Last week, Anchorage Assemblymember Jamie Allard claimed that her official Assemblymember Facebook account had been involuntarily removed from the social media platform, sparking outrage over the alleged “deplatforming” from conservative media pundits and supporters. Allard’s claim came after a tumultuous week for the Anchorage Assemblymember, who was removed from the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights and became the subject of international press coverage after publicly defending two Nazi-themed Alaska license plates. Today, the Alaska Landmine was informed by Facebook’s press office that the social media giant had taken no action against Allard’s account. Rather, says Facebook, Allard deactivated her own account, effectively deplatforming herself.
3REICH and FUHRER
On January 24, Allard publicly defended the issuing of two Nazi-themed Alaska license plates. The plates, which read 3REICH and FUHRER, appear to have both been issued to an individual residing in the Mat-Su Valley.
Allard’s comments receive national, international attention
Allard’s statements drew a firestorm of attention and scrutiny. The day after her comments, Allard was removed from her position as a Commissioner on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. The unfolding controversy was covered in articles by the ADN, Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Hill, Car and Driver, USA Today, Vice News, Newsweek, and international publications The Independent and Daily Mail, and The Times of Israel, among many others.
On January 25, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka stated on Facebook that the DMV had previously rescinded both plates and that their continued use was already illegal. In a January 28 video, Tshibaka announced changes in the Alaska DMV’s license plate review process.
On her official Assemblymember Facebook page, Allard issued a short statement citing her status as a person of color and denouncing racism and white supremacy.
Allard alleges Facebook deplatforming
Multiple Facebook users began reporting that Allard was deleting critical comments on her Facebook post. One irate constituent made the following post to his personal account:
This constituent reached out via e-mail to Assemblymember Allard to complain that her deletion of constituent comments was a violation of public records regulations. Allard responded in an e-mail as follows:
Then, in a post to the Facebook group Save Anchorage, Allard claimed that Facebook had abruptly removed her account:
In a January 26 article published in Must Read Alaska, titled “Facebook cancels Assembly member Allard’s page,” author Suzanne Downing reports on Allard’s alleged deplatforming:
Downing’s article drew numerous comments decrying tech company censorship, liberal “cancel culture,” and an alleged assault on free speech. Deplatforming has become a hot-button issue among conservatives, particularly after President Trump was ejected from multiple platforms following the 2020 presidential election.
According to Downing, Allard stated “I told people that this was going to happen to me; I knew I would be deplatformed.”
Facebook: Allard deactivated her own account
The Landmine reached out to Facebook to ask whether Assemblymember Allard had been deplatformed by the social media network. On Friday, Facebook’s press office responded that Allard had deactivated her official Assemblymember account and could reactivate it at her discretion:
Assemblymember Allard did not respond to a request for comment.