Facebook has reversed itself after removing an ad from Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell that featured the candidate firing and then holding a gun, according to a report from The News-Press.
Caldwell had accused the social media site of censorship after his ad was removed.
Facebook’s advertising policies state: “Ads must not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.” The page also notes that “[a]ds promoting the brandishing of firearms” are disallowed by the website.
Caldwell, a North Fort Myers state representative, blamed the site’s “institutional liberalism” for the ad’s removal. But now the company says rejecting the ad was an error.
“We review millions of ads each week and sometimes we make mistakes,” Facebook said in a statement to The News-Press. “We have overturned the decision and the ads are now running live on Facebook.”
The 15-second ad, titled “That’s All There Is To It,” features Caldwell shooting a clay target before he addresses the camera directly while holding the gun.
“I’m Matt Caldwell. I like guns. I love the Second Amendment. And I support our president. That’s why I’m endorsed by the NRA. I’m Matt Caldwell, and that’s all there is to it.”
Caldwell is competing for the Republican nomination in the Ag. Commissioner race with state Sen. Denise Grimsley, retired Army Colonel Mike McCalister, and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman.
They are running to replace term-limited Commissioner Adam Putnam, now running to be Florida’s next governor.