Facebook slammed for ‘censorship’ of country group’s patriotic song

Facebook was slammed by the Wes Cook band Tuesday after it prevented the country group from using the social network’s paid tools to promote its song “I Stand for the Flag.”

The Nashville-based group released a video for “I Stand for the Flag” on Facebook Monday morning. They planned to promote the video using the paid promotion tools that the social network provides. The request was initially approved and then rejected by Facebook, which cited the video’s “political content,” according to the band.

Late Tuesday, Facebook told Fox News that the decision has been overturned. “We recently announced anyone running ads about political or other major national issues must include a ‘paid for’ label,” explained a Facebook spokesperson. “After looking again, we determined that this ad doesn’t need that label. While this is a new policy, and while we won’t ever be perfect, we think knowing who is behind an ad is important, and we’ll continue to work on improving as we roll it out.”

Frontman Wes Cook argues that the song promotes a message of patriotism, not political division, as evidenced by the line “you ain’t gotta pick a side, you can love your fellow man and still have pride.”

“Our song bleeds unity and love of country. It doesn’t see race, color, religion, or political affiliation,” he said, in a statement provided to Fox News. “‘I Stand for the Flag’ means I am thankful for the freedoms and opportunities this country gives all citizens, and shows how dependent we all are on each other for the success of our individual American Dream. I believe patriotism is not political.”

Facebook’s handling of ads on its platform has been coming under scrutiny lately. The social network, for example, was recently criticized for mistakenly rejecting ads from businesses such as restaurants and hair salons that were not political.

In an attempt to boost transparency and security, Facebook recently introduced an authorization process whereby people involved in running ads with political content are required to confirm their identities and location as well as enabling 2-factor authentication for account protection.

 

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