March 19, 2019 / 4:14 PM / 9 months ago

Trump asks why Facebook blocked Dan Scavino, his social media director

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he will look into Facebook’s decision to block public comments by White House social media director Dan Scavino.

Scavino posted a screen shot late on Monday of a message from Facebook saying he was temporarily blocked from making public comments because some of his comments had been reported as spam.

Facebook said the issue was an “unintended consequence” of the platform’s policy on spam, adding, it has been in touch with Scavino and has apologised to him.

Explaining the error, Facebook said it caps the amount of identical, repetitive activity coming from one account in a short period of time as to stop automated bots.

“These limits can have the unintended consequence of temporarily preventing real people like Dan Scavino from engaging in such activity, but lift in an hour or two, which is what happened in this case,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“Dear Facebook—AMAZING. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME from replying to comments followers have left me - on my own Facebook Page!!?? People have the right to know. Why are you silencing me??? Please LMK!” Scavino said in his post earlier.

Trump pounced on the issue. “I will be looking into this!” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Facebook said the issue is “content-agnostic and is solely about addressing potentially scammy repetitive behaviour.”

FILE PHOTO: White House social media director Dan Scavino heads to the Marine One helicopter to depart the White House with U.S. President Donald Trump on the way to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg -/File Photo

On Tuesday, Trump also said that social media platforms including Twitter discriminated against members of his party, and accused the companies of collusion.

“We enforce the Twitter Rules dispassionately and equally for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation,” a Twitter spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and David Shepardson in Washington and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Steve Orlofsky and Shailesh Kuber

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