A pair of conservative journalists said Facebook over the weekend blocked their stories on Jussie Smollett, the "Empire" actor who police sources are now saying orchestrated a racist, homophobic attack upon himself on a freezing Chicago street at 2 a.m. Jan. 29.
Rod Dreher, author of "The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation," said Facebook blocked his article for The American Conservative while Daily Caller reporter Jen Kerns said Facebook did the same to her piece and that Instagram froze her account when Kerns put a link to her story in her Instagram bio, PJ Media reported.
What happened to Dreher?
"You are not allowed to say on Facebook that Jussie Smollett carried out a hate hoax," Dreher tweeted Sunday, showing an image of Facebook's blocking message.
You are not allowed to say on Facebook that Jussie Smollett carried out a hate hoax. https://t.co/jnFx7aQFbS— Rod Dreher (@Rod Dreher) 1550421235.0
The image indicates Facebook blocked Dreher's article because it violated the social media giant's "Community Standards" and that no other Facebook users could see it.
Facebook lifted the ban later on Sunday, the outlet said.
What happened to Kerns?
Kerns told PJ Media's Tyler O'Neil that Facebook blocked through Sunday her story titled, "Is Jussie Smollett the modern Tawana Brawley":
@Tyler2ONeil Hey @Tyler2ONeil I sure do. This was on Friday- it remained blocked thru Sunday. I believe it was Harm… https://t.co/DKlTxK5y60— Jen Kerns (@Jen Kerns) 1550517454.0
When Kerns attempted to place a link to that same article in her Instagram bio, she told PJ Media that Instagram froze her account "to protect our community" until she deleted the link:
@Tyler2ONeil When I simply put the Daily Caller link in my Bio (so I could post “Link in Bio👆🏼) I noticed it froze… https://t.co/2fMhRJzq5T— Jen Kerns (@Jen Kerns) 1550518341.0
The outlet emphasized that Dreher's piece noted reporting on the Smollett case and included his opinion on the hoax chatter now surrounding it while Kerns' article compared Smollett to Brawley, who in 1987 falsely accused four white men of rape.
What did Facebook and Instagram have to say?
Neither Facebook nor Instagram on Tuesday immediately responded to TheBlaze's request for comment on Dreher's and Kerns' assertions.
What else did Dreher say?
Dreher addressed the Facebook block in a follow-up article:
I fully support Facebook or any other social medium having a policy of banning certain material (porn, neo-Nazi propaganda, etc.). But when you can't talk about hate hoaxes in general, or about a celebrated hate hoax in particular? Presumably my blog post violated Facebook's "hate speech" prohibition (I can't find any of their other Community Standards that it might have violated). Facebook's policy on "hate speech" is here. This, I suppose, is what my blog post violated:
But the entire reason for the post is new evidence indicating that Jussie Smollett was NOT a victim of a hate crime, but rather faked a hate crime!