Facebook apologized Saturday for deleting a post from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's Facebook page that was critical of President Barack Obama's new illegal immigration policy.
The two-sentence statement from the social networking site called the post's removal "an error" and apologized for any inconvenience.
Brewer's post featured an image depicting the governor as the iconic 1940s "Rosie the Riveter" with the words "Arizona: Doing the Job the Feds Won't Do!" In it, the Republican governor called Obama's new executive order stopping automatic deportation of illegal immigrants "backdoor amnesty" and made reference to the unfolding "Fast and Furious" scandal:
The Obama administration cannot get its amnesty schemes through Congress, so now it has resorted to implementing its plans via executive fiat. There's simply no other description for today's announcement that the federal government will not pursue the deportation of individuals who are in the country illegally but meet certain criteria.
This plan amounts to backdoor amnesty for hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of illegal aliens. Especially disturbing is that it comes in the wake of the Obama administration sanctioning the sale of weapons to Mexican drug cartels -- even as border states such as Arizona come under threat from those same illicit organizations. With this announcement, the President is encouraging more illegal immigration at the exact moment we need federal focus on border security.
Both the picture and statement were removed Friday, apparently for violating Facebook's "community standards," Brewer said in a follow-up message, but not before garnering more than 10,000 "likes" and comments. After she re-posted it, it amassed more than 30,000 "likes" and comments.
According to Facebook's terms of service, content may be removed if it is threatening, bullying, harassing, hateful, pornographic, or incites violence.
Brewer took to the site again after Facebook issued the apology.
"We won!" she wrote. "After Facebook censored and removed my photo and post criticizing Obama's backdoor amnesty plan, they apologized and said it was done 'in error.'"
Despite the site's admission that removing the post was done by mistake, Newsbusters' Matthew Sheffield speculated it was likely do to the phenomenon known as "flag spam," in which users "flag" content they disagree with.
The "flagging" mechanism, meant as a way for sites to moderate spam and other prohibited content, is instead used to censor those with differing political opinions and tends to disproportionately affect conservative content, Sheffield said.