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Bay Area Attorney Sues Facebook, Calls Site's Standards Enforcement Inconsistent, Capricious

ALAMEDA (KPIX) -- A Bay Area man has filed a lawsuit against Facebook after having his account blocked numerous times. Dan Balsam says it's political speech while Facebook has flagged it as hate speech. Balsam, a Bay Area attorney best known for his lawsuits against e-mail spammers, says he is very vocal about how he feels politically but it's never hate speech.

Balsam says he's taking on Facebook after the social media site shut down his account for the fifth time.

One of Balsam's posts that got Facebook's attention says "I don't know why conservatives are making such a big deal about wearing a mask in public. It's not like it bothered them before" above a picture of hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Balsam says, "What it really comes down to is political speech. There's a right to political speech and Facebook is censoring it."

Balsam claims Facebook's algorithms don't work. In his complaint he calls them inconsistent, arbitrary and capricious. Those algorithms have flagged him as a repeat violator of Facebook's community standards.

Balsam continued, "If this is happening to me, it's probably happening to other people. I want them to fix their algorithms. I'm looking for big, systemic change on how Facebook operates right now."

Facebook would not comment on this specific lawsuit.

Balsam is not looking for any monetary damages, he just wants his account restored and to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to others. He would also like Facebook to have representatives that can handle calls from users to resolve appeals.

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