Loaded Cannon Distillery in Lakewood Ranch, Florida has launched a five-bottle series dedicated to different groups of first responders. The kickoff event of the fundraiser, called "Back the Blue New Spirits Launch," took place May 29 with all proceeds going to the non-profit Supporters of Law Enforcement (SOLE).
The colors of each bottle represent a different group of first responders including nurses, EMTs, police officers, firefighters and those wearing a badge. Part of each sale will be donated back to each first responder group.
"It helps raise money for people in law enforcement that need this extra help, this little push to help them get through hard times," said Michelle Russell, marketing and creative director for Loaded Cannon Distillery.
But trying to promote the event through paid advertisement on Facebook proved futile. Russell tried to place multiple $200 ads on the platform to reach a larger audience, but each one has been rejected.
"First one April 20th, rejected; 28th, rejected; May 5th rejected," Russell said.
In one of the rejections, Facebook said: "Your ad may have been rejected if it mentions politicians or sensitive social issues that could influence public opinion, how people vote and may impact the outcome of an election or pending legislation." (Related: Facebook smoking gun: Conservatives targeted for censorship because of their political beliefs… Facebook rigging elections.)
But Russell confirmed that there's only one goal for "Back the Blue" and it is not political.
"I have tried to advertise it in multiple different versions and multiple different ways. They have rejected me every single time," she explained. "I'm just trying to show our support for how much they've done for us that they deserve some recognition."
Loaded Cannon Distillery is determined to be successful, with or without the boost.
"I'm not really sure how to move forward, other than to do it old school and print flyers and go door to door and let everybody know we are here in this community and we support every first responder," said Russell, who was able to post the event on the Loaded Cannon Distillery Facebook page.
This is just another example of Facebook's increasingly anti-police policy.
Facebook has continued to censor Law Enforcement Today (LET), the largest police-owned news outlet. The social media giant banned the outlet from its paid advertising feature in January and restricted the accounts of its members.
LET, a website owned and administered by the country's law enforcement officers that has a sizable presence on social media, announced on January 12 that its close to 900,000 members couldn't post on its Facebook page and that all of its admins couldn't post to any page or group on the platform.
Presumably, the restriction was a part of the widespread crackdown by Big Tech companies on former President Donald Trump and his supporters in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot. According to reports, the LET's conservative rhetoric makes it a target in the sweeping restrictions imposed by social media platforms.
But Facebook has been censoring LET even before the Capitol Hill riot. In December last year, the platform limited the posting rights of Kyle Reyes, LET's national spokesman. The same restriction was placed on the LET page as well, in what the organization called "an arbitrary decision."
LET describes itself as a place giving voice to active and retired officers, their families, friends and supporters while "unapologetically" holding the "thin blue line" – a reference to the work of the police that ensures a society doesn't descend into violence and chaos.
The website publishes first-hand accounts from its community of law enforcement members and has an open submissions policy where authors from police departments across the U.S., whose identities have been verified but wish to remain anonymous, are allowed to express themselves.
Follow TechGiants.news to learn more about social media censorship.