As Sessums told The Washington Post, “They fucked with the wrong faggot.”
One thing’s for sure: silencing a political dissident suggests that, uh, maybe Sessums was right about Trump supporters being fascists.