Sunday, March 17, 2013

Conservative bloggers say Facebook selectively enforcing non-existent rules


Facebook accused of selectively enforcing non-existent rules
On Sunday, two conservative bloggers accused Facebook of selectively enforcing rules that are either non-existent or not made known to the millions of people who use the site. Diane Sori, a Florida-based conservative who blogs at the Patriot Factor, and Craig Andresen of the National Patriot basically argued that Facebook is arbitrarily punishing conservatives using non-existent policies in order to silence criticism of Barack Obama.

The accusations stem from an incident involving the Facebook page "Barracuda Brigade for Our American Girl! 2012," a community fan page supporting Sarah Palin.

One of the site administrators posted an anti-Islamic link, prompting Facebook to remove the link while warning all of the administrators. Some of the administrators were let off with a warning, while others were banned for 3-30 days.

Sori, who did not have Internet access at the time the link was posted and had nothing to do with the link, was banned for 30 days. Worse yet, Andresen said, most have had their "sentences" commuted, but Sori remains in "time-out" for something she had no part of.

Facebook refused to respond to her pleas for help, but Katie Harbath, a Washington, D.C.-based employee, heard of her situation while attending BlogBash and asked Sori to provide more information, which she did.

But Harbath said there was nothing she could do.

"Looked into this and our policies are to hold all admins accountable for what is posted to a page so we won't remove the ban. Let me know if you have any additional questions," she told Sori in an email.

This prompted Sori and Andresen to look through Facebook's posted rules to see if that was the case.

After poring over the information publicly available, both bloggers said nothing in the rules said that all administrators are responsible for posted content.

"I have SCOURED the FB rules, regulations and policies and can find NOTHING of this sort in them ANYWHERE!" Andresen wrote.

We reached out to Harbath to clarify the rules, but have not received a response.

Both bloggers believe Sori is the victim of selective and arbitrary enforcement of rules that do not appear to exist, and Sori suspects Facebook will change the publicly posted rules to cover their actions.

Both bloggers also believe the ban is politically motivated, as Sori is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration.

The concerns raised by Sori and Andresen are not without merit.

Last August, for example, Facebook defended a page that openly advocated the murder of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, despite rules that clearly state users cannot "do anything unlawful" or post content that is threatening.

The page was eventually removed after being live for the better part of a month, but Facebook stood by the page until the bitter end, saying that it did not violate the site's terms and conditions.

Another page, "I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive," continues to flourish despite an April 2011 post that suggested killing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

But Facebook reportedly banned a Texas man for posting, "Seizing the day with baby Obama.”

The social media giant also targeted another conservative page, "Chicks on the Right," but backtracked and apologized after the incident was reported by Fox News' Todd Starnes.

In February, an anti-illegal immigration group accused Facebook of blocking ads for an anti-Obama protest, even though the ads were already paid for.

Since the beginning of 2013, hundreds of conservatives have told Examiner that they, too, have been subjected to treatment they consider viewpoint discrimination for simply commenting on posts or sharing links.

It is also interesting to note that Facebook gave Obama $95,107 in the 2012 election, while donating only $20,100 to Mitt Romney, according to data available at The company gave somewhat more to GOP House candidates than Democrats, but Senate Democrats garnered more in contributions than Republicans.

The social media site also hosted a townhall event for Obama last April, but we were unable to find a similar event for Romney.

Sori believes that Facebook has "morphed" into a "mouthpiece for Obama," but promises not to be silenced.

Andresen was more pointed in his message to Facebook.

"Enough of the harassment," he wrote. "Enough of your non-existent policies."

"Enough of selective enforcement of your policies whether posted publicly as they SHOULD be or not," he added.

Kerry Voices U.S. Support for NRA-opposed U.N. Arms Treaty
UNITED NATIONS - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry voiced his support on Friday for an international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global arms trade, but restated Washington's "red line" that it will not accept limits on U.S. domestic gun ownership.
The U.N. General Assembly voted in December to hold a final round of negotiations from March 18 to 28 on what could become the first international treaty to regulate international weapons transfers after a drafting conference in July 2012 collapsed because the United States and others wanted more time.

