Local News

Local mother questions why Facebook banned her from site for 24 hours

SEBRING At least for the most part, the Facebook page “Mother’s Moments” doesn’t generate a lot of controversy. There was the time when the founder of the page got in trouble for posting a picture of a baby in diapers. Facebook claimed that was nudity, said Tonie King-Smith, the founder from South Carolina. More often, though, postings can be as benign as: “**Fan Question** Does any mommies know how to make King Ranch Casserole? I need a recipe since I wanna make a small batch of it tonight.”
Heather Hamman, a resident of Sebring who is an administrator for the page that has more than 18,000 fans, said it was created to provide a place where mothers could freely communicate with each other and get advice. Even some fathers seek help, she said. But, she said, people do talk about more than just parenting concerns. The latest point of contention was a comment from one person that read: “It’s really bugging me how all I see on my news feed is all about that ‘Buck Wild’ kid (apparently referring to Shain Gandee, an actor with Buck Wild, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to news reports). Yes, it is a very sad thing he died so young and I pray for his family. But soldiers die every day and they don’t get the recognition they deserve. That’s just my opinion anyhow.” Hamman said that once another admin posted that, she and Tonie King-Smith and another person involved in managing the site all got banned from Facebook and were told that the posting violated Facebook’s community standards. Both King-Smith, who was banned for 30 days and Hamman, who was banned for 24 hours, say they fail to understand why that comment which essentially expresses a belief that the death of a soldier is as at least as important as a celebrity violates the community standards. They say it doesn’t represent self-harm comments, bullying, is not graphic and doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy or intellectual property rights. Hamman said she didn’t find out about her ban until later because she wasn’t on the site at the time another “admin” posted it. Ironically that person didn’t get banned, she said. She said she’s been involved in some way with the page since 2011 when it showed up on her newsfeed. Hamman said she volunteered to be an admin. She and others have protested the bans, but have received no response from Facebook, they said. Facebook did not respond to a request from Highlands Today for comment as of press time. Freedom of speech is partly what the page is about, King-Smith said. She wants women “to not feel stupid about asking questions,” she said. Mother’s Moments discourages people from attacking other people’s comments and has removed people who do that. She said one topic they do ban is abortion because in the past when they’ve allowed discussion, the conversation has denigrated. “I want an apology,” King-Smith said, about being banned for 30 days. Jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834


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