Facebook suspended my account for posting public phone numbers of elected officials

Photo by Steve Neavling/MCM

Facebook suspended my account for three days because I posted the public office phone numbers of Congressional members from Michigan who voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The phone numbers are public record and posted on each member’s congressional web page as a way for residents to communicate with their elected representatives.

According to the social media giant, listing the phone numbers violated Facebook’s community standards, which were created to “help make Facebook a safe place for people to connect with the world around them.”

Photo by Steve Neavling/MCM

Never mind that access to your elected public officials is a vital part of a healthy democracy.

Facebook alerted me of the suspension on Friday, less than a day after I posted the phone numbers on my personal page. The idea was to give residents an opportunity to call their elected representatives to share their opinions of President Trump’s version of health care, which would enable insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing medical conditions and increase the number of uninsured people by 24 million people, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

About two months ago, Facebook also suspended my account for three days for posting a video of a Trump supporter calling protesters “n***ers” in Sterling Heights.

Despite repeated attempts to reach Facebook, I have received no response.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.