Arms control campaigners say one person every minute dies worldwide as a result of armed violence and a convention is needed to prevent the unregulated and illicit flow of weapons into conflict zones and fueling wars and atrocities.

"The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability," Kerry said in a statement.

"An effective treaty that recognizes that each nation must tailor and enforce its own national export and import control mechanisms can generate the participation of a broad majority of states, help stem the illicit flow of conventional arms across international borders and have important humanitarian benefits."

But he repeated that the United States - the world's No. 1 arms manufacturer - would not accept any treaty that imposed new limits on U.S. citizens' right to bear arms, a sensitive political issue in the United States.

"We will not support any treaty that would be inconsistent with U.S. law and the rights of American citizens under our Constitution, including the Second Amendment," he said.

The point of the treaty is to set standards for all cross-border transfers of any type of conventional weapon - light and heavy. It also would set binding requirements for nations to review all cross-border arms contracts to ensure the munitions will not be used in human rights abuses, do not violate embargoes and are not illegally diverted.


The leading U.S. pro-gun group, the National Rifle Association, has vowed to fight against the treaty, dismissing suggestions that a December U.S. school shooting massacre in Connecticut bolstered the case for such a pact.

If a treaty is approved in New York, it will require ratification by countries' legislatures before it goes into effect. The NRA has warned the arms trade treaty would undermine the right to bear arms and says it will fight hard to prevent ratification if the Obama administration supports the treaty.

Backers of the treaty accuse the NRA of deceiving the U.S. public about the pact, which they say will have no impact on domestic gun ownership and would apply only to exports.

Some 150 countries will participate in the negotiations that begin on Monday at U.N. headquarters.

Gun control advocates welcomed Kerry's statement.

"While the U.S. government reaffirms its red line on the Second Amendment, it did not issue any new red lines or demands on the international community," said Frank Jannuzi of Amnesty International. "We hope that this means that they will lead the next round (of negotiations) to consensus."

Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association, said Kerry's remarks were a "long overdue positive statement that makes it clear the administration is dedicated to pursuing a robust treaty."

Jannuzi said the fact that the statement was issued on a Friday afternoon - a time when U.S. media interest is often at its lowest point of the week - showed that the arms treaty "is not an issue that they see as a political advantage."

He added that it was positive Kerry did not raise the issue of ammunition, something the United States has previously demanded be excluded from the treaty. Supporters of a tough treaty in Europe and elsewhere insist on including ammunition.

Last month deputy U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Washington would continue to oppose the inclusion of ammunition in the draft treaty.

"Ammunition is a fundamentally different commodity than conventional arms," Hayden said. "It is fungible, consumable, reloadable, and cannot be marked in any practical way that would permit it to be tracked or traced."

A U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity on Friday that the U.S. position on ammunition has not changed.

Obama's Israel

Obama's Israel

This last Tuesday I awaited the reporter's next question.

We were sitting in the ultra modern business lounge of the Mamilla hotel in East Jerusalem. The reporter had been tailing me as I toured some yet-to-be-made-public excavations in the City of David, just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

My seven days in Israel went by in such a flash it was genuinely difficult to focus on doing an interview with the nation's leading newspaper. My mind raced as the people I had been with were much on my mind, and the sights I had seen--especially those that were relevant to my faith--stirred something deeper in me than I had realized. Nonetheless my visit was almost over and here I sat with a reporter who wished to ask my opinion of the things I had experienced.

Finally, in somewhat broken English came the query, "What do you think President Obama will do when he visit's Israel next week?"

Having been warned by my hosts to be leery of reporters from Israel's largest newspaper, I wished to choose my words carefully.

"What I hope President Obama will do on his visit here... is to listen twice as much as he speaks," I replied.

You could visibly see that she was taken by surprise by this answer. I had not mentioned Iran, Palestinians, Netanyahu, or even Syria.

She was curious and wished to understand my response further.

