Facebook Blocks Greitens’ “Hunting RINOS” Ad

Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri, is under fire this week for his ad featuring himself, a former Navy Seal, storming a house looking for “RINOs” (or Republicans In Name Only). The ad, in my view, was inflammatory and irresponsible. At a time of rising politically-motivated violence, this type of ad, even if meant in jest, is reckless. However, Greitens has now been blocked on the ad by Facebook and tagged by Twitter, a continuation of robust censorship and “content modification” policies at these companies. This is news and there is a worthy discussion on the use of such imagery. However, we have seen how such censorship leads to ridiculous outcomes like YouTube censoring the Jan. 6th Committee because it had video clips of former President Donald Trump. Greitens has lashed out at the companies.

The ad shows Greitens declaring “Today, we’re going RINO hunting. The RINO feeds on corruption, and is marked by the stripes of cowardice. Join the MAGA crew, get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire til’ we save our country.”

Facebook has blacklisted the ad under its “policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”

On Twitter, people cannot share the tweet or reply to it, even in criticism. Twitter added a warning for abusive imagery.

Whether you find the ad humorous or horrific, it is news on various levels. There is the underlying political division in the Republican Party. There is also the use of violent imagery at a time when some Republicans are facing threats over their support for gun controls or the Jan. 6th Select Committee. These social media sites should be neutral forums for such debates.

In this controversy, Twitter at least still allowed access to the video. The question is the practical purpose of the warning beyond expressing corporate contempt over “abusive” content. There was a time when these companies did not believe that they were active participants in exchanges on their sites.

have described myself as an Internet Originalist:

The alternative is “internet originalism” — no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.

Social media companies seem to have written off conservatives and others with dissenting views. They have also readily embraced censorship as a noble task. Indeed, after the old Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was criticized for his massive censorship efforts, Twitter replaced him with CEO Parag Agrawal who has expressed chilling anti-free speech sentiments. In an interview with Technology Review editor-in-chief Gideon Lichfield, he was asked how Twitter would balance its efforts to combat misinformation with wanting to “protect free speech as a core value” and to respect the First Amendment.  Agrawal responded:

“Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation. The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed.

One of the changes today that we see is speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard. The scarce commodity today is attention. There’s a lot of content out there. A lot of tweets out there, not all of it gets attention, some subset of it gets attention.”

He added that Twitter would be “moving towards how we recommend content and … how we direct people’s attention is leading to a healthy public conversation that is most participatory.”


159 thoughts on “Facebook Blocks Greitens’ “Hunting RINOS” Ad”

  1. Jonathan: Eric Greitens is no stranger to controversy. Last year Greitens was forced to resign as Missouri’s governor as he faced two criminal charges, an ethics probe and public fallout over reports he’d had an affair with a hairdresser and then allegedly tried to blackmail her with nude photos. Greitens is now running for the US Senate to replace retiring Roy Blunt.

    Greitens is under attack from both Republicans and Dems in Missouri for his over-the-top “Hunting RINOS” video campaign ad in which he urges his supporter to get their “RINO hunting permit”. The state’s Fraternal Order of Police has condemned the ad saying it “sends a dangerous message that it is somehow acceptable to kill those who have different political beliefs”. It is ludicrous for you to say Greiten’s ad was only meant in “jest”. The ad was Greiten’s conscious attempt to both get attention in a crowded field and Trump’s endorsement and that of his many followers in the state.

    You will be surprised that I don’t favor censorship of such ads. We are going to see a lot more similar ads by GOP candidates as we approach the November elections. If I were Twitter or Facebook I would accept such ads with a prominent warning. Maybe something like this in bold red letters:

    “WARNING: This ad is not endorsed by Facebook. It contains images of graphic violence that may be offensive to some audiences. The ad may
    inspire some of the delusional supporters of Donald Trump to act out on the violence depicted in this ad. Parents of young children may want to
    restrict their access to this ad. Anyone on Facebook who advocates violence or threats of violence will be reported to local police authorities. This
    includes candidates for political office”

    Will this proposed “WARNING” meet your standards for “internet originalism”?

