The Facebook Page That Has Zuckerburg’s Panties in a Knot
On Monday, October 22, I was very upset to discover that Facebook had shut down one of my favorite pages, Liberty Memes, a page run by two brothers in upstate New York.
Upset, but not surprised. Earlier this month, in preparation for the mid-term elections, Facebook had already purged roughly 800 pages and accounts, many of which were anti-establishment or favored the cause of liberty.
Earlier this month, in preparation for the mid-term elections, Facebook had already purged roughly 800 pages and accounts, many of which were anti-establishment or favored the cause of liberty. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that this purge of pro-liberty/anti-government pages comes after Facebook hired former NSA director for cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher, earlier this year and is working with the government-funded think tank, the Atlantic Council, to “monitor for misinformation.” According to Facebook’s statement about the recent purge, pages are being shut down not for content but for breaking their “rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Inauthentic? The Liberty Memes Admins are nothing if not genuine. They weren’t part of that initial purge, so I don’t know why Facebook took down their page. I doubt Liberty Memes even knows why Facebook did it. They certainly did not spam anybody or lead anybody to clickbait, and while their behavior may have changed over time as they gained more influence, it has been to use that influence for good, and only on a voluntary basis.
I don’t remember exactly when I first started following Liberty Memes, but I do remember I discovered them through a comment on Julie Borowski’s page. Back then, most of the memes Liberty Memes featured were their original content, but their followers were also happy to share memes in the comments, and the admins featured a few of those memes, too. A long time passed before I shared my first comment and much longer before I shared my first meme. And then that special day finally arrived. For the first time, one of the admins chose one of my original memes to share. It was July 4, 2016. They asked people to share the meme and ask friends to like the page to help them reach 150,000 likes. That meme received several thousand likes and over 15,000 shares, and they reached their goal that day. Even if they didn’t know the meme was mine, I was happy to be a part of it.
When I discovered the Liberty Memes Admins and Julie Borowski were all going to be at Liberty Fest NYC in September 2016, and the tickets were only $10 each, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity not only to meet them in person but also to spend some time with a dear old friend on Long Island. She let my son and I spend the weekend with her and her husband. I tried to talk them into joining us for Liberty Fest, but it just wasn’t their thing. So off my son and I went for a fun-filled day of liberty in NYC. My old, basic phone didn’t have a good camera for the lighting, so I didn’t get any pictures, but I did get a nice hug from Julie (my son bowed to her in his martial arts style), and I spent some enjoyable time chatting with the brothers from Liberty Memes a bit before and after their presentation. I think I surprised them a little by calling them by their real names, Peter and David Gay, because at that time they were mostly known as Admin 1 and Admin 2.
As their popularity grew, the Liberty Memes Admins never forgot who they are, a couple of brothers who want to spread a love of liberty through humor. Some people equate individual liberty with selfishness. While it’s true that people can use their liberty for selfish reasons, compassion and generosity are not mutually exclusive from liberty. Peter once shared a story for me on their page asking if anyone knew about fighting parking tickets in Philadelphia. I didn’t receive any legal help through that experience, but I did receive plenty of unofficial advice from their followers. David has taken time out of his day to help my son with questions on his Spanish homework via Messenger. Then Liberty Memes would affect me and my family in a real-world way that we could never repay.
Several years ago, I became very ill and left work on long term disability through my company’s insurance. After several years, I tried to go back to work, but the illness left permanent neurological damage that makes it difficult for me to hold a job. After I lost my last job in 2016, we started making partial payments on our mortgage in an attempt to show that we were doing our best to pay in good faith. However, we got further and further behind. In April of this year, Wells Fargo returned our last two partial payments that would have kept us from getting too far behind, then put us in foreclosure. I was so angry when I discovered the returned payments, I wanted to fight back. Again, I asked Liberty Memes if they would be willing to share my story to see if I could get legal help. They did something far beyond my wildest imagination.
David encouraged me to start a GoFundMe.com campaign because he believed that people would want to help my family keep the house. Just a week prior Liberty Memes was part of a successful campaign in the liberty community on Facebook to help raise $25,000 for a kidney transplant for a little girl. The generous followers of all those pages were able to reach that goal in 5 days! All voluntary. Liberty Memes wanted to do the same for my family. My goal to reinstate my mortgage was just under $10,500. With Liberty Memes leading the way and other liberty pages joining in, that goal was surpassed in 10 days! My family was able to keep our house! We didn’t have to lose everything in a short sale or complete foreclosure. By June 6, the reinstatement was finalized, and the foreclosure was dismissed. I am forever grateful to the brothers at Liberty Memes for what they did for my family.
This is how their behavior changed. Not in any inauthentic way. They went from a meme page that mocks politics and culture, offending people all across the left/right spectrum—as they would say, a page that uses humor to promote liberty—to a page that shows how voluntary action can do more good to help people than forcing people to give through inefficient government programs (even as they continue to mock politics and culture). Since they helped me, they have continued to help so many others through voluntary donations from their followers. They use their influence to encourage their followers to give—only voluntarily—not only to help others within the liberty community, but they have also used donations to help a homeless man in Florida, hurricane relief in the Carolinas, and even rescue sick kittens. Who on the internet doesn’t love kittens? Their plans to use their influence for good don’t end there.
Liberty Memes threatens the idea that people need the government for peace and security and even everyday needs. This is the threat that Facebook took down on Monday, October 22.