Facebook apologized Wednesday for pulling down a satirical post from the Babylon Bee that mocked Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono’s treatment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The Bee ran a post entitled “Senator Hirono Demands ACB Be Weighed Against A Duck To See If She Is A Witch” referencing Sen. Hirono’s grilling of Barrett, which included asking the nominee whether she has ever sexually assaulted someone.
“After two days of Amy Coney Barrett gracefully and stoically answering questions with perfect recall and no notes, suspicions grew on Capitol Hill that she might be a practitioner of the dark acts,” the satirical story read.
“Senator Hirono then pulled a live duck out of a massive burlap sack next to her and announced: ‘In addition to being a Senator, I am also quite wise in the ways of science. Everyone knows witches burn because they are made of wood. I think I read that somewhere. Wood floats, and so do ducks — so logically, if Amy Coney Barrett weighs as much as this duck I found in the reflection pool outside, she is a witch and must be burned,” the article continued.
However, Facebook removed the post for allegedly inciting violence, according to a tweet from Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon. (RELATED: Trump Falls For Babylon Bee Article About Twitter Shutting Down Its Entire Social Network)
“So after a manual review, Facebook says they stand by their decision to pull down this article and demonize our page. I’m not kidding. They say this article ‘incites violence.’ It’s literally a regurgitated joke from a Monty Python movie!”
So after a manual review, Facebook says they stand by their decision to pull down this article and demonetize our page. I’m not kidding. They say this article “incites violence.” It’s literally a regurgitated joke from a Monty Python movie!https://t.co/U9B6tTOj6N
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) October 20, 2020
“In what universe does a fictional quote as part of an obvious joke constitute a genuine incitement to violence?” another tweet from Dillon read. “How does context not come into play here? They’re asking us to edit the article and not speak publicly about internal content reviews. Oops, did I just tweet this?”
Dillon said Facebook not only removed the post, but also demonetized the conservative site as punishment.
“The issue here isn’t that we’ve actually violated Facebook’s community standards. It’s that Facebook is reaching – stretching as hard as they can – to treat us as if we’ve violated them. Why?” Dillon said in a statement to the Daily Caller.
Facebook apologized about the incident in a statement to Fox Wednesday evening.
“This was a mistake and we apologize it happened. Satire can be difficult for our systems to identify, but we’ve restored the article and their ability to monetize.”