Tech

Facebook Briefly Bans Former Nigel Farage Chief Raheem Kassam

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Rudy Takala Contributor

Facebook on Tuesday briefly deleted a personal profile and disabled a fan page for Raheem Kassam, an opinion writer for The Daily Caller and a former chief adviser to United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage.

“What a thing to wake up to,” Kassam said in a message on Twitter. “My personal Facebook profile has been deleted, with no warning or explanation. I can no longer administer my fan page, with over 150,000 likes.”

Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the incident. “I’m sure this was an ‘accident’ like I’ve been hearing from the social media masters,” he wrote in a tweet. “Funny that the accidents only happen one way.”

A few hours after Trump’s comment, Kassam reported that his page had been reinstated. Facebook did not provide Kassam with any explanation for the ordeal.

It wasn’t clear if Facebook disabled the page due to American or European politics. The company hired Nick Clegg, a former head of the U.K.’s Liberal Democrats, as chief of global policy and communications in October. Kassam posted in praise of British activist Tommy Robinson on Facebook on Monday — shortly before he was suspended — calling a documentary Robinson produced a “must watch for anyone interested in how mainstream news orgs collaborate with hard left groups to create fake news about the political right.”

Facebook announced Robinson was banned from Facebook and Instagram at nearly the same time Kassam was suspended.

Kassam, a former Muslim and former editor for conservative media outlet Breitbart London, is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland later this week. (RELATED: Facebook’s New Rules Ban Employees From Changing Colleagues’ Minds)

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“The blunt instrument of censorship has long been used as a means of aggression and a form of violence against conservative thought and speech,” Kassam said in a statement to The Daily Caller.

“This latest foray by Facebook, against someone who is a bestselling author and mainstage speaker at CPAC, seems to imply a new salient in their assault on conservatives,” Kassam added. “No longer are they simply targeting the ‘fringe’ or ‘edgy’ voices. They are also coming for people with a far more mainstream following.” (RELATED: Internet Trolls Are Turning Facebook’s Content Moderators Into Rabid 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists)

It’s the third time Facebook has been accused of censoring conservatives over the last several weeks. Last week, the Facebook-owned Instagram allegedly prevented users from liking posts published by Donald Trump Jr. Earlier in the month, Facebook and Instagram were both accused of blocking posts from users who were critical of actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging his own assault.

Facebook said in a statement, “This profile was removed in error and was restored as soon as we were able to investigate.”

Editor’s note: The Daily Caller updated this story with more details after the reactivation of Kassam’s account.

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