I had just concluded six days of listening to Israel personally.

I had listened to incoming Knesset members--like former Deputy Speaker Danny Danon--explain to me their worries about Iran. I had listened intently to the son of Israel's beloved Prime Minister Itzak Shamir--Yair--a newly seated Knesset member himself--beam with pride over Israel's explosion in start-up technology businesses.

I had just listen to Dani Dayan, president of the YESHA council who has responsibility for the protection and safety of 450,000 Jewish residents in communities (the Israeli and American press call them "settlements") inside of Judeah and Samaria (the Left call these "The West Bank" even though we were 30 miles from the Jordan river's edge.) Mr. Dayan spoke passionately about the safety of the region, the commitment of keeping the Palestinian and Jewish communities safe, and the beauty of the agricultural industry in the region that employs both Arabs and Jews in helping them provide for their families. This agricultural excellence has been proven by the numerous awards the Israeli wineries are now dominating the competition in.

I had also listened to the CEOs and founders of some of Israel's most successful medical technology firms. One from Jerusalem that is heavily traded on the Nasdaq, and one in Tel Aviv that soon will be because the technology they offer is so profound in correcting the musculoskeletal effects of osteoarthritis.

As a Christian, I also listened to the heart of the people, as I was invited to Friday night prayer at the wailing wall, and following that a Shabbas dinner at the home of Aba and Pamela Claman.

The Clamans have restored one of the most beautiful homes in the Old City. Every Shabbat they have anywhere from 30-60 Israeli Defense Forces troops in--many--whose families are far from them. The night I was there IDF members stemmed from London, Belarus, South Africa, and some 20 other places.

These IDF were mostly women, and not unlike the U.S. the dominant left in Israel's media often besmirch the motives, intention, and service of their military forces. It was an honor to hear each of them tell why they serve (most had gone well beyond the government mandated two years.)

I even listened as an Israeli Arab spoke passionately in the beach town of Joffa about a community center he has been running for the past few years. In a booming but gentrifying community Arab, Jewish, and Christian children learn instruments, sing in choirs, learn acrylic and oil paints, play sports, together as children of the same community. According to that Arab--Ibrahim Shindi--no such center exists in any Palestinian area, nor any Arab or Muslim country surrounding Israel.

I also listened to the heart of an Israeli feminist explain her critique of modern American feminists and her passionate desire to develop an ongoing conversation about women's roles in Israel. She keeps that conversation lively through her online blog and Facebook pages.

And on my final night, backstage at the Tel Aviv equivalent of Manhattan's Lincoln Center, I sat in a reserved theater for thirty minutes listening and learning about Israeli popular art and entertainment with Aki Avni, who--as many Israeli girls described to me in advance of the interview--is the Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp of Israel.

Since the press are reporting that President Obama's trip which kicks off this Wednesday will be largely to tour sites he wishes to see, my advice stands.

Listen twice as much as you speak Mr. President! Your mind, heart, and soul just be surprised by something you had not expected.

Israel is our most important ally in the region, but their heart and ours beat almost as one. And in us listening to them we might learn more than we believed we could!

The Ryan Budget: Is Returning to Clinton-Era Levels of Fiscal Restraint Really Asking too Much?

It can be very frustrating to work at the Cato Institute and fight for small government.

Consider what’s happened the past couple of days.

Congressman Paul Ryan introduces a budget and I dig through the numbers with a sense of disappointment because government spending will grow by an average of 3.4 percent annually, much faster than needed to keep pace with inflation.

But I don’t even want government to grow as fast as inflation. I want to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

I want to shut down useless and counterproductive parts of Leviathan, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, etc, etc…

I want to restore limited and constitutional government, which we had for much of our nation’s history, with the burden of federal spending consuming only about 3 percent of economic output.

So I look at the Ryan budget in the same way I look at sequestration – as a very modest step to curtail the growth of government. Sort of a rear-guard action to stem the bleeding and stabilize the patient.

But, to be colloquial, it sure ain’t libertarian Nirvana (though, to be fair, the reforms to Medicare and Medicaid are admirable and stem in part from the work of Cato’s healthcare experts).

