Late Monday, Facebook unpublished the popular pro-military “Locked and Loaded” page, while telling administrators that a picture of the United States Marine Corps emblem with a ribbon marked “In Remembrance” violated their community standards. Jason Light, an administrator from Atlanta, told this reporter in an exclusive interview the page was covering the funeral and burial of Marine Lance Corporal Skip Wells, who was killed in Chattanooga.
Administrator Robert Combs also received a three-day ban over the posting of the image, shown below.
Combs told me that all he can do for the next three days is chat, but he intends to replace the page.
“I am just speechless as to how this violates community standards,” he said. The screenshot provided by Light did not indicate why the image was yanked, other than Facebook’s claim that it violated their standards.
The Facebook page boasted over 53,000 likes and was set up to help promote a blog by the same name. While not as large as other pages, Light said, it reached over 1 million people.
Light also posted the graphic to Twitter, where it was re-tweeted by talk show host Neal Boortz. “I’m going to post it back to FB,” one person said in response. “Let’s see what happens.”
It’s not the first questionable call by Facebook. Recently, the social media giant told one conservative user that her picture of a lilac tree was considered pornographic. On the other hand, it once said that a page calling for the murder of a Texas Tech cheerleader who hunts big game does not violate its standards.
In 2013, Facebook banned one conservative blogger for 30 days over a link she never posted. Another conservative was punished for simply saying “thank you.”
Light told me he believes the page was targeted by “fake conservative trolls,” people who pretend to be friendly but really aren’t. “Many people,” he said, “wanted to be the one to take us down.” Facebook has not responded to our request for comments.