A Christian business owner from California reportedly lost 90% of his handcrafted wooden flag sales because of Big Tech Facebook's arbitrary "community standards".
CBN News said Your American Flag Store owner James Staake was shut down by Facebook early this year for supposed violations to their "community standards." Staake's handcrafted flags are unique since they come with patriotic and religious themes. Staake learned he was suspended by Facebook only after noticing that his website traffic and sales dropped.
"We didn't notice it right away. We just saw a pretty steep decline in our website visits and sales. After a few days of seeing that, I started digging into what was really going on. Called Shopify and it was clear they weren't going to help. When I went to place an ad on Facebook, that's when I found out our app privileges had been suspended," Staake narrated during an interview with Newsmax' Rob Schmitt last February.
Newsmax reported that Staake was cancelled in Facebook because his flags were considered "Trump merchandise," although he said they have various types of flags that commemorate various occasions in American history, various groups of interests, and even highlights the various Amendments.
Staake elaborated that every time he tried to advertise in Facebook he would get the error message, "Your Advertising Access Is Restricted." He said he didn't receive any concrete reason from Facebook why his account was suspended except a message saying the products they sell "go against community standards."
Schmitt raised the vagueness of that message and questioned if it actually meant Facebook doesn't allow the American flag being posted in their platform. Schmitt also said Big Tech's action is infuriating considering small businesses are already struggling due to the pandemic.
"We kind of seeing it happening, we just never thought we'd go this far to where they'd actually pull all of our rights to advertise complete for any flag. You know, it's a shame. It's shocking. It hurts," Staake said.
Staake also revealed that this affected his business negatively in January where they lost 90% of sales and only survived because of repeat customers and friends as far as England. He expressed his gratitude to all those who "stepped up" and helped him keep going with the business that kept their "morale up."
"Every sale to a small business owner--every single sale to us is a blessing," he stressed. "Every single sale that comes through, every customer is like an answered prayer. So all small business owner would feel the same. So you stop seeing those sales, it really shocks you. It hurts you."
Schmitt also said it was "scary" due to the extent the Big Tech company can really manipulate and affect growth of small businesses.
The Center for American Liberty has filed a lawsuit in May to defend the case of James Staake initially with PayPal who demonetized the later's business by freezing his earned revenues totalling $35,000. The Center for American Liberty has given Paypal until last May 26 to unfreeze Staake's account and transfer 100% of his funds to him.
In addition, the Center is also gathering donations for Staake since he is unable to operate accordingly while his funds are frozen on top of Facebook blocking him "from running advertisements on" their platform and Shopify removing "specific flags from the Your American Flag Store's website including the state flag of Texas and an American flag featuring President Trump."
A call to stand up
Despite the difficult challenge he and his family is facing right now due to Big Tech's censorship of views contrary to their preferred narrative, Staake says his faith in God remains strong and that he will not let this experience go to waste.
"As a father who has worked tirelessly to build a company from the idea of my 6 year old son, as a husband having to hear my wife fight back tears on her pillow as we fall asleep because of the uncertainty of tomorrow this has caused, and as a business owner having to explain to our customers what has happened, my heart has been broken, but my resolve has only been strengthened," Staake said in a Facebook post.
"My faith in God is impenetrable, and his plan for me is clear," Staake added. "I will be the example for my family that will instill their own impenetrable faith in God... this challenge is a blessing perhaps a calling. I will not squander it."
Staake is now calling on Americans, particularly those "whose livelihoods have been attacked for political gains," whose "hearts have been broken" and whose "faith has withered" amid the current hostility in the country, to stand up side by side and help one another in this desperate time.