But my frustration doesn’t exist merely because the Ryan budget is just a small step.

I also have to deal with the surreal experience of reading critics who assert that the Ryan budget is a cut-to-the-bone, harsh, draconian, dog-eat-dog, laissez-faire fiscal roadmap.

If only!

To get an idea of why this rhetoric is so over-the-top hysterical, here’s a chart showing how fast government spending is supposed to grow under the Ryan budget, compared to how fast it grew during the Clinton years and how fast it has been growing during the Bush-Obama years.

Ryan Clinton vs Bush Obama

I vaguely remember taking the SAT test in high school and dealing with questions entitled, “One of these things is not like the others.”

Well, I would have received a perfect score if asked to identify the outlier on this chart.

Bush and Obama have been irresponsible big spenders, while Clinton was comparatively frugal.

And all Paul Ryan is proposing is that we emulate the policy of the Clinton years.

Now ask yourself whether the economy was more robust during the Clinton years or the Bush-Obama years and think about what that implies for what we should do today about the federal budget.

At the very least, we should be copying what those “radical” Canadians and other have done, which is to impose some genuine restraint of government spending.

The Swiss debt brake, which is really a spending cap, might be a good place to start.

Turkey refuses U.S. request to mend relations with Israel

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Rapidly re-Islamizing Turkey doesn't want peace with Israel. "US asks Turkey for help with ME peace process," from the Jerusalem Post, March 16 (thanks to Joshua):
US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu this week, asking for Turkey's help in restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Saturday. 
Turkey turned down the request citing bad relations between Ankara and Jerusalem and saying the responsibility to fix the murky relations between the two countries falls on Israel.
Relations between Jerusalem and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines raided the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board.
The rift has continued despite US efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers whose cooperation it needs to address changes sweeping the Middle East.
"Turkey is always ready to do whatever it needs for a fair two-state solution based on the 1967 borders,” Davutoglu said during a joint press conference with Kerry in Ankara on March 1.
"If Israel wants to hear positive statements from Turkey, it needs to review its attitude. It needs to review its attitude toward us, and it needs to review its attitude toward the people in the region and especially the West Bank settlements issue," the Turkish foreign minister said.
A Turkish official speaking to Hurriyet has accused Jerusalem of blocking attempts to restore relations with Ankara....
Projection alert!
Selective enforcement...Facebook's Achilles heel
By: Diane Sori

By now you all know that I have been sent to FB jail for 30 days for a post I did NOT put up, and knew NOTHING about. You also know I have been appealing that block for days now. Well, some interesting developments have happened that EVERY administrator, in fact every FB poster needs to know about, because what happened to me will most assuredly happen to you before long.

We all know that the pocket for Obama and all things
'left'...has been trying to shut down conservative groups, pages, communities, TimeLines, posters, etc., for years now...and while they have banned and blocked us for the most minor of Facebook Community Standards and for absolutely NO reason at all, the bannings and blockings in the past have NOT to my knowledge been 'selectively targeted and enforced.'

That is until now. While on the surface my blocking seems like just the standard Facebook nonsense it is anything but, and as I and some others have investigating what happened to me, certain commonalities between my blocking and certain others have one thing in common...we blocked are ALL conservative bloggers or in NO liberal blogger or reporter has experienced what we have. And all of us have gotten the ridiculous FB WARNINGS that we are either posting too fast, too much, or are spammers...which NONE of us are as all the sites we post on have either personally invited us to post or have NO problem with us posting on their sites. Spammers post trash or try to sell things, we post the news or opinion pieces and NOTHING in we are NOT selling anything nor do we make any money off our posts or blogs.

My Patriot Factor blog post for Friday was titled, 'The Facebook Police have crossed the line this time' and spoke about my blocking being for something someone else posted and ADMITTED they posted but posted it on a site I was one of the admins on, and herein lies the problem according to FB. But the thing is I was NOT online when the post in question was put up (my carrier was down almost all evening), and second, when the post was making the FB rounds I was NOT only NOT online I was 50+ miles away from my computer sitting in a dentist's chair.

