Facebook Threatens to Remove PragerU for “Repeated” Violations of Community Standards
Written by James Murphy
The Thought Crime Division at social-media behemoth Facebook is hot on the case of yet another conservative offender. Educational non-profit PragerU is reporting that Facebook is threatening to “unpublish” the conservative group’s entire page for “repeatedly” violating the platform’s community standards.
On Wednesday, Facebook censored President Trump and his campaign for allegedly false claims about COVID-19 and the virus’ relatively minor effect on children.
The news comes just over a week after Facebook’s ideological brethren Twitter temporarily suspended PragerU’s account for sharing a video of the “White Coat Summit,” where several physicians commented on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.
According to Breitbart, Facebook is in the process of deleting and flagging many PragerU posts on a retroactive basis for violations of the platform’s stricture against the reporting of false news. PragerU representatives have reportedly spoken to officials at Facebook who confirmed that any mention of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 violates the platform’s community guidelines.
A PragerU petition calling for an end to Facebook’s censorship has already garnered over 50,000 signatures. The petition shares this message from Facebook to the PragerU account: “Your Page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news. People will also be able to see if a Page has a history of sharing false news.”
From the petition: “PragerU has millions of followers on Facebook and is the leading voice for conservative content online. However, Facebook just announced that even people who have chosen to follow our page will be deliberately prevented from seeing our posts.
“Facebook has falsely identified PragerU as a fake news media outlet and they will, therefore, restrict our reach to our own audience.”
Facebook relies on third party fact checkers to police any fake news that might be distributed on their platform. But what happens when those “fact checkers” have an agenda of their own? In May, The New American reported on the case of Facebook censoring PragerU over a video claiming that polar bears were not as endangered as climate alarmists were declaring and that many groups of polar bears were surviving just fine.
In that case, the “fact checker” used was climate-alarmist website Climate Feedback. Not only did Facebook use a climate-alarmist website to “fact check” a video that ran counter to their own narrative, but Climate Feedback is a part of an organization known as The International Fact-Checking Network, which in turn is part of The Poynter Institute, which is funded in large part by radical socialist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Facebook currently lists their United States fact checkers as AFP United States, the Associated Press, Check Your Fact, The Dispatch, Factcheck.org, Lead Stories, Politifact, Science Feedback, Reuters Fact Check, and USA Today.
How can these organizations reliably judge fact from fake news when they have biases and agendas of their own?
Besides, is it really Facebook’s job to police the news? Isn’t their website, at its best, a place for old friends and family to reconnect? If people don’t want to see something on Facebook, the website offers them the ability to delete the offending material and cancel any further material from the offending website or poster. Isn’t that where the ultimate ability to censor belongs — in the hands of the individual viewing the material?
If there are truly complaints about the information that PragerU shares on Facebook, then it should be up to the individual to silence them; not a multi-national social media company.
Near the turn of the 19th century, John Adams quipped, “There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in a hundred years before 1798.” Fake news is not a new problem, and it cannot be addressed properly by a 21st-century social-media company with an obvious bias of its own.
James Murphy is a freelance journalist who writes on a variety of subjects. He can be reached at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American