As a writer, actress and comedian, Amanda Seales leverages her social media platforms to connect with and converse with her audience. To her surprise, she woke up this morning to see Instagram had removed one of her recent posts for violating their community guidelines.
Three days ago, Seales tweeted this message expressing her frustration with governmental discrimination against Syrian refugees:
Her comment comes in the wake of members of the GOP demanding that Barack Obama‘s plan to continue to allow more Syrian refugees to enter the country be halted due to recent terrorist threats.
Her post received a lot of traction with 10k retweets. Seeing the tweet had spawned conversation, Seales decided to expand the conversation by adding it to Instagram. After receiving 900 likes, she was notified she had violated Instagram’s usage code.
We talked to Seales in an exclusive interview about what happened, and why she thinks it occurred:
‘People were coming to my post saying, You are a racist b*tch. You are a nigger. You’re an idiot and you don’t deserve to be American, and none of those people got their comments or posts removed,’ she explained.
Seales expressed that the only reason she made the comparison, was to enlighten the masses who are being unfairly biased against Syrians and Muslims.
‘In order for an analogy to work, you have to compare equal things. 64% of mass shootings are done by White people in the US. The biggest threat of terrorism in this country is by white supremacy groups. We cannot continue to judge an entire group of people by the actions of some,’ she said.
‘Even though my tweet was unsettling, I still didn’t say anything lacking facts.’
After analyzing Instagram’s Community Guidelines, it appears the social media platform uses an arbitrary ethics code to determine who is safe and who is in violation.
‘When black people are uncomfortable it’s because we are too sensitive. When white people are uncomfortable it’s a threat,’ she explained.
She expressed her frustration in a series of tweets:
None of us will forget the moment we logged on to our Instagram profiles and saw trolls wearing Trayvon Martin Halloween costumes in a hateful parody. We also are aware that hashtags like #Blackgenocide get a pass on Twitter. Tumblr is known for allowing racist hate groups to thrive on their platforms.
It is imperative that social media sites clarify their standards and reveals the methodology behind who gets censored and why. Because as of now, it seems we are being silenced for being inflammatory, while everyone else is just exercising their right to free speech.