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President Donald Trump’s social media guru, Dan Scavino, was briefly blocked from posting on Facebook after his account was docked for spam-like behavior.
Scavino posted about the block on Facebook this week, saying the site was “silencing” him.
Dear Facebook—AMAZING. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME from replying to comments followers have left me - on my own Facebook Page!!?? People have the right to know. Why are you silencing me??? Please LMK! Thanks.Posted by Daniel Scavino Jr. on Monday, March 18, 2019
According to CNN, Facebook apologized after the action was noticed by several news outlets.
Facebook has apologized to @Scavino45, the company's automated systems used to detect bots had flagged his account.— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) March 19, 2019
"In order to stop automated bots, we cap the amount of identical, repetitive activity coming from one account in a short period of time, such as @mentioning people," a FB spokesperson said.— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) March 19, 2019
According to Facebook, the block was lifted “an hour or two.”
Scavino was flagged after he posted about how he almost always reads comments on his Facebook page, responding “thank you” to many people who replied to that post.
Even Trump flagged the temporary block, claiming he would look into it.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump used his Twitter feed to claim the social media giants always took the side of Democrats.
Facebook, Google and Twitter, not to mention the Corrupt Media, are sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats. But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2019
Scavino’s experience, though, was not likely anything different than what many people online experience. Anyone who has liked or retweeted a number of posts in succession has had their Twitter account limited for a bit. It’s one way that many tech companies attempt to flag bots and is typically applied without political bias.
However, conservatives have determined that the big tech companies are silencing their messages, so any action like this is going to be blown out of proportion, regardless of it clearly not being an effort at censorship.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]