Facebook closed down Tactical Sh*t, an online community for veterans, members of the military, law enforcement officers, and supporters of the second Amendment, on August 7. This online community took years to build, and recently, it reached the point of influencing around 59 million viewers a month, according to Breitbart.
No warnings, no reasons
Breitbart News spoke with TJ Kirgin, owner of Tactical Sh*t and a former law enforcement officer. Kirgin told the website that the social networking site has not given a reason for shutting down the page. Kirgin, who is not happy about the shutdown, said his best guess is that the page was pulled for “sweeping algorithm changes.” He added that he has heard of other groups that were closed down, including “air soft groups.”
On their page, Tactical Sh*t wrote that their Facebook page was removed with “no warning, no messages and no appeal process.” They said they had been warned before and that they have removed everything the social media giant objected to, but still their page was removed.
The owner of Tactical Sh*t said the posts that were removed in the past were critical of Sharia law or were posts that contained pictures of women holding guns that the social networking site flagged for sexual content. However, in all these instances, the post was removed while the page remained. Kirgin believes the sudden shutdown of page indicates that “these removals were algorithmic and the posts were removed in an automated way.”
Use of the word “firearms” is taboo on Facebook
Tactical Sh*t has an online gear business based in St.Louis as well, but the owner of the business stressed that Facebook is not used to sell guns. Kirgin said the only things that are sold on the platform are components which do not violate the social network’s policy.
Kirgin stressed that his company employs “14 employees, mostly veterans, and the loss of the page could mean the loss of income they can’t afford to go without.” Kirgin has, however, launched a backup page at Tactical SHT.
Breitbart News reported in October 2015 that the social media giant shut down the account of author Brandon Maddox because of use of the word “firearms.” Maddox was reportedly selling a book that provides instructions for getting a Federal Firearms License (FFL) – a phrase that includes the word “firearms.” His post was not an ad for sales of firearms, but his account was closed down by Facebook under its policy against gun sales.