Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account. The account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers.

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Today, Instagram took down the page of a kid who runs with a thin blue line flag to honor fallen officers.  It happened at the same time that Facebook, which owns Instagram, blocked Law Enforcement Today from posting ANY content.  Here are the details of the attacks by the social media giant.

WINTER SPRINGS, FL – During the early morning hours of December 20th, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Running 4 Heroes had their Instagram account shutdown for “violating” the platform’s terms of service. 

Yet, the exact violations of said terms is completely unknown – even to the NPO. 

For those unfamiliar with Running 4 Heroes, the NPO centers around young Zechariah Cartledge, 12, who decided to start running a mile while hoisting the Thin Blue Line flag whenever a first responder passed away in the line of duty. 

The goal was simple for this young man – to help raise awareness of the line of duty deaths that can occur within the role of being a first responder. 

By all accounts, the mission and endeavors of Zechariah and the NPO are both noble and innocuous. There’s hardly any malice that can be extracted in an effort to honor and raise awareness to those who died in the line of duty. 

Yet on December 20th, Running 4 Heroes shared the following post on their official Facebook page:

“Some bummer news to share with you all…”

“We were made aware over the last few hours that Instagram has removed the ‘Running 4 Heroes’ Instagram page. The reason for removal was ‘for violating the terms” of Instagram.’ 

“We attempted to dispute the disabling of our account, but we were told that the account was removed ‘for not following the Instagram Terms of Use’ and that they ‘are unable to restore it.’

“They went on to say that the ‘Running 4 Heroes’ Instagram account ‘can no longer be accessed or viewed.

“They never were able to provide us specifics as to what terms we violated, though they did hint at our account ‘impersonating’ someone… I continue to seek answers on why our account was removed, though it will appear to be a losing battle. 

“Our apologies to all those who followed us on the Instagram page…”

While the Instagram page is obviously no longer accessible, the nature of the posts mirrored that of what the NPO hosts on Facebook. 

So when looking at the Facebook page for Running 4 Heroes, one is treated with straight forward status updates regarding planned runs/events, the periodic video uploaded from one of Zechariah’s runs and posts mourning the losses of first responders. 

Bear in mind, this is the epitome of non-controversial content, so it’s hard to fathom that the Instagram account was deleted due to promoting or sharing content that could be deemed as risqué, taboo or even inflammatory.

A simple skimming of R4H’s content shows that they don’t post anything that denigrates anyone or any entity, lends commentary on controversial matters – the NPO simply sticks with the mission statement and honors fallen first responders. 

Now the NPO has been providing updates on the matter, albeit, none of which have showcased that Instagram has restored their account, but how they’re currently navigating the situation: 

“Follow-Up to the R4H Instagram Post…”

“Starting in 2021, Zechariah’s runs will be pre-recorded and uploaded to the Running 4 Heroes YouTube Channel.”

“As long as we are able to, the runs will also be uploaded here on Facebook, but we want to make sure you are all provided with another option to view Zechariah’s runs in the event our tributes violate any community standards.”

“Starting January 1st, runs will be uploaded shortly after they are completed, so while they may no longer be ‘live,’ they will still be available within minutes of Zechariah’s completion of each run.”

“If you want to ensure that you will be able to view Zechariah’s tribute runs next year, please subscribe to ‘Running 4 Heroes’ on YouTube.
Username: Running 4 Heroes.”

While it’s promising to see R4H trying to make the best out of a bad situation, it’s still just utterly befuddling as to what possible terms of service violation could have possibly been encroached by the NPO’s Instagram efforts. 

Instagram plays host to all sorts of pages – folks dressing promiscuously to garner attention, pages dedicated to Antifa chapters….even Pornhub has an official Instagram account. 

So it’s just plain old confusing to learn that for some unspecified reason, R4H’s original Instagram page was just shut down for some sort of violation of the company’s terms of service. 

Nonetheless, the NPO has been extremely grateful with the outpouring of support they’ve garnered in the wake of this strange occurrence – and they’ve even announced the creation of a new Instagram account:

“Since waking up, we have been completely overwhelmed with the show of support regarding the removal of the @Running4Heroes page from Instagram.”

“Thank you all for showing love to our son’s mission. As has been proven time and time again, his mission is all about love and showing respect and honor to our First Responders.”

“With that being said, we have added a new Instagram account for the mission. We also have other Social Media accounts (such as Parler, Mewe) and we want to provide you with those usernames so that you have an opportunity to follow us there.”

“Please note, we are not on Parler and Mewe nearly as often currently. Still, please follow us over there as our usage on those pages may change.” 

“Here are our usernames for all of our Social Media Platforms:

“Instagram : Running4HeroesInc
YouTube: Running 4 Heroes
Parler: Running4Heroes
Mewe: Running4Heroes
Twitter: ZRunning4Heroes “

 
Guess what else happened at the same time this morning?  
 
Facebook, which owns Instagram, blocked Law Enforcement Today’s ability to post ANYTHING. 
 
Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account.  The account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers.
 
They also hit our National Spokesman’s public figure page.
 

Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account.  The account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers. 