The following day as my op-ed about my blocking was being put up and shared by others on FB and the blogosphere, a woman from the DC Facebook office commented on my blog ( blog open for anybody to see...a blog that is part of the public domain. Below is her comment to me that you can see directly here, and my response to her...and I am legally allowed to show them both as they are on a public access site.

Katie Harbath March 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Diane, my name is Katie and I work in the Facebook DC office. I was at the CPAC blog bash last night and someone passed along your article. I couldn't find your email address to contact you but would like to try and help look into this. Could you shoot me a note with a link to your profile or the email address you use to log in to katieharbath - at Thanks

This is the e-mail I sent to her back with the requested information:

Diane Sori to Katie Harbath at 3:53 PM
Hi Katie, Thank you so much for looking into this terribly unfair and unjust blocking of me. Diane Sori
My email address is XXXXXXXXX Here's a link to my FB timeline page:
Then once again my internet carrier went down and this is what I posted on my blog to her when I was able to get back online:

Diane Sori March 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I have sent all you requested to you in an email. I appreciate anything you can do.
And so I waited to see if she could get my unjust ban lifted all the while having a feeling that she could and would do nothing, and my feeling turned out to be true as NOT only did she accomplish NOTHING her entire demeanor towards me changed as witnessed by the below e-mail she sent to me...again on a public venue NOT asking me to keep anything confidential.

Katie Harbath to Diane Sori at 6:37 PM
Looked into this and our policies are to hold all admins accountable for what is posted to a page so we won't remove the ban. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Sent from my iPhone
This was my response back to her:

Diane Sori to Katie 7:18 PM

Tell me how I can be responsible when my internet carrier was down ALL night and I was in a dentist's chair for over 3 hours the following day. I had NO internet access so I had NO idea this post was up until I got home and tried to log on. And why were ALL bans removed except mine and one other persons. This is pure bull and you know it. I will NOT drop this and this will be sent viral across the entire internet spectrum. FB is now a publicly traded company on the NY Stock Exchange and I will make sure this treatment of me is known on Wall Street. This is 'selective enforcement' of the worst kind and I hope certain TV stations will now pick this up. I do thank you for trying to help but I know why I am still being banned and you know why too.
I was fuming...really this point, and so with the help of 
friend and fellow conservative blogger Craig Andresen ( we started researching FB policies to see if this so-called 'standard policy' that 'all admins will be accountable for what is posted to a page' was indeed in their policies. We found that it isn't in any of their rules and guidelines, at least none that we have access to. These are the only rules we found and NONE include that statement of so-called 'standard policy' (Date of Last Revisions: December 17, 2012),,,,
So folks, why isn't this 'standard policy' in the FB rules (watch them try to add it in to cover themselves now that they've been challenged), and why have some admins of the site in question only been warned while some others have been banned or blocked for just for one day, some for 3 days, and some like me for 30 days....and why have most all of the admins been unblocked (including the person who actually put up the post in question) while I, who had absolutely NOTHING to do with said post, have NOT. 

This is NOT 'standard policy'...this is selective enforcement of the worst kind as it is targeted directly against me as all of a sudden it's FB policy to hold ALL admins accountable for every single post and/or comment put up on their sites...and that is pure BS as some sites have literally double-digit thousands of members, and that is just plain physically impossible to do and they know it. 

I cannot stress that enough...FB knows that an admins cannot police their sites 24 hours a day 7 days a week and be held responsible for any and everything a member posts or comments on...that is NOT only a physical impossibility but a technical one as well as admins are just regular people who do NOT have banks of computers monitoring their sites 24/7 like FB does. 

And here's a BIG kicker...many posts or comments have been deliberately posted by trolls or hackers who are NOT members of said sites but are there for the sole purpose of getting a site shut down or an individual banned or blocked by using key words to bring the site to the attention of the FB police.

