17:53 GMT02 March 2021
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    Peter Boykin, a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s state House of Representatives, has mysteriously seen his Facebook account banned less than a week before the midterm elections. Boykin told Sputnik Thursday it’s tantamount to discrimination, as everyone should have equal access to social media services.

    Radio Sputnik's Fault Lines caught up with Boykin Thursday to try and find out why his account was disabled and what his thoughts were as to the cause.

    [Interview begins at 19:40]

    ​Boykin said social media was vital to his campaign, noting he uses Facebook to gather people for rallies, get information about local events he might need to go to and as a two-way avenue of communication between him and the public. "Without having the basic functions that I had before, there's no way you can really reach out to your community properly. I mean, that's completely cutting off your information."

    Boykin noted that as a result, he's going to have a lot more difficulty finishing putting together a volunteer drive he had been working on.

    ​"Facebook knows I'm running for office," Boykin told hosts Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan. "I just literally signed up for one of their government and politics groups that's Facebook-run, and they know I'm running, so they know what's going on."

    Boykin said that social media is "a communications standard no different than the telephone or anything else. We [conservatives] have the right to use it, and if you're discriminating against us, it would be no different than say, if a conservative walked into Walmart and was kicked out, or didn't have the right shade of color on, or black or anything else — we are completely being discriminated [against], and they are not even telling us what we are doing wrong."

    "In the whole 10 years I've been on Facebook, I got in trouble one time, one actual suspension, because I reposted a picture of a [transgender person] who called me the F word and told me I should die. And then I got suspended."

    Boykin said he received no warning or message about the cause of his account being disabled; he just tried to log in and got redirected to "a splash page with 10 different reasons you might have been disabled."

    Boykin's Twitter account, however, is still functioning normally.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Election2018, election, discrimination, suspension, account, Facebook, Fault Lines, North Carolina
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