Trump fans Diamond and Silk — two sisters from North Carolina who made a name for themselves by supporting the president when few black women were — have posted numerous videos defending the president against racism, sexism and pretty much any criticism.
Lynette Hardaway (Diamond) and Rochelle Richardson (Silk) have more than 1.4 million followers on Facebook who listen to their pro-border wall rap lyrics and sharp critiques of pretty much anyone who challenges Trump.
But while these postings earned them invitations on the campaign trail, visits to the White House and regular appearances on Fox News, it hasn't gotten them much airtime on Facebook.
Facebook confirmed to The Washington Post that the company told the two women that their pro-Trump videos were “unsafe.”
Facebook has not explained what, if anything, the sisters have done to violate its terms of service or to be considered “unsafe.” And while many Americans disagree with the two sisters' views expressed in the videos, their videos do not appear to be violent or especially incendiary.
Now, Diamond and Silk are accusing Facebook of censoring them because of their gender and ethnicity. The claims follows Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's two days of testimony before Congress about his platform's role in the spread of misinformation in the 2016 election.
On “Fox & Friends,” a show the political novices frequent regularly to discuss policy issues, Silk nodded her head approvingly while Diamond asked:
“We don’t belong to no gang, so how are we unsafe to the community?
“It bothers me. It’s offensive. It’s appalling. … Why are you censoring two women of color? … They’re trying to become a dictator,” she continued.
Interest in Facebook's role in the 2016 election has included its use as a platform in the United States and abroad to sow racial and gender division among the electorate. A CNN investigation recently revealed that an Australian man registered dozens of domain names including a “Black Lives Matter” Facebook page to solicit $100,000 in donations that were deposited into Australian bank accounts.
But Diamond and Silk are unlikely to get much support from women of color in their effort to paint the company as unwelcoming to the political views of women of color.
That is because whenever Diamond and Silk have had an opportunity to address concerns about racism and sexism from Trump and the GOP, the two women defended him — even when white men in Trump's own party have expressed discomfort with the president's comments and policies.
Former Clinton administration official and CNN political commentator Keith Boykin tweeted a meme Wednesday drawing attention to conservatives' lack of concern about the silencing of black women who were not Trump supporters.
In fact, Diamond and Silk have often used their airtime to pile on the women of color who have criticized Trump's policies. The two women complaining about being censored by Facebook called for the censoring of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one of Trump's most frequent critics especially on issues related to race and gender.
During an appearance on Trump supporter and Fox News host Jesse Watters's show, Hardaway said: “Shame on Maxine Waters! Nothing is wrong with you, but you [weren't] even there for the people you're supposed to represent.
“And then I heard that she mentioned something about censoring our president,” Hardaway went on. “She needs to be censored. We need to put a message up there to vote her out. Because why is she in office? She's doing nothing for her district.”
While Diamond and Silk aren't likely the only black women who have issues with Waters's performance, the veteran lawmaker is likely performing much better with women of color in her district than Trump is nationally.
When interviewed, many of the black women voting for Democratic candidates since Trump entered the White House have described their votes as criticisms of the president and candidates supporting his agenda. And many of these women who are in the political sector have used Facebook to share their political views.
So while Diamond and Silk have yet to prevent evidence that their voice is being censored because of their gender and race, one question does remain: Why exactly did Facebook censor the two women?
Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack told The Washington Post:
“We have communicated directly with Diamond And Silk about this issue. The message they received last week was inaccurate and not reflective of the way we communicate with our community and the people who run Pages on our platform. We have provided them with more information about our policies and the tools that are applicable to their Page and look forward to the opportunity to speak with them.”