Last Updated on November 10, 2020
Facebook has banned the personal account and public page of Mark Sidney, the co-founder of Spreely, a new social media site that respects the First Amendment rights of its users to the furthest possible extreme, claiming that the tech startup founder is a “dangerous individual” or part of a dangerous organization, such as the Islamic State.
Sidney told National File that Facebook, without warning or immediate explanation, terminated his user account and his public Facebook page the day after he attempted to verify the page using Facebook’s system. His attempt to verify his page was immediately unsuccessful, and the next morning his Facebook account was disabled.
Sidney, who co-founded the pro-free speech social network, Spreely, suggested Facebook banning the the head of a competing social network is a “curious” coincidence that seems to strain credulity.
“It is very curious that, as alternative social networks become the most downloaded apps and Spreely begins to see unprecedented organic growth, likely due to increased censorship from Facebook and Twitter,” said Sidney, “Facebook decides to ban me now.”
Sidney also explained that, prior to starting Spreely due to fears of future tech censorship, he created a pro-Trump Facebook, Donald Trump Is Our President, page that quickly became the platform’s most popular. While Sidney’s personal Facebook account and his public Facebook page have both been banned, the pro-Trump page remains on the platform.
“Before I co-founded Spreely, I started what became the biggest pro-Trump Facebook page, Donald Trump Is Our President, in the platform’s history,” said Sidney. “By banning me, but not the page, Facebook is leaving the door open for users to believe a very vocal Trump supporter abandoned the president.”
He added that, even by Facebook’s vaguely defined rules about “dangerous individuals and organizations”, he has strained to abide by Facebook’s community standards, and primarily used his public Facebook page to post memes and political cartoons that support President Trump.
"CENSORSHIP: Spreely co-founder Mark Sidney was banned from Facebook in the middle of the night this weekend.
This is why Spreely exists! https://t.co/5F6KPO8NkC"
— Spreely (@Spreely1) November 10, 2020
“Considering every post, to my recollection, was a meme in support of President Trump, my subsequent ban and Facebook’s declaration that I am a ‘dangerous individual or organization,’ makes one wonder if Facebook considers support for President Trump the same as support for terrorism, human trafficking, or other evil acts.”
According to an email communication between a confirmed Facebook representative and Sidney, the platform accuses him of engaging in terrorist activity, organized hate, mass murder, human trafficking, organized violence or criminal activity.
Sidney confirmed to National File that he is considering legal options due to Facebook’s decision to label him a “dangerous individual or organization.