Pence Apologizes For Deleted Social Media Comments

By Emma Koch

Credit: Chad Fordyce

Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind.

June 28, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 7:47 PM EDT

INDIANA (www.incnow.tv) -- After defending his staff's actions Thursday, Governor Mike Pence issued as apology Friday regarding the deletion of some comments from his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Governor Pence issued the apology Friday morning via his Facebook page. This apology was in response to his staff deleting comments from his Facebook page and blocking some on Twitter. The comments were posted from followers after Pence issued a statement that he would support placing a constitutional amendment to define marriage in Indiana on the ballot for voter consideration.

Pence said he was disappointed that the Supreme Court overturned the Federal Defense of Marriage Act but that he was grateful that the decision left it up to the state to define and administer marriage.

"Now that the Supreme Court has had its say on the federal government’s role in defining marriage, the people of Indiana should have their say about how marriage is understood and defined in our state," Pence said in his statement.

Thursday, Pence defended his staff deleting some comments that were in response to his post, citing that his social media policy allows for differing opinions without personal attacks and that the comments deleted included personal attacks. But screen shots showed that some of the comments deleted did not include personal attacks or profane language but did differ from his stated position on the subject.

Friday, after reports of the censored posts showed that there may not have been reason to delete the comments, Pence issued the following apology:

I believe that civility and respect for the opinion of others is essential to the democratic process. I also believe in the Freedom of Speech.

Over the past 24 hours, I became aware of concerns that comments responding to my statement of support for traditional marriage were being deleted from this Facebook page because they disagreed with my stated position.

Our longstanding policy, on this and other social media sites, has been to delete inflammatory comments that include name-calling, vulgarity or comments personally insulting to others. It was my understanding that the comments which were deleted all met this standard.

On careful review, it appear that this was not always the case and some comments were being deleted simply because they expressed disagreement with my position. I regret that this occurred and sincerely apologize to all those who were affected.

I have instructed our staff to review our policy and develop a standard of conduct similar to that of other elected officials and news organizations in the days ahead. We will post that policy prominently on this site.

Hoosiers expect our public debate to be open and respectful and we will ever seek to live up to that standard. In agreement or disagreement, I respect the opinions and the freedoms of all the people of Indiana.

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