  2. I consider myself CLOSE to a First A absolutist but I have no issue pulling this ad. When your imagery gets so close to incitement I think it is warranted being shut down.

    The irony is that it helps Republicans to pull this idiots ad off the air. As a guy that votes R exclusively I hope to rid the party of morons like Greitens.

    1. “ As a guy that votes R exclusively I hope to rid the party of morons like Greitens.”

      Too late. It was overrun a long time ago.

    2. HullBobby,
      Think of it this way, Greitens produces a questionable ad.
      But that ad is so outlandish/outrageous, he just gained more exposure/press than if he ran a banal ad.
      Look at how much the media is covering it.

      Personally, I think if he would of ran an ad spoofing the first, good, Jurassic Park, with a Red Ryder BB gun and did the whole thing tongue-in-cheek would of gone over better.

  3. Facebook is private property, which, for those of you in Rio Linda, means that Facebook is not public property.

    Facebook is the sole entity that may “claim and exercise” dominion over Facebook.

    The condition of pregnancy is absolute – a female cannot be half pregnant.

    The right to private property is absolute, but for the express power of Congress to “take” property for public use.

    If the right to private property is not absolute, the right to private property does not exist

    The “dictatorship of the proletariat” is not the answer, and is, as is every form of communism in America, unconstitutional – the entire communist American welfare state is unconstitutional.

    Competition is always the only answer in the American free markets of the American private sector – those who disagree with Facebook may compete with Facebook.

    “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison

  4. “ However, we have seen how such censorship leads to ridiculous outcomes like YouTube censoring the Jan. 6th Committee because it had video clips of former President Donald Trump. ”

    Trump’s own Truth social has censored Jan 6 hearing footage as well because it had “unfair” views about trump. Where was Turley’s critical analysis of Trump’s own censorship of free speech on his platform?

    1. Oh honey. Get over your obsession with all things Trump. You can watch the kangaroo court show trial on every single channel. You won’t be disappointed. Why do you want to force others to propagandize the Progressives big lies?? You can’t get enough of them???

      1. Oh honey. Get over your delusion. The J6 Committee hearings are not a trial, much less a “kangaroo court.”

      2. Wen Bars says:

        “Oh honey. Get over your obsession with all things Trump.”

        NeverTrumpers are never going to cease reminding you of your election lies and “Deep State” lies unless you recant.

        So get used to it, baby.

    2. You are not a credible source. I don’t know what the censorship on Truth Social is or is not. Neither do you, but that doesn’t stop you from making your claims without evidence. Such claims, with the frequency you make them, make you non-credible on everything.

      Jack Cocchiarella is reported to have complained that his Jan 6 entry was deleted due to censorship and then later he found a failure of the app. I can’t make any conclusions based on that type of reporting. Others have been deleted because of copyright write infringement. I believe that because the platform said they would delete such entries because of copyright laws.

      To date, there has been no reasonable proof one way or the other. However, you think it is fact. That makes you not credible.

      1. “ don’t know what the censorship on Truth Social is or is not. Neither do you, but that doesn’t stop you from making your claims without evidence.”

        There’s plenty here’s one,

        “ Trump’s Site Truth Social Has Been Banning Users Over Posts on Jan. 6 Hearings”


        “ To date, there has been no reasonable proof one way or the other. ”

        That’s because Fox News is avoiding mentioning it.

        1. That is the problem with leftist sites like truthout. They have no credibility except for folk like you that believed in the Steele Dossier and the Russia Hoax.

          I am sure the site censors some things but I haven’t seen proof of widespread censorship of political issues. Anyone can write and say they were censored. You still need that dictionary so that you can look up words like proof, heresy, etc. You got a well deserved trophy from Steve.

          1. S. Meyer,

            “ I am sure the site censors some things but I haven’t seen proof of widespread censorship of political issues.”