Facebook appears to be at it again, censoring what they deem too “conservative”, apparently.

Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account.  The account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers.

Without any explanation blocked every one of Law Enforcement Today’s pages from posting to the social media platform, effective Sunday morning, with no way of appealing the decision.

This follows a restriction put on Law Enforcement Today on December 9 for no clear reason:

Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account.  The account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers.

“Page Restrictions— Your page is at risk of being restricted for repeated violations against our standards on ‘Inauthentic Behavior.’ Your page may also experience reduced distribution.”

Knowing that here, at Law Enforcement Today we only report on real stories, I looked up Facebook’s “inauthentic behavior” to see how real stories could possibly fall into that category. Here is what some of their standards said:

“…We want to allow for the range of diverse ways that identity is expressed across our global community, while also preventing impersonation and identity misrepresentation…”

“In line with our commitment to authenticity, we don’t allow people to misrepresent themselves on Facebook, use fake accounts, artificially boost the popularity of content, or engage in behaviors designed to enable other violations under our Community Standards.”

The BigTech social media platform also claims that they will not allow the use of their services or that they will disable accounts if a member does any of the following:

“Severely violate our Community Standards;

Persistently violate our Community Standards;

Represent dangerous Individuals or Organizations;

Create or use an account that demonstrates an intent to violate our Community Standards;

Create an account, page, group or event to evade our enforcement actions;

Impersonate others;

Are under 13-years-old;

Are a convicted sex offender and/or;

Are prohibited from receiving our products, services, or software under applicable laws.”

After reviewing their Community Standards, it seems that the BigTech company had absolutely zero reason to shut down Law Enforcement Today, as our content and what we post does not fall into ANY of the categories listed in Facebook’s Community Standards.

This is censorship and bullying at its finest.

In another message, we were warned:

“We limit how often you can post, comment, or do other things in a given amount of time in order to help protect the community from spam. You can try again later. If you think this doesn’t go against our Community Standards, let us know.”

Our content most certainly does not go against any of their Community Standards and their continued effort to censor conservative news outlets as well as pro-police reporting news is alarming. However, they are not the first BigTech company to shut what we are saying and unfortunately, I am sure they will not be the last.

Earlier in the year, LinkedIn shut down the account of Law Enforcement Today’s National Spokesman, Kyle Reyes, for sharing an LET article that they called “fake news.” Yet, the article posted was backed with video evidence that was widely reported in the news.

Our platform, which is one of the largest online homes of law enforcement and supporters in the world, continues to be scrutinized in harsh ways as well as being flagged for “fake news” in articles that have direct quotes from the people who said them.

There was absolutely no reason for LinkedIn to disable Reyes’ account other than the obvious fact that LinkedIn employees’ values and beliefs do not align with those of LET. LinkedIn is apparently not pro-police and capitalized on the opportunity to mess with a major contributor to the law enforcement community. Reyes said:

“It seems consistent that when I share pro-law enforcement content on LinkedIn, it’s either throttled or shut down. A lot of my posts are. LinkedIn either sees me as being too outspoken in support of law enforcement or apparently too conservative to have a voice on the platform.”

Months later, LinkedIn permanently shut down Reyes’ account for reporting a story about a man who tried to kill cops. He was banned for “gratuitously shocking content.” That was what the last email from LinkedIn stated, after a myriad of emails claiming that his content was “false and misleading” despite that they were REAL stories out in mainstream media.

In October, LET publicly announced that they were endorsing Donald J. Trump for President of the United States and moments after Trump shared the article, LET was inundated with hate messages as well as banned from Twitter for days.

So, let’s recap…Facebook, Instagram (which is now owned by FB), Twitter, and LinkedIn have all, at one point or an other, banned, disabled, or heavily censored LET. Every time there is zero explanation and when we review their “guidelines” or “rules,” we find that we do not violate any of them.

On Wednesday, December 9th, the Federal Trade Commission, along with 46 states, D.C., and Guam, filed a massive pair of anti-trust lawsuits accusing Facebook of illegally monopolizing the social-media market by buying up potential rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp while freezing out third-party developers from its platform unless they promised to not create competing services.

The government is seeking to dismantle the company as punishment; this is a concerted, full-frontal assault on Mark Zuckerberg’s empire.

Facebook tried for years to court and placate Republicans, but their failed efforts came to light when an investigation back in 2016 revealed that human moderators had “routinely suppressed” conservative content.

Facebook as well as the other BigTech companies continue to deny any “politically motivated” censorship or conservative voices or viewpoints. 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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Sen. Ted Cruz blasts Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Big Tech over censorship issues

November 19th, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been one of the stalwarts in the United States Senate, along with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), going after the Big Tech tyrants.

Law Enforcement Today is one of the many pro-police and conservative leaning outlets that has been victimized by the tyranny of Big Tech, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, all of whom have either throttled our content or in the case of LinkedIn, booted our national spokesman and our founder off the platform.

 

Breitbart News reported that on Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit on Tuesday, Sen. Cruz said that “abuses of power” by the tech companies will “get worse in coming years,” and will be “aided and abetted by Democrats that want to silence someone who disagrees.”

