Angel Mom Says Facebook Removed Posts on Illegal Immigrant Crime, Citing ‘Hate Speech’

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
September 14, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

An angel mom from Arizona said Facebook has removed several of her posts that raised awareness about crimes committed by illegal immigrants, claiming that they violated the platform’s rules on “hate speech.”

Mary Ann Mendoza whose son, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, was killed in a 2014 car crash caused by an illegal immigrant who was drunk and high on meth while speeding along the highway in the wrong direction in Mesa, Arizona. He was 32 years old at the time.

Mendoza told The Epoch Times that she received the post-removal notification from Facebook last week, with the social media platform claiming that her posts go “against our Community Standards on hate speech.”

The posts that were removed contained information that raised awareness about crimes committed by illegal immigrants. One of the posts commented on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments she made during a visit to Guatemala about the treatment of illegal immigrants.

In a second post, Mendoza quoted a Breitbart article about the impact of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

Epoch Times Photo
Screenshot of post-removal notification. (Mary Ann Mendoza)

Moreover, she said she believes Facebook is also reducing the reach of her posts due to a decrease in activity on the posts. She added that several people have messaged her telling her that they are unable to see her posts.

Mendoza started a group called Angel Families to amplify the voices of those who have been affected by crimes committed by illegal immigrants. She runs the group’s Facebook page and said that along with the post removals, Facebook has also told her that she could not do a fundraiser for the community group, claiming that she “violated their community standards more than once.”

A Facebook company spokesperson said in an email response that their Community Standards do not allow dehumanizing speech, which includes generalizations on violent and sexual criminals, adding that their policy also provides some protections for people’s immigration status. The spokesperson acknowledged they had removed content that had generalized people with a certain immigration status as being more prone to committing violent crimes.

They added that one of Mendoza’s post was removed by mistake and had been restored on Sept. 13. The angel mom confirmed she had received a notification from Facebook about a post being restored but she said it did not specify which post.

This is not the first time a social media platform has taken issue with her posts and asked her to remove them. In July, she received a notice from Twitter that her account had been suspended for violating the rules against “hateful content.”

The angel mom said that after appealing to the platform twice, she was told that her account would only be reinstated if she deleted six tweets that they deemed offensive. At the time, she told Epoch Times that she was speaking to lawyers to see whether she could bring a lawsuit against the social media platform.

On Sept. 14, Mendoza said she was unable to sue Twitter because of anti-trust legislation. She said in order to get her account back, she decided to remove the six posts.

Mendoza said Facebook’s removal of her posts and the Twitter ban not only prevent her from telling the truth and bringing attention to these crimes committed by illegal immigrants, but also act to silence her son’s voice.

“If hateful Antifa and pro-illegal groups are allowed to have their treasonous voices heard, why am I being silenced for speaking the truth?” she said. “Americans fought for so many freedoms and freedom of speech is one of the most important ones.”

“That doesn’t make liberal/hateful speech more acceptable and it sure as the hell shouldn’t include silencing me for bringing awareness to the magnitude of illegal alien crime happening at astronomical rates in our country against American citizens,” she continued.

“Nothing I say or do will bring my son back but I will fight until the day I die to try and prevent this from happening to my fellow Americans,” she added.

Trump’s Twitter Post

After Twitter suspended Mendoza’s account, President Donald Trump lent his support to the angel mom by posting on Twitter on July 21 that he would help her.

“I will help Angel Mom (and great woman) Mary Ann Mendoza with Twitter,” Trump wrote. “I know Mary Ann from the beginning, and she should never be silenced. She is a winner who has lost so much, her child. Twitter, if you’re watching, please do what you have to do, NOW!”

Mendoza told Epoch Times at the time that she was surprised to see the post, adding that she wasn’t sure how much impact he can have “because he’s the biggest conservative they try and block.”

“But it does my heart good to know that he fights as hard for me as I fight for him,” she said.

The angel mom said on Sept. 14 that after Trump’s posts her Twitter following grew by about 6,000.

“Their service suspension actually grew my audience,” Mendoza said.

Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.

Update: The article was updated with a response from Facebook and Mendoza’s response to Facebook restoring one of her posts.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.