            Oh so now you acknowledge that trump does censor speech after saying it was made up. Of course you avoid the simple fact that truth social DID exactly what Turley and you complain about when other social media platforms do it.

            You asked for proof and when it’s given you immediately dismiss it and question its credibility because you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge what’s directly on front of you. That’s called willful ignorance. There are plenty of other sources closer to your “credibility” meter that are saying the same thing.

            1. I have always said that some censoring will likely occur. Learn to use that dictionary.

              I don’t know for sure what Trump Social did. You wildly jump at conclusions banging your head against the ceiling all the time. Perhaps that is why you don’t think straight. I don’t approve of excessive censorship and believe almost all comments should be left alone. If government has no involvement and we don’t have town square issues, censorship is up to the private company based on contract and promises made by that company. Twitter fails the test.

              “You asked for proof and when it’s given you immediately dismiss it”

              You are a fool if you think you can take the word of potentially partisan persons. Go back to the dictionary and look up the words proof and evidence. Take a book out of the library and develop your unused brain. You are ignorant and a liar as well.

      2. You believe a lot of things but then you don’t post the proof of your claims. It’s easy to make excuses when you don’t have proof.

        1. My claim is you are not a credible source. I think most on the blog recognize that.

  5. Free speech is needed for speech with which you don’t agree. Terrible ad, censorship is even worse.

  6. Good to see Missouri Republicans excoriating Eric Greitens, who apparently has a history of domestic abuse. if only Democrats denounced violence and incendiary rhetoric by their own members (e.g. Charles Schumer, Maxine Waters, etc), domestic terrorist groups (e.g. ANTIFA BLM) and ProAbort groups like RuthSentUs and Jane’s Revenge. They wont because Democrats encourage, fund and enable such Marxist anarchists tactics.

    Pray for Justice Amy C. Barrett and her family


    Missouri Senate leader says he contacted law enforcement after Greitens campaign video

    Hours after former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released a video saying he would hunt members of the Republican party who he considered not conservative enough, the Republican floor leader of the Missouri state Senate said he had contacted law enforcement.

    “We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden posted on Twitter Monday.

    1. “has a history of domestic abuse.”

      I haven’t followed the story. How do we know there was domestic abuse?

      1. “ How do we know there was domestic abuse?”

        Because there was a police report filed by his ex wife.

        1. I am not protecting Greitens, but women do claim abuse when it doesn’t happen. I know of the charges. I do not know of their validity, yet. You were unable to provide any such information.

        2. “’How do we know there was domestic abuse?’”

          “Because there was a police report filed by his ex wife.”

          You take as proof allegations made by a disgruntled ex?!

          I have no words.

          1. They should both be questioned about it under oath, along with any witnesses, since the ex is confirming an allegation made by a third person.

            1. I guess you don’t realize that if they go through with the divorce, such questioning will occur if it hasn’t already.

    2. Re: Fm Mo Gov Eric Greitens case, I do not recall, but I do recall some lying Aholes that were under contract forced to reconsider what they were saying.

      https://nypost.com › 2022 › 06 › 01 › johnny-depp-reacts-to-winning-verdict-in-amber-heard-trial
      Johnny Depp reacts to winning verdict in Amber Heard trial
      Jun 1, 2022The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial has finally come to a close. The verdict came in on Wednesday afternoon in a Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory…

  7. Turley is again demonstrating his utter hypocrisy when it comes to private social media platforms.

    He decries the “corporate censorship” and using Twitter and Facebook as examples. But he still has not mentioned Trump’s own “truth social” platform banning and censoring posters for putting up videos of the Jan 6 hearings. Not a single peep from Turley.

    As I’ve stated many times. These are legal actions by private companies. Even Turley grudgingly admits they can do that while castigating them for not adhering to free speech principles. Turley is just as guilty of doing the same, but obviously he’s not going to do what he advocates others to do. Turley is a massive hypocrite.

    1. How do you feel about the current administration or members of Congress flagging content it thinks social media should remove?

