Facebook is wielding a mighty sword. With more 1.6 billion users it has the power to control content and thus shape what is being said worldwide. That is more power than most all traditional media channels.
Welcome to the new media. Social media.
For many, Facebook is much more than pictures of their kids baseball game or what delicacy they had for dinner.
It is a platform for commentary and means of connecting for business.
Commentary falls under the guidelines of our beloved First Amendment rights, but not so fast in the Facebook world.
Have you ever been to Facebook jail?
Many conservatives have. The punishment for posting something that the God’s of Facebook don’t like is usually a warning to remove a post, or the post is removed by Facebook. It can go as far as to have your entire page taken down or the offender being banned from Facebook for a number of days, usually a month.
It’s sort of like “Timeout” for children, but run by liberals.
Basically, it’s censorship done the right way, the liberal way. It affects just about anyone with an opinion Facebook doesn’t like.
From MRC TV:
The liberal media are all over one part of the Facebook scandal story – and ignoring another. Generally, media have covered the accusations that the social media site is censoring conservative news and sources from their trending news feed. Coincidentally, this is also the part of the Facebook story affecting the media.
Potentially a bigger scandal (because it affects more people) is the accusation that Facebook censors individual member pages, blogs, smaller media outlets, and discussion groups reflecting a conservative point of view. Sometimes, the sites are shut down, sometimes they are simply threatened into silence.
In 2013, a Facebook page for the conservative website “Chicks on The Right” was threatened with a shut-down after posting a message criticizing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. According to the site, the “offending” message of “Jay Carney can kiss my assular area” violated the site’s standards, so it blocked the “Chicks” site. Only because Fox News’ Todd Starnes learned of and publicized the incident was “Chicks on The Right” was saved from a permanent place in the Facebook penalty box.
The offending posts run the gamut of topics. MRC TV gives examples of individuals being punished for insulting the POTUS with a meme of the entire first family wearing Che’ shirts. Sure, it may be insulting to the President to some, hilarious to others, but is it something that Facebook has the right to punish its users over? Would they be punished for making fun of George Bush? Doubt it.
Lately, insulting anything Muslim has found many Facebook users in purgatory and locked out of Facebook. Others simply promoted a Navy Seals funeral celebration, others criticized the selling of baby parts by Planned Parenthood. It seems only liberal topics of contention are what are deemed too offensive for Facebook to handle.
Part of the issue is that Facebook doesn’t post specific rules. For example, this reporter has been sent outside the Facebook fence six or seven times. According to Facebook, it was due to my posting in too many conservative discussion groups too quickly. To be truthful, they might be correct. However, when I inquired about the rule (how many groups could be posted to in what time period) so I could avoid banishment the answer, the response I received was that Facebook policy doesn’t allow them to share that information.
Based on the examination of the incidents above, as well as others, there seems to be little consistency of what content is considered not Kosher and what penalty is distributed as result. From this, it seems reasonable to infer that, when there’s a complaint about a particular post or site, the ensuing investigation and ruling is entirely subjective to the particular employee making the ruling.
If the social media site wants to avoid incidents such as those described above (or the hundreds of others that could have been included) and the ensuing criticism, Facebook should develop and publish specific rules about what is good vs. what is bad. Instead of informing a page that a picture or post “violated community rules,” the site would be well-served if it posted, for all to see, what exactly violates those rules and what specific punishment is doled out for each violation. For example: “We do not allow pictures of the first family in Che shirts, so your site goes into the pokey and you are banned for a week.”
This would serve three important purposes.
- It would induce Facebook management to think through what they wanted to allow and/or not allow on the site.
- Owners of individual pages would understand what is permitted, significantly reducing the complaints.
- Subjectivity is removed. Content banning and penalties are consistent across pages and Facebook PC police.
Facebook is no longer the tiny website invented by a Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, and three of his classmates, it now has over 1.6 billion active users, andalmost 13,000 full-time employees. It’s time for the now-giant company to stop acting like a tiny company when evaluating member content.
It’s also time for the liberal media to drop their narcissistic stance and report the entire story of Facebook censorship, not just the part affecting them.