Support local journalism by subscribing today! Click Here to see our current offers.

It has made national news that Facebook has been tightening it’s policies and even deleting or suspending accounts since August of last year. Facebook and other social media platforms even suspended President Trump’s accounts recently. Last week, Tiffany Jacob, who is from Tillamook and has had a personal account for over 12 years, woke up last Friday morning to find out her account was gone along with other accounts she was the administrator.

“Facebook wiped me out like I never existed,” Jacob said in a phone interview last week. “I got up in the morning and it was gone.”

Along with her account being deleted, she found out the Tillamook County Beekeepers Association Facebook account was also taken down, an account she was also the administrator. This came to a huge surprise to her and the association’s president Brad York.

“On the beekeepers’ website, we had a link to our Facebook page and it literally disappeared,” York said. “It’s too bad because we used our Facebook account to communicate with our members and for fundraising, now that’s gone.”

Jacob is an organizer in Tillamook for the Back the Blue group and would post times, places and dates she would host rallies to support local law enforcement. She also posted other political content, often times chiming in on the talk of the day. She is also a supporter of Make America Great Again, a movement started by the Trump campaign and would post things related to that group.

Jacob is not sure why Facebook targeted her accounts, especially those she was involved with that had nothing to do with her political stances, like the local beekeepers account.

“I even had a secondary account set up if anything ever happened,” Jacob said. “Within two hours of me using that account, it also went away.”

Jacob believes Facebook was somehow tracking her Internet protocol (IP) address.

“My Instagram was also disabled,” she said. “There really is no reason for this, I’ve never been in any trouble with Facebook.”

Jacob tried to appeal Facebook’s decision, but so far has not had much luck, and can’t talk to anyone at Facebook.

“This was done by some algorithm or robot, Facebook uses,” Jacob believes. “When I tried to logon to my account it took me to some browser and it said I had 30 days to contact them to try and appeal this, but they (Facebook) won’t respond.”

She’s tried to call customer service at Facebook.

“They have made it impossible to appeal,” she said. “I’ve even tried to fill out their online forms and that didn’t work.”

Jacob even went so far as to report the instances to the Better Business Bureau. Thursday morning the BBB contacted Jacob via email and told her she could resubmit the appeal forms online with Facebook. She finally received Facebook’s response, stating, “Your Facebook account was disabled because it did not follow our Community Standards,” the digital note read. “This decision can’t be reversed.”

Jacob said since she’s been organizing the local rallies, she’s become a target by some locally and beyond, she said she’s been harassed and called names.

“I had people world-wide attacking Pretty Paws Pet Grooming, stating I’m racist and anti-Semitic,” she said. “I’m quite sure one of our community members posted my information on the group, ‘Let’s get a raciest fired today’, but I disputed that with Facebook and got it turned off.”

Her mother is the administrator of the Pretty Paws Pet Grooming Facebook page, so that page is still intact.

According to reports by National Public Radio and Oregon Public Broadcasting, “Facebook is targeting content with the phrase "stop the steal," referring to false claims of election fraud. Twitter is targeting accounts that focus on the QAnon conspiracy theory. Both tech companies cited the upcoming inauguration of President Joe Biden as a reason for taking more stringent approaches to stamp out misinformation campaigns.”

York says the beekeepers association will survive Facebook’s small sting, but looks at this as a much larger issue.

“Freedom of speech is a cherished idea, as well it should be,” York said. “Those of us that live in America consider it a basic right protected by the U.S. Constitution. People have fought and died for it.”

York also said he’s not interested in starting a new Facebook page for the association or even dealing with an appeal. That may be taken care of if Jacob’s appeal is ever heard.

“Somewhere, somehow, the ideal has gone from freedom of speech to freedom from speech,” York added. “Freedom from Speech that one does not like is a threat to both pluralism and democracy itself.”

Jacob hopes the decision she got is not the final word. It’s important to her because she had years of family pictures and messages she wanted to keep forever.

“I had pictures of my grandmother before she died, my baby and husband when we first started dating,” she said. “I’d like to get those back and backed-up somewhere.”

In a virtual instance, the social media mob can wipe your digital life away, just like what happened to Jacob.

“I feel very violated, like I’ve been spied on or monitored,” Jacob added. “I try to be well spoken, I don’t want people to take things the wrong way, and I’m flabbergasted it happened to me because they are obviously targeting people who organize rallies, they want to control the speech.”

9
47
2
3
90

Online Poll

What is your favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition?

You voted:

Online Poll

What is your favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition?

You voted:

(6) comments

greeneyedpea

Perhaps she was banned from FB because of her clear beliefs in the nonsense QAnon crap? Her sweatshirt "WWG1WGA" clearly shows the rallying cry of QAnon "where we go one, we go all,". I believe that FB (rightly so) is trying to scrub all this nonsense from their platform. Silly stuff. The election was not stolen, it was lost. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-the-qanon-conspiracy-theory/

SandyToes

It is difficult to imagine that those that think this is humorous will appreciate censorship when it affects them. Shame on Facebook for using their power to silence thought and word of any American citizen.

LandingEagle

Are you defending speech that contains racist comments and spreading known lies with the intent to manipulate the less educated and more naive public? She wasn’t kicked off Facebook because she didn’t conform. She was kicked off Facebook because she has a rich and documented history of racist remarks, threatening messaging, and pushing proven lies despite the mountains of evidence that contradicted her claims. When presented with verifiable facts that disprove the lies she shared, she refused to acknowledge that the information she shared was wrong and oftentimes harmful to those who were naive enough to believe it. She showed no remorse or intention of changing her eagerness to spew hatred towards folks based off nothing more than the color of their skin. This isn’t a secret about her. She’s been loud and proud about it for quite some time. If that doesn’t constitute removal from a platform in your eyes, then it can only be assumed that you support racism and the intentional spreading of disinformation.