      1. Everyone in the US — including you — has a legal right to flag content.

      2. Members of congress CAN opine that certain content should be removed. They can’t demand that it be, but to just say “I think it should be removed” is not government censorship since they are not actually censoring the content.

        It’s still the private entity’s decision whether to censor the content.

        I don’t know how government commenting on certain content without calling for censorship would be illegal. Just saying it’s distasteful or inflammatory is not enough to show that it is censorship itself.

    2. I know Svalez is a troll but my analogy is sound

      I’m a 50 year old congressman.

      Can I have a romantic sexual relationship with my office interns? No violation of the law in that.

  8. Greitens wanted the ad blocked. Mission accomplished. He is trying to claim the Trump mantle in the primary. What better way to do that than to get blocked.

  9. Freedom of speech is comprised of speech that others do not like, that others hate and despise.


  10. OT

    African Quantitative Economic Science 101

    “If you can’t afford to buy gasoline, that’s a recession.”

    – Rep. Clyburn

  11. I think people forget that free speech helps us identify the morons among us. As a conservative, I had some concerns about some of the rather radical things I heard Greiten say. But until I saw this ad, I had no idea how unelectable this guy really is.

  12. That may have been the stupidest political ad of the century, perhaps of all time. If this is an example of his judgment, then let’s hope his potential constituents are much smarter than he is and send him packing.

    1. let’s hope his potential constituents are much smarter than he is and send him packing.

      This is why bad speech needs more speech. Not censorship

          1. Sure he does. I gave an example in my 9:23 AM comment.

            Do you need more examples?

            1. If I ran into his web site there would be no “anonymous” posts or posters!

              1. Turley disagrees with you, which is why he deleted it. He also deleted the comments encouraging Jeff to jump off the GG Bridge.

          2. Iowan2 says:

            “Turley does not delete ” bad” speech.”

            Right. He deletes “abusive” speech.

            Turley’s “civility and decorum policy” in part:

            “I will delete abusive comments when I see them or when they are raised to me. If the conduct continues, I will consider banning the person responsible. However, such transgressions should be raised with me by email and not used as an excuse to trash talk or retaliate. I am the only one who can ban someone from the blog and I go to great lengths not to do it or engage in acts that might be viewed as censorship.”

            Turley will BAN anyone who speaks *abusively* (whatever that means exactly).

            1. Speech that derails, instead of contributes to discussion.

              A lot like a retards post, that seek only to dilute the topic with retarded conclusions and stupid non sequiturs.

              1. Iowan2 says:

                “A lot like a retards post, that seek only to dilute the topic with retarded conclusions and stupid non sequiturs.”

                WHO decides WHAT speech is retarded?

  13. He added that Twitter would be “moving towards how we recommend content and … how we direct people’s attention is leading to a healthy public conversation that is most participatory.

    The devil, as always. WHO defines, “healthy public conversation”. If I decide, great. There is massive amounts of leftist lies that need severe censorship.

    1. Iowan2 says:

      “The devil, as always. WHO defines, “healthy public conversation”. If I decide, great. There is massive amounts of leftist lies that need severe censorship.”

      The owner of the blog or media decides. That’s who.

      Fox banned Lou Dobbs, for example, as well as Sidney Powell and Giuliani. Those two lawyers only appear on Newsmax nowadays. Fox bans all talk of election conspiracy theories. It is banning any mention of “2000 Mules” for Chrissakes!

      “D’Souza Targets Fox News, Says Network Banning Mention of ‘2000 Mules’”


      Does Turley criticize his network Fox for cancelling D’Souaza’s speech?


      Do those of you who swear by “2000 Mules” criticize Turley for his silence about Fox’s censorship of “2000 Mules”?


      1. Jeff, many of us have respect for Turley and ourselves. You have neither.

        1. I respect Turley far more than you because, unlike you, I believe that he is a NeverTrumper. He does not believe Trump’s lies. Tell me, you respect Turley for debasing Trump as a “carnival snake charmer”?

          I do.

