Dan Branch claims Facebook yanked campaign ad over anti-gay content

Posted on 06 Aug 2013 at 8:15am
Rep. Dan Branch

Rep. Dan Branch

Texas attorney general candidate Dan Branch’s campaign is claiming Facebook pulled one of his ads because it includes anti-gay hate speech. That might be humorous if it were true, but a Facebook spokesperson says the decision to pull the ad was a mistake.

Branch, a Republican state representative who represents part of Dallas’ Oak Lawn gayborhood, is among those vying to replace AG Greg Abbott, who’s stepping down to run for governor in 2014. In the ad released last week, Branch vows to protect Texas’ right to trample on the rights of women and gays.

“I will fight for our state’s right to protect the unborn, and our right to define a marriage as between one man and woman, and if some in Washington want to deny us our freedom, as they said at the Battle of Gonzalez, we’ve got four words for them here in Texas: ‘Come and take it,'” Branch says in the ad.

Facebook pulled the ad last Thursday for violating “community standards,” according to The Texas Tribune. However, a day later the ad was restored, and the site apologized.

“As our team processes more than 1 million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake,” Facebook said in a statement. “We worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.”

The Tribune notes that Facebook’s community standards prohibit hate speech based on “race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.” The site’s standards also prohibit statements that could be perceived as a “credible threat” of violence.

Branch’s campaign manager, Enrique Marquez, told TheBlaze he believes the ad was pulled due to the anti-gay content.

Marquez said the campaign believes the video was flagged because Branch vowed to fight for the state’s “right to define a marriage as between one man and one woman.”

“[We] suspect that…someone considered it hate speech and it was brought down…all signs point to that and Facebook isn’t giving us any answers,” Marquez said.

We suppose it’s possible that someone at Facebook mistakenly flagged Branch’s ad as anti-gay hate speech. But clearly Facebook doesn’t really consider opposition to same-sex marriage hate speech, because there are plenty of anti-gay groups and politicians on Facebook. So let’s hope Marquez isn’t trying to play the religious persecution card.

After watching the ad —  when we got done vomiting — it seemed more likely that someone at Facebook felt Branch was making a “credible threat” by insinuating that if the federal government tries to force Texas to respect the rights of gays and women, he and others will take up arms.

As we’ve said before, Branch is veering hard to the right now that he’s in a statewide Republican Primary against tea party state Sen. Ken Paxton. Back when he faced a Democratic challenger for his Dallas-area House seat, Branch was busy wooing gay Republicans.

But that’s cool, Dan, we totally get it. Just know that when it comes to same-sex marriage, the “come and take it” part wasn’t really necessary. Mark my words, tough guy: We’re already well on our way, and we ain’t turnin’ back, and we damn sure ain’t leavin’ without it.

So if you’re at all interested in saving a shred of face later on,  you may want to tone down the bullshit rhetoric.

Watch the ad below.

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