In our digital world of blogs, websites, and e-commerce, the loss of your social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be catastrophic. It is, after all, how we connect, share, educate, inform and share products with our followers. Every business, influencer and media outlet who “lives” online uses social media and depends on it. The ability to do so creates a level playing field, if you will.
The Well Armed Woman, after all, is about leveling the field for women against larger violent attackers. For us, the firearm is the tool used for leveling the field. For my business, social media levels the field by allowing us to reach and do business. We had used social media as our leveling tool, and it has been reliable for us for years. Well, so I thought!
On Saturday, August 17th, Instagram removed our page. Without any warning or notice, our page was taken down. There was no communication with us, and it remained that way for 6 days. Just like that, in an instant, we were gone. Gone from the fastest growing social media platform, and gone from our over 32,000 followers.
Here is what I felt
- Mad. Really, really mad.
- Helpless. I had no say, no input, and no control. All I could do was submit an appeal to Instagram on my login page from which I was locked out. After that appeal, I never received a response.
- Worried. Our livelihood depends on not only our ability to educate and inform, but to share our products and earn a living over our Social Media pages.
- Scared. At the same time our Instagram page went down, we had our first ever deleted post and threat that our Facebook page could be removed. We are still under this threat and have received multiple notifications in recent days. Our 450,000 Facebook fans could be gone in a flash!
Here is what I did
So, I went to work and contacted anyone and everyone I could think of for help. It was time to go to battle, and oh boy did we. Yes, we! People, companies, and organizations from every corner of the firearms industry pitched in. They went to work applying pressure on their social media contacts, wrote articles, shared information on other social platforms, and encouraged me throughout this mess. Fans and people who have never heard of The Well Armed Woman all pitched in and made some serious noise. So much so, that our Instagram page was back the following Thursday morning. Just as quickly as it disappeared, our page reappeared and was active. Again, there was no explanation or communication from Instagram.
Here are my takeaways from this whole mess:
- Gun loving people are the best people in the world!
- Together, we are strong and yield great influence.
- Small firearms-related businesses and individuals have been removed in alarming numbers. Sadly, if they do not have the support or contacts from larger companies, influencers, and the gun-media that I am blessed to have, they are left without the means to demand and force their reinstatement.
- The social media giants do not want our voices to be heard and they mean business!
- This battle may be over, but the war rages on. We ARE being censored, we ARE being targeted and we ARE being silenced.
We as an industry and as Second Amendment patriots must find a way to create change. I am not sure how we do that just yet – but trust me, I am working on it! If you have an idea, please share it in the comments and let’s get to work to find a way to demand change.
Here is what you can do to support
While this was going on and I was in full battle-mode, my staff, frustrated and worried, designed the shirt below for pre-order purchase. I know these won’t solve the problem, but we all must find ways to show that We Will Not Be Silenced. Let’s make some noise!
Show your support and wear this shirt, put a picture online with #DontSilencethe2nd and #TWAWWontBeSilenced. With each order, we are including 5 free silicone rally bracelets to pass out to your friends and fellow 2nd amendment warriors.
Preorder on the We Won’t Be Silenced T-Shirt has closed.
Thank you, thank you all for the amazing support you showed me and The Well Armed Woman. I am moved beyond words and will never forget it.