This isn’t a censorship issue. It’s an issue of having a history of repeat offenses without accountability. They used to teach children that our actions have consequences and that we should treat our fellow neighbors with respect, but between Tiffany and those defending her it is clear that those good old fashioned values have been lost and folks care more to behave like entitled brats. It’s funny because I used to think it was something unique to millennials but I’m realizing this started far before their generation.

Anybody who knows Tiffany knows in their heart of hearts that this is who she is. The only people would defend her is those who have never had an experience with her and thus don’t have an accurate assessment of her character, and those who simply condone her hateful and manipulative behavior and thus are complicit in the problem. This isn’t an issue of censorship. It’s an issue of racism and the intent to spread disinformation.

Just like I wouldn’t allow somebody to shop in my store if they came in and started harassing my staff and customers, I don’t expect Facebook to allow folks on their platform who do the same. It’s not a public square we have a right to, it’s a free service that we are privileged to use. Tiffany abused her privilege and is now facing the consequence of that, just like a child being grounded for denting the neighbors car after throwing rocks over the fence despite being warned not to by their parents.

bpohl9393

These people have zero idea what freedom of speech or censorship are. Both terms refer to the government compelling speech or restricting speech based upon its content. Facebook is a publicly-traded corporation. They have every right to control the content on their site, especially those who spread guano. I suppose if she had ever set foot in a college classroom, she'd know that.

TurkeyOnRyeii

Freedom of speech isn't just a constitutional amendment, its a cultural norm. If people only respected freedom of speech as it applies to government, we probably wouldn't even have the amendment in the first place. So please stop desecrating the most valuable moral philosophy our society stands on by defending biased censorship in a voluntary public space.

LandingEagle

I think it’s a bit ironic to bring the idea of moral philosophy into a discussion about somebody who abused their freedom of speech to the point they got booted off Facebook. You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who truly believes people should be allowed to say anything they want without facing any consequence. We have all sorts of laws that limit what can and can’t be said towards others, otherwise, there would be nothing stopping people from running around labeling Tiffany as a pedophile for no other reason than it’s their freedom to do so.

Tiffany has blatantly pushed falsifiable information on Facebook for at least several months, possibly longer. Maybe it’s not her intent originally to spread misinformation, but when confronted with mountains of evidence that contradict her statements, instead of looking at her beliefs with a critical lens and realizing she’s been misled, she chooses instead to double down and continue posting lies. At that point, she is intentionally spreading disinformation and that is unacceptable behavior in a society that intends to be built on a strong moral foundation.

Freedom of speech isn’t a free pass to lie to and manipulate folks into believing harmful conspiracies. It’s not a free pass to blatantly call black folks the n-word, hard-r, both online and off. It’s not a free pass to threaten teenagers that you’ll follow them home to find where they sleep at night simply because they are wearing clothing with BLM messaging. If that is your idea of a moral society, then there’s probably nothing people can do to help you realize why Tiffany getting the boot off Facebook for consistently violating their terms of service isn’t a violation of free speech nor is it censorship of conservative voices.

Tiffany wasn’t censored for being conservative as many seem to claim, there are countless conservatives on the platform having civil discussions with their liberal counterparts who aren’t facing a ban. Tiffany was kicked off for speaking hatefully towards other folks motivated clearly by the color of their skin and for spreading proven lies countless times despite the mountains of evidence that contradicted her. She never attempted to show remorse or feel shame for her actions and that kind of behavior doesn’t deserve a platform to continue manipulating and harming the more gullible and naive people in the community.

I find it strange that so many folks are labeling a racist and disinformation issue into a conservative one. They are not the same and I don’t know why there are conservatives that are so eager to group themselves with this kind of speech and behavior, but that’s their prerogative and it only reflects on them and what they feel that being a conservative means. I think it’s a relatively safe claim to make that any moral human would want to distance themselves from racist speech and disinformation.

If Tiffany vowed to be more critical of the information she was presented, both to protect herself from being lied to and to protect others from being lied to by her, and she also made a conscious effort to put her hateful philosophy behind her and treat her neighbors with respect despite their skin tone, gender, and sexual orientation (things about people that are personal, out of their control, and have no negative impact on those around them), then I feel she’d be deserving of a chance to come back and use her freedom of speech the way the philosophy intends it to be used – responsibly.

It’s disingenuous to paint freedom of speech as an idea that allows folks to say anything, no matter how hateful or harmful. We live in the greatest country in the world with the most potential for its citizens to thrive. One of the pillars that makes that possible is the moral foundation of respecting your neighbors and having civil discourse. People on all sides of the political spectrum have displayed behavior that does not align with that, and I feel there are plenty of liberals who are just as guilty of hateful and harmful speech as their conservative counterparts. I believe Tiffany is somebody who has displayed either an inability or an unwillingness to engage with folks respectfully, and because of that, her privilege to use Facebook was revoked, just as I feel it should be when the same kind of language comes from liberals.

I won’t be surprised if this falls on deaf ears. Attention spans to read comments aren’t what they used to be, and even when folks do read replies, if it’s not in agreement, than people are quick to get defensive and respond in haste. I appreciate whoever reads this in full and welcome any constructive dialogue that comes in response.

Welcome to the discussion.

1. Be Civil. No bullying, name calling, or insults.
2. Keep it Clean and Be Nice. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
3. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
4. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
5. Be Proactive. Let us know of abusive posts. Multiple reports will take a comment offline.
6. Stay On Topic. Any comment that is not related to the original post will be deleted.
7. Abuse of these rules will result in the thread being disabled, comments denied, and/or user blocked.
8. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.