The company that runs Facebook, Meta, is disputing Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s claims that she was blocked from posting on Facebook.
In a post to Twitter on Wednesday, Smith wrote that Facebook had temporarily banned her from posting to the social media site, writing, “Big tech and government censorship is becoming a danger to free speech around the world.”
But Meta says Smith’s account was never locked and instead that one administrator on her account faced restrictions.
“There were no restrictions placed on the Premier’s Page,” David Troya-Alvarez, a Meta spokesperson, said in a statement to Postmedia.
“One of the Page’s administrators faced restrictions, but that did not impact the underlying Page’s ability to post content.”
Shortly after reporters posted screenshots of Meta’s response, Smith announced that she had once again gained access to her Facebook account.
“Happy to report, my page is able to post on Facebook again,” she wrote. “This was the error that appeared on my page. I hope this is the last time it happens.”
The post included a screenshot from Facebook that reads, “Sorry, you can’t post to Facebook from this account. For security reasons, your account has limited access to the site for a few days.”
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) June 15, 2023
The Premier’s Office did not respond to a request for clarification from True North about whether her account was at any time blocked.
Many speculated that Smith was being censored following the passage of Bill C-11, federal legislation that gives the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissio (CRTC) powers to regulate social media platforms, which some content creators warn will heighten censorship.
While she temporarily was unable to access her Facebook page, Smith said all Canadians must stand against censorship. She tagged Twitter owner Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg in the post.
“As the Premier of a province of 4.6 million Albertans- if they can prevent me from communicating with you, imagine what they can do to any one of us.”
Big tech and government censorship is becoming a danger to free speech around the world.
My Facebook account has been banned from posting content for a “few days”.
As the Premier of a province of 4.6 million Albertans- if they can prevent me from communicating with you, imagine… pic.twitter.com/Qsub4tEpiI
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) June 14, 2023