          1. That only demonstrates you have no respect for Turley. You say what he believes having no concern for Turley’s feelings in the matter and you hold up posters on his behalf that you believe but he doesn’t. You fawn like a child hoping that by osmosis you will gain a trifle of ihis intelligence.

  14. A reminder: Turley removes comments with similar videos/comments here. He is a hypocrite when it comes to private entities removing comments; he does it himself, while criticizing others for doing the same, and he never discusses the fact that as private entities, they both clearly have a legal right to deleted comments/videos/etc. that conflict with the Terms of Use.

    For example, he/Darren removed the following comment, which had a video of a rifle being shot accompanied by the commenter saying that people should “have their sights on Adam Schiff”:

    As for Greitens, anyone considering voting for him should read his wife’s affidavit:

    For example,
    “Prior to our divorce, during an argument in late April 2018, Eric knocked me down and confiscated my cell phone, wallet, and keys so that I was unable to call for help or extricate myself and our children from our home at Innsbrook, Missouri. When my mother later confronted him about this, he told her that he did so to prevent me from doing anything that might damage his political career. In early June 2018, I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home, which was fairly isolated, due to Eric’s unstable and coercive behavior. This behavior included physical violence toward our children, such as cuffing our then three-year-old son across the face at the dinner table in front of me and yanking him around by his hair.
    “Eric’s behavior also included threats in order to coerce me to do or to refrain from doing or saying certain things. After Eric admitted to me in late January 2021 that he had taken the photo that resulted in the invasion of privacy charge, he threatened that I would be exposed to legal jeopardy if I ever disclosed that fact to anyone, even family members or a therapist. …
    “In the spring and early summer of 2018, Eric repeatedly threatened to kill himself unless I provided specific public political support to him; multiple people other than myself were worried enough to intervene to limit Eric’s access to firearms on at least three separate occasions, in February, April, and May 2018. As I became afraid of the escalation of physical violence in early June 2018, I begged Eric to tell me where his firearm was — one that he had purchased in January 2018 and subsequently concealed from me. He refused, saying that I was not being sufficiently “cooperative.” I started sleeping in my children’s room simply to try to keep them safe.”
    The photo is a sexual blackmail photo of another woman.

    I have no way of assessing whether everything she claims is true, but he should have to testify about these things under oath. If any of it is true, this is not the kind of person who should hold elected office again.

    1. If Turley/Darren remove content that is truly racist, anti-semitism, truly derogatory against a minority group or women, calls for violence against (insert name of person, political group, religion, race, etc. here), then yes, that content should be removed.

      This is the issue with free speech. Most of us can agree there is a level of what free speech/decency should be allowed.

      I have modded for a few sites and there are some people out there whom believe they should be allowed to post very racist, anti-semitism, or calling for violence under the guise of free speech. I have seen a few posts on the professors blog that suggest there are some of those people here. Darren deleted their posts, and I would agree with his call.

      1. “truly derogatory”

        Derogatory is subjective. Then you add, “truly”

        That’ why censorship is bad.

        “Eye of the beholder”

        1. Iowan2,
          Normally I concur with your opinions and POV.
          This is one case where we will have to agree to disagree.

          I say “truly” derogatory as in the things I have seen be it use of the N-word, anti-Semitic rants to include calls to bring back the showers and ovens, generalizations of entire race having a low IQ, and some really sick stuff about women and a chainsaw.
          Then there were calls for shooting all the (insert political party, race, religion etc. here).
          These are the kind of people I would apply Red Flag laws too.
          That kind of speech has no place in a decent society.

          However, it also seems to me, we might be looking at decent society in the rear view mirror. As we have seen the professor note some people who are calling for violence against others based off skin color are not white. 5-10 years ago, the sexualization of children would of been abhorrent in a decent society. Calling Jews the “oppressors” at a LA private school would of been condemned. Just read flyers from the group Jane’s Revenge are circulating in DC, calling for riots. Don’t forget the 2020 Summer of Love, fiery but mostly peaceful protests, and some political leadership seemingly encouraging them on.