And while there have been complaints about legitimate user accounts being mistakenly disabled for violating FB's Community Standards, the disabling is often automated and deliberately triggered by the trolls perusing the many conservative sites, then filing a report on the account or individual NO matter that the report is NOT legitimate.

Bottom line with this is that the Obama people and liberal leftists are everywhere doing the dirty work for those cowards who cannot or will not actually do it themselves.

According to a fellow administrator who has dealt with this banning and blocking issue before, FB has set themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner when doling out their punishment. In fact, the new FB format launched in 2008 along with the changes in Facebook's Terms of Use, removed the very clause detailing automatic expiry of deleted content and viewpoint discrimination (meaning they now owe us NO explanation as to why we are banned or blocked, they can just do it at will). Apparently, it seems the ban or block they initiate depends on how many times you have been banned or blocked in the past...which is total BS because many, like myself, have tried to appeal ANY and ALL previous bans and blocks and ran into the same problem as now...there is NO way to directly reach FB authorities to challenge and prove that the ban or block was unwarranted and in error.

And here's an example of what I have been blocked for in the past. Remember the world famous photo of our soldier being dragged dead through the streets of Mogidishu after being tortured...the photo that went out in every major newspaper, media, and internet site around the world...the photo that won countless photojournalism awards (along with having his family's permission to post to show what these muslim barbarians do)...well, I posted that photo on my site and was told I am getting a 60 day ban because it was pornographic in nature and violates FB Community Standards. Pornographic in nature my eye...there was NOTHING pornographic about it, because if there was the news media would NOT have been allowed to print or show it. I was blocked simply because it upset the Obama machine's applecart is why, and because I am a vocal critic of this corrupt administration, and for NO other reason.

Amazing...simply amazing.

Making matters worse is that now that FB is a publicly-traded company on the NY Stock Exchange they can NO longer act as indiscriminately as they did in the past, because they are now held to the rules and guidelines of the Exchange. Companies listed on the NYSE must comply with certain standards of corporate governance and FB seems to bend those rules quite a bit especially the company transparency rules, which can be looked up online. Yet, FB continues to trade and sell on the Exchange, and NO ONE has questioned them...until now that is. 
Maybe a Wall Street boycott of FB is in their buyers wouldn't be too happy knowing that the company they bought into has set themselves up as the arbitrary decider of what political speech they will abide by on a PUBLICLY TRADED EXCHANGE of a now PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANY and which ones they will NOT. Can you say violation of our First Amendment rights, which by the way say that ONLY speech that incites violence or the overthrow of the government is NOT allowed.

And also into this mix comes SOPA/PIPA which thankfully did NOT make it into law....but as we see with FB is still alive and well. What SOPA/PIPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate companion (PIPA) the Protect IP Act) was all about was trying to shut down free speech even if it wasn't something the owner or sponsor of the site posted. So if someone posted something on lets say your personal FB site that someone found objectionable or illegal they could block you as the owner of the site and report you to FB who then in turn would block or ban you for whatever amount of time they arbitrarily decided upon...even if you had, and this is critical...NOTHING to do with what was posted. And this is exactly what FB is doing as they keep the SOPA/PIPA objective operational.

Big brother is here and FB is one of their operatives, and I am but one of their victims. But now this battle has gone beyond just me and my issuesAnd this is what FB is doing, as suddenly ALL admins are being held responsible to police their sites 24/7 and will be called to task for anything and everything anyone ever posts or comments on on their sites...anything at anytime...a task that is absolutely impossible to do.   

This is just one way that Barack HUSSEIN Obama, through his ally FB, is trying to shut down conservative sites, bloggers, and posters (remember that just conservatives are being targeted). And while my parole from FB jail was wrongfully rejected, I will fight on as will other conservatives bloggers, posters, and admins NOT only on my behalf but because the once respected and admired FB has now morphed into nothing but a mouthpiece for Obama, same as the msm, and this we conservatives will NOT sit idly by and allow to continue on without a fight. We need every and any venue available to us to get our conservative message out to the public...and that includes being on FB because of their reach.