It may never meet the magnitude of Rosemary Woods and the 18 1/2 minute gap … or what we may learn about what former President Donald Trump did during the fateful 187 minutes during the January 6 insurrection.
Yet, we do have ourselves a mystery. What happened to Doug Mastriano’s Facebook videos?
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Monday that the Republican candidate for governor had deleted 14 Facebook videos from his timeline during the last three months. Included among them were videos where the Franklin County state senator riffed on global warming, voter fraud, lack of support for veterans and abortion as “the most important issue of our lifetime.”
Before this latest batch of deletions, Mastriano removed potentially problematic or controversial posts, including tweets promoting the Qanon conspiracy theory, as well as videos in which he called local faith leaders “cowards”; acknowledged his COVID diagnosis while visiting the White House; and feuded with GOP lawmakers in Harrisburg.
Less than 24 hours later, Mastriano is claiming that the videos were removed due to a “default Facebook setting” that automatically deleted the videos after 30 days. However, the campaign stopped short of addressing why a late June video had already disappeared before the 30-day period had expired, nor why older videos still remain.
— Doug Mastriano (@dougmastriano) July 18, 2022
The New York Times reported that at the end of every Facebook Live broadcast, an automatic prompt asks account holders whether they want their video to be deleted after 30 days or remain on their page, according to the social media company.
According to TechniqueHow.com, Facebook Live videos can disappear for these reasons:
- Facebook live videos disappear from Facebook when they are manually deleted by owners.
- Facebook allows its users to set the settings for auto-deletion of old live videos. In that case, if any user doesn’t change the auto-delete of old live videos, then the live videos on Facebook stay for 30 days after the live session has been conducted.
- When you cannot find a live video on Facebook and it has not passed even 30 days, the video may have been taken down by Facebook due to the deletion of any policies.
It was not the first time that Mastriano had drawn scrutiny for what critics say is an effort to tone down his profile on social media. Last year, the group Media Matters for America reported that Mastriano had deleted more than 50 tweets promoting the conspiracy theory QAnon after Media Matters, a journalism watchdog, highlighted his role in an illegitimate election audit in Pennsylvania.