After initially rejecting it, Facebook on Tuesday allowed an ad for a Republican congressional candidate that included images depicting her parents’ persecution under the Khmer Rouge communist regime in Cambodia, deeming it too graphic.
Elizabeth Heng is challenging incumbent Democrat Jim Costa for the 16th District seat in California covering parts of Fresno, Madera and Merced counties, gvwire reported.
“Upon further review, it is clear the video contains historical imagery relevant to the candidate’s story,” said Facebook in an email to the Washington Times. “We have since approved the ad and it is now running on Facebook.”
“It is unbelievable that Facebook could have such blatant disregard for the history that so many people, including my own parents, have lived through,” Heng said in a statement issued by her campaign.
“I’m sure it is shocking for some people to hear about this kind of injustice, but this is reality. This is why I wake up every single day with the fight and determination to have a voice and make a difference in my community.”
Heng said that neither Facebook “nor any other company in the tech industry get to silence our stories.”
“We’ve seen it over and over again with Republican candidates and organizations. This kind of censorship is an attack on the freedoms that we have as Americans to express what we believe in, and we must hold Facebook accountable,” she said.
A Facebook representative, according to Heng’s campaign, originally said the ad contained content too “shocking, disrespectful or sensational” for the platform.
WND reported Friday that Facebook banned a pro-life video ad by a judicial candidate, giving the same explanation.
Jack Fowler, the vice president of National Review, pointed out that Heng’s showing in the top-two primary in early June against the seven-term incumbent was strong.
“The 53–47 outcome would have made her the darling of the national political media, had she been a Democrat,” he wrote.
On his show Monday, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh commented on Facebook’s rejection of Heng’s ad, insisting there “isn’t any hatred” in it.
“In describing the genocide of Pol Pot, a communist leader, she offended Facebook,” Limbaugh said. “It is hate speech to attack a communist leader!”
He said Heng “is exactly what this country needs.”
Limbaugh pointed out the seat she is trying to win is “safe blue,” meaning “the Democrats own this seat like Joe Crowley supposedly owned his seat in Queens until Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came along.”
“Except Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist and Elizabeth Heng is not,” he said. “She is a brilliant Republican and conservative.”