The senator said:

“One of the most chilling aspects of today’s hearing in the Judiciary Committee was Senate Democrat after Senate Democrat, their questions were essentially…why don’t you censor more?

“Why do you allow these views we don’t like to be heard or to exist? I think that is really, really dangerous. And I do think you’re going to see the abuses of power get worse in coming years with—aided and abetted by Democrats that want to silence someone who disagrees.”

Sen. Cruz noted Tuesday was a “rough day” for big tech, as the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook faced sharp questioning from Republicans while Democrats sat on their hands, CNS News reported.

Sen. Cruz told Fox Business:

“And ‘tween (sic) Facebook, Twitter, and then Google, which is really the 800-pound gorilla, we have enormous concentration of power, and I think they collectively pose the single greatest threat we have for free speech in this country because they’ve been getting more and more brazen.”

The senator noted Twitter appears to be “the most brazen” when it comes to censoring speech that it disagrees with. Twitter placed warning labels on several of President Trump’s tweets.

Twitter also banned the New York Post from the platform when they broke the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, a story which alleged his using his father’s position as vice-president to enrich not only himself but his family, including Joe Biden.

Sen. Cruz said:

“Big tech asserted the power to just silence them because they didn’t like what they were reporting. I think it’s really dangerous.”

Sen. Cruz also singled out Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for fawning over Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, throwing them platitudes while only criticizing them for not censoring enough.

He added:

“And, you know, there used to be in a time in the Democratic Party where you would have defenders of free speech. You would have defenders of a free media. Today’s Democratic Party doesn’t do that.

“One of the most chilling aspects of today’s hearing in the Judiciary Committee was Senate Democrat after Senate Democrat, their questions were, essentially—and you mentioned Senator Blumenthal, he was one of the more aggressive on this—their questions were, why don’t you censor more?”

The Texas senator has three ideas on how to rein in Big Tech censorship:

The first idea is to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This section gives special immunity from liability that essentially shields social media companies from liability for content on the platform since they are not acting in the capacity of a publisher.

Sen. Cruz says by giving this protection to social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook, they are not acting in the capacity of publishers. The fact that they decide what can and cannot go on their platforms makes them, in fact, publishers.

Social media, when it came about over 20 years ago, was given Section 230 protection because it was believed that such platforms would be neutral, more like an electronic town square.

Second, Sen. Cruz said:

“We can and should use the anti-trust laws. Under any measure, Big Tech is bigger, more powerful, has larger market caps than AT&T was when it was broken up.

“Under the antitrust laws, it’s bigger and more powerful than Standard Oil was when it was broken up under the anti-trust laws.”

The senator also said the Federal Trade Commission should be “using Section 5 authority for deceptive conduct.”

Finally, Sen. Cruz said the focus should be “directly on consumer deception and breaking the promise to consumers.”

The promise made by social media companies is “if you follow someone, you’re going to see what they have to say; and if someone follows you, they’re going to see what you have to say.”

Sen. Cruz said the Big Tech giants break that promise every day, noting that if they “don’t like your views, they silence you, they shadowban you, and I think we ought to pursue all three of them.”

Sen. Cruz continued that Democrats are not interested in pursuing any action but prefer to look at themselves as guardians of Big Tech and wanting them to censor more, not less.

During Tuesday’s Senate hearing, Sen. Cruz made the point that Twitter was, in fact, acting as a publisher and not a distributor of information. He said Twitter decides when to block certain tweets or label them in certain ways.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Anti-Trump Tik Tok users try to sabotage President's rally, accidentally end up donating nearly K to GOP

Dorsey, however, said that Twitter was not in fact acting as a publisher when it censored the New York Post, claiming that it was Twitter’s policy to block the distribution of hacked materials.

Sen. Cruz railed at Dorsey:

“Except your policies are applied in a partisan and selective manner.

“You claim it was hacked materials, and yet you didn’t block the distribution of the New York Times story that alleged to talk about President Trump’s tax returns, even though a federal statute makes it a crime to distribute someone’s tax returns without their consent. You didn’t block any of that discussion, did you?”

Dorsey claimed that in the New York Times case, “We interpreted it as reporting about the hacked materials, not the distribution of the (hacked materials).”

Sen. Cruz shot back, “Did you block Edward Snowden when he illegally released material?”

“I’m—I—I don’t have the answer to that,” Dorsey replied.

“The answer is no,” Sen. Cruz said. “You have used this in a selective manner.”

Sen. Cruz then asked Dorsey if he was an expert on voter fraud.

“No, I’m not,” Dorsey said.

“Well, why then is Twitter right now putting purported warnings on virtually any statement about voter fraud?” Cruz asked.

Dorsey replied, “We are—we’re simply linking to a broader conversation so that people have more information.”

Sen. Cruz angrily reacted to Dorsey’s statement:

“No, you’re not! You put up a page that says, ‘Voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare in the United States.’ That’s not linking to a broader conversation. That’s taking a disputed policy position…

“…and you’re a publisher when you’re doing that. You’re entitled to take a policy position, but you don’t get to pretend you’re not a publisher and get a special benefit under section 230 as a result.”

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