Facebook Criticized for ‘Censorship’ of Country Group’s Patriotic Song ‘I Stand for the Flag’

July 4, 2018 Last Updated: July 4, 2018

Facebook faced a torrent of criticism on July 3 after it allegedly prevented a band from using its paid tools to promote a song titled “I Stand for the Flag.”

The Nashville-based Wes Cook Band released a video of the song on Facebook on July 2, and they sought to promote it on the social network. The request was initially approved by Facebook, but the company ultimately rejected it, citing the song’s “political content,” the band stated.

“Our paid FB ads were denied and our reach thereby censored because this video contains ‘political content.’ We believe Patriotism is not Political!” the band wrote on Facebook. “We love you America, this song is for you. Happy Independence Day!”

I Stand For The Flag

***Our paid FB ads were denied and our reach thereby censored because this video contains "political content". We believe Patriotism is not Political!***We love you America, this song is for you. Happy Independence Day! -WCBCLICK HERE TO PURCHASE:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-stand-for-the-flag-single/1320540047#AnAmericanAnthem#IStandwithWesCookBand#TheRusticFlagCompany #SemperSliders #FitOpsFoundation #4thofJuly #IndependenceDay"Don't care if you're black or white or who you love, I stand for the Flag and the Flag stands for all of us!"

Posted by Wes Cook Band on Monday, July 2, 2018

“This is a song for all Americans,” frontman Wes Cook wrote in another update.

“Our song bleeds unity and love of country. It doesn’t see race, color, religion, or political affiliation,” he said, according to Fox News. “‘I Stand for the Flag’ means I am thankful for the freedoms and opportunities this country gives all citizens, and shows how dependent we all are on each other for the success of our individual American Dream. I believe patriotism is not political.”

Facebook told Fox that it is investigating the incident.

The social media giant has come under fire for how it manages its advertising network, after denying nonpolitical ads from hair salons and restaurants, according to The New York Times. The ads, according to Facebook’s director of product management Rob Leathern, “were mistakenly marked as political, and those decisions have been overturned.”

On Twitter in June, some users complained about their nonpolitical ads being taken down because they were deemed “political.”

“I’m so unbelievably done with @facebook’s algorithms. It just flagged a promotion I’m running for a job fair as ‘Political’ and denied my ads. There’s nothing in the text or image that have any kind of a political nature, none of the tags are political phrases, WHY!?” wrote Matthew Curtis, who works in marketing.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on an earnings call in April that the company has more than 80 million small businesses promoting themselves via the social network.