• niallmcloughlin

Why was Hamilton's Black Friday post censored?

Below is a post I created on the popular reddit subreddit /r/formula detailing a situation that occurred on Black Friday (27th November) 2020. The sub reddit can be viewed as a way of gathering information about all aspects of the sport from its past, present and future, as well as giving relevant information on the current drivers and their on track and off track activities.


On Black Friday world champion Lewis Hamilton posted a comment on the official F1 Instagram which was subsequently deleted yet I saw no mention of this in any publication, independent journalist or news outlet. It hasn't been commented on and is only known to a small section of the formula 1 sub reddit due to a few people attempting to post the comment on the forum.


Below is a post I created for the /r/formula1 sub reddit which highlighted the comment, the inconsistencies in moderation on the board and the need for change in a time where information in King.


Here is the post:


"Last Friday there was a situation where multiple people were trying to upload a screenshot of Lewis's comment on the official F1 instagram page regarding Black Friday.


Lewis commented on that post that "Black slaves were sold at a discount on this day".

This was later deleted by Lewis.


Screenshot can be found here -


https://ibb.co/NtWLDqM

Access to information from Lewis from Instagram which was positive has in the past been available, for example, his comments to George Russell after his crash in Imola.


When later asked in the debrief about the removal of the post an editor commented that their was internal discussions from the mods and that it was being looked into.


Other posts posting the same information were also deleted without explanation. I have posted screenshots of those posts below


https://ibb.co/fq9XjBX


https://ibb.co/RT82pmb


https://ibb.co/FXnCFwV


I was later permanently banned from the sub that was then changed to a suspension from the sub for 3 days for posting the screenshot in discussions for the Bahrain GP, the same race weekend the comment from Hamilton was made.


When I asked why all of the Hamilton posts were deleted the screenshot below was the response I got


https://ibb.co/S0S0Df6


When I asked for further explanation as the posts contained Hamilton and the official F1 page I was muted for 3 days as seen below


https://ibb.co/TH0j1gh


The reasoning why the Hamilton posts were deleted seemed extremely weak considering other posts from all forms of social media gets posted to the sub frequently so to have been suspended reeks of manipulation of power. He is the world champion of the sport commenting on the official F1 Instagram page. I think that is very relevant.


The mods seemed determined to silence people wanting to share relevant information on the sport, from the world champion of said sport because the information itself did not put Lewis in a good light.


It's petty and manipulates their position to pick and choose what is shown and what isn't and this needs to stop.


Fans of the sport should be allowed to be shown information that is relevant and make their own judgement about it. Not be ignorant of any situation because the information is withheld and then silenced from the sub and community itself because the mods don't like what is shown.


I've had to wait this week until my suspension ended to be able to voice my opinion about this. This post will more than likely be deleted and I be banned once again. I think the community is entitled to have a voice, to post whatever is relevant to F1 and to forge an opinion based on the information in front of them. Currently, that isn't happening and this needs to change".



This post was seen by a handful of people before it was again removed and I was permanently banned from the sub, with me causing a witch hunt the reasoning behind that.


I find it very dangerous that most fans are unaware of anything negative the people we admire have done, and even more so when the information is disregarded and eliminated from public view.


While we can laud and admire the postivie actions Lewis Hamilton is achieving and providing a powerful voice in the fight against inequality, we must also be allowed to see the bumps in the road, the flaws, the lapses of judgement and in this instance, a clear moment of providing false information.


We should be able to have a frank, open discussion about these situations and not sweep information under the carpet just because it doesn't fit the narrative. It's a shame and a situation I hope in the future does change, both in open person to person discussion but with communities of fans around the world.


I wrote this post as a record to voice what has happened both from Lewis Hamilton and my experience dealing with moderators on the popular sub reddit /r/formula1.







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