Elizabeth Heng nearly beat incumbent Democratic congressman Jim Costa in California’s open primaries in early June. The 53–47 outcome would have made her the darling of the national political media, had she been a Democrat. She will face Costa again in the general election in November. My colleague Alexandra DeSanctis wrote an excellent piece last month profiling the young, smart, 33-year-old Republican contender.
So this happened yesterday. Heng’s campaign had tried to place this video as an ad on Facebook. It begins with her family’s roots — amidst the horror of Cambodian genocide.
And Facebook responded with a big ixnay. Here’s a screenshot of the rejection provided by the candidate:
Is the Cambodian Genocide now a non-event? Or just too icky for the Silicon Valley Boys? Or maybe this ad-rejection is yet another powerful Republican political message that fails some subjective standard contrived in a liberal hotbed?
The Heng campaign released this statement yesterday:
This Friday, Facebook revoked approval to advertise Elizabeth Heng’s campaign video detailing why she is running for office in the 16th Congressional District of California. Her video, which includes the story of her American immigrant parents who lived through the atrocity of communism and genocide that ravaged Cambodia in the early 1980s, evidently contained content too “shocking, disrespectful or sensational” for the platform, to quote Facebook directly.
“It is unbelievable that Facebook could have such blatant disregard for the history that so many people, including my own parents, have lived through,” said Elizabeth. “I’m sure it is shocking for some people to hear about this kind of injustice, but this is reality. This is why I wake up every single day with the fight and determination to have a voice and make a difference in my community. Neither Facebook nor any other company in the tech industry get to silence our stories. We’ve seen it over and over again with Republican candidates and organizations. This kind of censorship is an attack on the freedoms that we have as Americans to express what we believe in, and we must hold Facebook accountable.”