Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, at 11:47 p.m.
The official Facebook page for Hart school board member Joe Messina’s talk show, “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina” was pulled on Friday morning, Messina said.
The page for the conservative talk show was unpublished due to violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions, Messina said.
The email Messina received in addition to the unpublishing, stated that grounds for violation of terms and condition were linked to either a page being found as fake, or multiple hate speech violations.
“The page has been up for nine years, and it’s a verified page with a checkmark, which means they verified my identity,” Messina said. “But I’ve also never had a notice of hate speech before; there haven’t been multiple violations.”
Messina said Facebook pulled other pages for websites affiliated with Liberty Alliance, a collection of conservative and Christian websites.
“This has been going on across the country,” he said. “But Facebook has been targeting conservatives.”
Facebook spokesperson Jennifer Ridings confirmed Messina’s page had been removed. She said it was due to repeated instances of content violating the social media platform’s community standards.
“Every time we remove something from a page that goes against our community standards, it counts as a strike against that page,” she said. “When a page surpasses a certain threshold of strikes, the whole page is unpublished. In this case, ‘The Real Side With Joe Messina’ page was unpublished after repeatedly posting content that broke our standards.”
Messina said many of the comments on his syndicated talk show’s Facebook page were political, but that he vetted content for hate speech instances.
“People comment on it, sometimes crazies post on it and we pull it down,” he said. “But it is a political page if it would.
“In today’s environment, I can say anything like, that I don’t want our borders open,” he said. “So as a conservative, that’s considered hate speech toward immigrants. It’s all subjective now. I have never posted any hate speech, and anything real bad that’s been posted up there we have pulled as fast as we can.”
Messina said some of his listeners had posted gruesome violent images or comments, such as calling for the hanging of Hillary Clinton, but he always took those down.
“You can’t call for violence toward any group, but you can call a disdain for ideas or a hate for processes and procedures,” he said. “Anything that called for violence toward a group, doesn’t stay. But my page is very conservative, as am I. Sometimes a provocative comment is needed to get people to think or discuss. We’ve lost that ability.”
Messina said he occasionally comes under fire in the past for controversial statements, such as stating that individuals at Rep. Steve Knight’s Santa Clarita town hall in 2017 were acting like a “Bunch of 17 year old spoiled brats,” but that those comments were always taken out of context.
As of Friday, Messina had filed an appeal to retain his Facebook page.
The William S. Hart Union High School District board member, who is running for re-election, also lost 40,000 of his 58,000+ Twitter followers without notice or explanation last month.
The following has since rebuilt to 27,000 as of Friday, according to the Twitter profile.