          Yes, decent society is in the rear view mirror . . . explains what that bump was.

    2. “I have no way of assessing whether everything she claims is true,” but I’ll repeat them, anyway. Because those claims satisfy a desire.

        1. “Turley also repeats things he does not know to be true”

          Yet he permits small portions of the Washington Post and NYT to remain on the blog. He permits almost all your misinformation to remain on the blog.

          You have an odd way of assessing things. Maybe you need a course in critical thinking.

    3. For example,
      “Prior to our divorce, during an argument in late April 2018, Eric knocked me down and confiscated my cell phone,

      Divorce affidavits have the highest probabilty of being fabricated as any affidavit. Except for leftist lies about SCOTUS nominees. They are 100% lies.

      1. If you have evidence that her claims are false, you should present them.

        BTW, claiming that “lies …. are 100% lies” is circular reasoning.

  15. Frankly I think it’s funny. This ad is pointed directly at Mitch McConnell who is doing everything he can to block Greiten’s election and has been engaged in this sort of thing since late in George W Bush’s administration. McConnell seeks to protect the old Guard of the Republican Party which has been known to cave quickly in the face of robust performances by his Democratic Colleagues. McConnell has waged war against many of the new Republicans, more so than democrats, and he is getting lonely as the old Guard disappear from the senate. As far as this being inflammatory or irresponsible, well I just have to look at what is happening around Supreme Court Justices homes and I then don’t find Greitens reckless at all.

    1. “I then don’t find Greitens reckless at all.”

      The video has similarities to what we saw when Roger Stone was arrested or James O’Keefe’s house invaded by the FBI. The left needs to look at what they don’t like and then look at what they do.

  16. Calling people to hunt people who disagree with you is not legitimate discourse. This clearly crosses the line and advocates for people to commit crimes. Not free speech, treason.

    1. people who disagree with you is not legitimate discourse

      Explain the 2020 Summer of love

      1. They were protesting police murdering people, especially minorities. In this case the
        Republican is advocating murdering his political opponents. Big difference, even if you can’t understand it.

        1. Sammy, thank you for letting us know that you support the murder of around 3 dozen people, the destruction of private property to a tune of Billions of dollars, the destruction of private homes, loss of jobs and looting.

          We now know what you stand for. The ad, which may or may not have been in poor taste (based on one’s sensitivities), you believe is far worse than the destruction mentioned above.

          You certainly have your head on your shoulders. Unfortunately, it is not connected to the rest of your body.

    2. “Calling people to hunt people who disagree with you is not legitimate discourse. “

      Then you certainly belong in the wrong political camp. That is what the left does. You have heard of the word cancel, you have seen the riots, you have seen the intimidation, you have seen the left surrounding the SC Judges and the attempted murder of one. Does that not ring a bell.

      1. “That is what the left does.”

        Greitens is a Republican.

        Some people on the right and left do it. Most people on the right and left do not.

  17. Ah…if only Republicans could refrain for doing stupid things until after the midterms. Twitter might actually be helping him by quashing the mocking and condemnation. Really hope the Musk buyout goes through.

  18. So wanting to murder people of your own party because they are not radical enough is a “dissenting view“?

  19. “…Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”

    Remember Stalin’s comment about the importance of vote counters versus voters?

    Chilling the way lefties often revert back to Stalin.

      1. One has to be desperate to use a fact-check. Fact-checkers exist to spin the news. The best use of a fact-checker depends on one’s ideology.

        Agreement from a fact-checker for the leftist: Start searching for an accurate answer.
        Agreement from a fact-checker for the right: Rethink what you were thinking.

        1. …and trolls make comments devoid of facts, instead relying on their “gut’, conspiracy theories and other trolls, hoping to provoke a response in order to spew their venom upon any group thy wish to “own”.

    1. BMan, by never being an R you elect Biden, Harris, AOC, Warren, Abrams and you get Drag Queen Reading Day, Federalized elections, the end of energy and much much more.

      People that try to claim the high ground by not being for either party are (with all due respect) idiots.

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