Facebook Censors Christmas Greeting by Tory MP, Cites Breach of ‘Discriminatory Practices’ Policy

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
December 22, 2021 Updated: December 29, 2021

A festive greeting ad posted on Facebook by a Conservative MP was removed for not complying with the company’s “discriminatory practices.”

Mark Strahl, who represents the riding of Chilliwack-Hope in British Columbia, says his holiday greeting message to his constituents was censored by the social media giant. He successfully appealed to have it reinstated.

“Today, Facebook declared that my ad to wish my constituents a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ‘didn’t comply with their Discriminatory Practices policy,’” Strahl said on Twitter on Dec. 21.

According to Facebook, “Discriminatory Practices” means ads posted on their platform “must not discriminate or encourage discrimination against people based on personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.”

Strahl argued that the content of his message did not violate any of the discriminatory practices as defined by Facebook.

According to the Tory MP, the original message of the text read, “From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”

Though Strahl managed to successfully appeal to Facebook and eventually got his holiday greeting reinstated, he said the tech company crossed the line.

“This is a glaring example of censorship and overreach by tech giant companies who control so much of the online space,” he said.

“We must be vigilant to ensure that we always stand up for free speech and fight back against any attempts by these companies, or our governments, to stifle it.”

The Epoch Times contacted Facebook for comment but did not receive a response by publication time.

Controversies surrounding social media censorship among Silicon Valley tech giants have increased in recent years, sparking debate on whether the companies’ Section 230 immunity—which protects social media platforms from civil liability—should be reversed.

A poll conducted by Yahoo Finance on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 with over 1,500 of its readers saw Facebook receiving 8 percent of the total votes as being “the worst company of 2021,” particularly in the area of censorship, among several concerns.

The respondents were polarized in their assessments of the tech company and expressed contradictory reasons for their disdain.

Respondents who identified as conservative said they felt that the “free-speech police” were overly censorious and targeted right-leaning views. Progressives, however, complained that the company did not go far enough in its efforts to eradicate perceived misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicholas Dolinger contributed to this report.

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.