“Anybody But Carl” (DeMaio) Facebook Page Disappears Again

by on May 2, 2011 · 4 comments

in Media, Popular, San Diego

In light of a recent speech by Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio at a GOP gathering asking “Are you ready to make San Diego the Wisconsin of the West?” it’s no wonder that his campaign has become a lightning rod for local progressive activists.  So it came as no surprise when a Facebook page popped up recently using the handle “Anybody But Carl” and describing itself as “Dedicated to electing anyone but Carl DeMaio for Mayor of San Diego in 2012.”

The page itself was no great shakes, consisting primarily of links to previously published articles that highlighted the various twists and turns of DeMaio’s political career.  Stuff like:

Carl’s costly failed signature-gathering campaign is yet another example of his inability to execute his grand plans: http://bit.ly/bQOlEH

Who is Carl DeMaio? In 2005, the U-T did this profile: http://bit.ly/ajkP9z

Huge surprise! Carl faults labor unions for his incompetence:  http://bit.ly/kNIYR9

OOO! Two City Beat articles and a UT Bio. There certainly wasn’t any earth shaking news on the page, but I “liked it” just to keep on top of what was being said. A couple of days later I saw this posting on Twitter:

AnybodyButCarl Anybody But Carl

Whiny baby Carl DeMaio cried to Facebook and had “Anybody But Carl” page tagged as “hate speech.” Shades of Steve Francis…

Followed sometime later by:

AnybodyButCarl Anybody But Carl

Worked with Facebook and now have an OK ABC page. If you love me, please “like” me: http://on.fb.me/iG5s3D. Please re-tweet!

So I went to the new page and “liked” it. And I posted an “event” on the OBRag Facebook page urging our fans to support the page.  Overnight the ABC page had over a hundred fans. And the next night the Facebook page was gone, once again. Here’s the Tweet, announcing its demise:

AnybodyButCarl Anybody But Carl

Whiney baby Carl DeMaio reported the ABC page to Facebook. Apparently posting news stories about a politician is “abusive.”

So I emailed “Anybody But Carl” asking him/her for a statement. Here’s what I got back:

I logged in today and got this message:

“Account Disabled. Your account has been disabled. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here.”

So I went to the page, and by the standards below, there was nothing wrong with the page. So I wrote to Facebook and said a site that posts articles about an elected official is hardly hate speech or harassment. I have monitored the page very closely to ensure no one posted anything homophobic, personally hateful or threatening toward him. I’m just trying to ensure there’s a place where the community of people who think Mayor DeMaio is a frightening prospect can post accurate stories and information about how he operates. It’s appalling that Facebook is censoring this.

San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio certainly has a way with the internet. Over at Wikipedia, they deleted his biographical pages three times back in 2007 for “blatant” copyright violations because the information was copied verbatim from his biography on his consulting firm, The Performance Institute’s website.

After his election in 2008, a page was created for the politician that was allowed to stay up.  As he positioned himself for a run at higher office in 2010, complaints about the biography’s neutrality poured in, with one user pointing out that it was “clearly written by DeMaio, a staff member of DeMaio or a DeMaio partisan.”

According to Dave Maas over at CityBeat:

Rather than avoid further edits, according to his publicly available calendar, DeMaio held a meeting days later with staff to discuss the Wikipedia page. At the time, a few citations were added, but when a highly ranked local user rewrote the entire page in January to fix the neutrality issues, DeMaio’s office struck back and overhauled the page, using the San Diego Watchdog handle.

It’s interesting to note that since just about the time of the publication of this story in the local alt-weekly, DeMaio’s office has adopted a policy of refusing to respond to their reporters’ inquiries.

Now I’m sure that you’ve all heard the wonderful stories about how Facebook was used by the people to support pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. But apparently they didn’t post links to news articles critical of the current regimes.  And just a few days ago in Britain, just a few hours prior to the ‘Royal’ Wedding, roughly 50 British political groups on FaceBook were removed.

Of course, all we have is “Anybody But Carl’s” word on this that DeMaio was behind taking the Facebook pages down.  Anybody with an email address, real or fake, can make a complaint to Facebook without having to validate the claim, effectively giving anyone the ability to shutter any page without proof.

In the meantime, Twitter is allowing “Anybody But Carl” to exist at @AnybodyButCarl.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar mr fresh May 2, 2011 at 9:29 am

lest any one doubt DeMaio’s ability to be petty, I suggest you read this bit o’ gossip about an incident between our wannabe Mayor and the current Mayor’s daughter: http://lgbtweekly.com/2011/04/28/many-heroes-and-two-meanies/ …money quote: “Roll over Leona Helmsley – there are new Queens of Mean that make you look like a sweetheart during your days of terror!”


avatar Shane Finneran May 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

Interesting to see Facebook running into issues like this. The site got a lot of flak for banning pro-Prop 19 ads back prior to November 2010, too. I believe the company said the problem with the Prop 19 ads was the accompanying graphic, an image of a marijuana leaf. Critics screamed censorship.

On a perhaps related note, I think one of the biggest mysteries about Facebook — one that was barely touched in The Social Network — is how its creator and majority owner, Mark Zuckerberg, claims he’s not motivated by money. If true, it begs the question, what else might be guiding the company’s decisions about censorship, if money isn’t?


avatar Andy Cohen May 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Because he doesn’t necessarily make ALL of the decisions for the company. He’s surely got a board of directors who collectively advise him on business decisions, and in an effort to keep Facebook from being overly political, anything deemed even remotely controversial or that will open the company to lawsuits is taken down. DeMaio could easily have threatened to sue Facebook, and rather than deal with the fallout and the hassle, Facebook simply knuckled under.


avatar mr fresh May 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

the anybody but carl page is back again! the best way to stay on top of our wanna be mayor and local winner of the Leona Hensley People Management Award. be sure to go nto http://goo.gl/glSEm and tell them that you “like them”.


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