Facebook on Monday removed a video from Missouri Republican Senate candidate Eric Greitens in which he holds a shotgun and urges supporters to “get a RINO hunting permit.”
A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the video showing Greitens breaking into a house with a gun in hand was removed “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”
Greitens hit back with a Facebook post accusing the tech giant of censoring him, similar to accusations a number of Republicans have made against social media platforms.
“Facebook CENSORED our new ad calling out the weak RINOs. When I get to the US Senate, we are taking on Big Tech,” he wrote.
In the 38-second video, also posted to Twitter, Greitens touts his background as a Navy SEAL and says he is going “RINO hunting,” using the acronym for “Republican in name only.” He’s surrounded by men in U.S. armed forces uniforms who break into a seemingly empty house with their guns pointed.
Twitter did not remove the video, but added a notice on the tweet that said: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Twitter will also limit engagement with the post. Users will be able to quote tweet the post, meaning they’re able to post it with a comment, but will not be able to like, reply to or retweet it.
Greitens resigned as Missouri governor in 2018 amid allegations that he sexually assaulted and blackmailed his hairstylist. Greitens insisted the interactions were consensual, but a state legislative investigation deemed the allegations of abuse credible.
Republicans sounded alarms when he announced he would be running to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), especially after ex-wife earlier this year accused him of abusing her and their children while they were married.
The Greitens campaign denied the allegations from his ex-wife.
A poll from The Hill and Emerson College released earlier this month found Greitens leading the field of GOP gubernatorial candidates in Missouri with 26 percent support heading into the Aug. 2 primary election.
–Updated at 1:59 p.m.
Author: Rebecca Klar