When Facebook came under fire last week for banning various pro-Second Amendment pages without explanation, it appears the social-media giant may have sought retribution.
Last week, the owner of a firearms-parts company called “Tactical Sh*t” logged onto Facebook to discover his company’s page had been taken down without explanation. After he spoke with others in the gun industry, T. J. Kirgin discovered that multiple other pro-Second Amendment pages had also been mysteriously banned.
Immediately, Kirgin spoke out against what he alleged to be Facebook’s censorship, and, within 36 hours, his company’s page was restored. Since that time, Kirgin has continued to make media appearances telling his side of the story. But now, he believes that decision has cost him. As soon as he came off the air yesterday, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, banned Tactical Sh*t, taking away a stream that accounts for 20 percent of Kirgin’s total revenue.
“It all culminated last night after I went on The Blaze with Tomi Lahren,” Kirgin says. “This morning when I woke up, they had not just unpublished our Instagram page with 221,000 fans, but they deleted it.”
Per Kirgin, the Instagram notification read: “Your account has been deleted for violating our terms. You won’t be able to log into this account and no one else will be able to see it. We are unable to restore accounts that are deleted for these types of violations.”
Asked if Instagram had recently flagged Tactical Sh*t for any minor violations, Kirgin claimed that the company’s Instagram page is “clean” and that they have not been flagged for anything in over a year.
#related#“They are not telling us what terms we violated, which is just like what they did on Facebook,” he explains. “This was a direct attack on us, just hours after my interview on The Blaze.”
Instagram’s decision to delete Kirgin’s page has forced him to rebuild his company’s social-media platform rather than contest the violations. “My mission now is to get the message out to our 220,000 fans who were entertained by our content every day. They can find our new backup page, @tactical_sht.”
I asked Kirgin whether his Facebook page is still being published after last week’s 36-hour ban. “Knock on wood, as of a few minutes ago, yes it is.”
— Austin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute.