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75 views • October 29, 2018

Facebook Shuts Down Pages of Disabled Veteran With 3 Million Fans

Celeste Li
Facebook shut down pages run by an Air Force veteran who lost three limbs in the Iraq War. Brian Kolfage ran a Facebook page for his coffee business, along with political commentary pages. Facebook shut the pages down on Oct. 11, and now Kolfage doesn’t know how he will make ends meet. Kolfage was severely injured in combat on Sept. 11, 2004. He lost both legs and his right arm when an enemy rocket hit an air base north of Baghdad. He told media that he was the only U.S. Airman to survive an injury that severe. Kolfage founded a coffee company after retiring from the military. He also started to work with conservative columnist and author John Hawkins. He eventually took over management for Right Wing News (RWN). Kolfage doesn’t classify himself as politically left or right. The page was followed by over 3.1 million people before Facebook got rid of it. He set up RWNOfficial.com as a conservative political news and commentary website in March, using RWN and other Facebook pages to promote content from the site. He dutifully provided pictures of his passport, his driver’s license, and his home address to Facebook, and set up two-step account authentication. Still, his personal account was repeatedly disabled and only re-enabled after he sent in complaints. Kolfage tried to keep his Facebook pages in compliance with the company’s evolving content policies. He repeatedly reached out to contacts at Facebook for clarity on the company’s tightening regulations. He also spent over $300,000 to promote RWN articles on Facebook. Facebook then shut down all the pages he ran, including the one for his coffee business. That page had over 200,000 fans. About four pages set up by individual RWN writers were taken down as well. The official explanation was that, ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts that broke Facebook rules. “We were not ‘spamming,’ we were not using fake accounts, we were not doing anything ‘wrong’ … except we supported President [Donald] Trump, and apparently that’s not allowed.” Kolfage said Facebook never complained about the pages before the sudden removal. Former senior Facebook engineer Brian Amerige previously told The Epoch Times he didn’t see the company intentionally filtering conservative perspectives. He acknowledged, though, that there is an entrenched leftist culture within the company that may be influencing its content policing. “Facebook’s community standards are chaotically, almost randomly enforced with escalations and occasional reversals happening when the screw-ups are prominent enough to cause media attention.” Kolfage intends to fight Facebook to get his pages back and is asking people to support him at Fight4FreeSpeech.com. He obtained a lawyer to look into whether Facebook acted illegally by moving against him. “They’re going to learn that they’re not untouchable.”
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