It’s been a bad week already for social media giants. Facebook banned conservative author Matt Margolis for advertising his book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama, in conservative groups (the ban is still active), and Twitter is under fire for “shadowbanning” conservatives and collecting sexual files on everyone. Seriously.
Facebook apparently isn’t done making itself look ridiculous. In the rush to get rid of “hate speech” and under the guise of making changes to its news feed, Facebook is making conservative groups disappear. Digiday reports:
Facebook is planning a major change to its news feed, starting as early as next week, that will decisively favor user content and effectively deprioritize publishers’ content, according to three publishers that have been briefed by the platform ahead of the move…Publishers still have many questions about the impending news feed change. Facebook told them that content from reputable publishers will also be surfaced. It didn’t specify how it would define “reputable publisher” or how their traffic would be impacted, though.
If you can’t figure out that ambiguous gobbledygook, John Hawkins of Right Wing News knows exactly what it means. He is the first casualty. Right Wing News posts have disappeared from Facebook’s newsfeed and are being suppressed. Hawkins spoke out about it on Townhall.
If Facebook killed every conservative page overnight, there would be a huge outcry. On the other hand, if Facebook slowly strangled us to death, we’d fade away and would people even notice? Yes, non-political pages were affected, too, although conservative pages got it worse and, yes, there is a business incentive to do this. When people click on a news story, they leave Facebook. On the other hand, conservative pages like Right Wing News were able to become so massive because we are putting out content an awful lot of people on Facebook want to read. That’s no longer going to be allowed in part because we’re putting out a message that the liberals who run the company don’t want out there.
At the same time, Facebook is allowing a group called “I Will Find Activist Mommy and burn whoever runs it alive” under the guise of satire. Since it went up, Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy, has received specific, directed harassment and threats to her website.
Facebook is aware of these threats and still declined to take the group down, claiming that it does not violate community standards. It’s not enough that Facebook is silencing conservative voices — it is now directly involved in allowing conservatives to be targeted for harassment and abuse.
PJ Media reached out to Johnston for her reaction. “Facebook should be a place for the free exchange of ideas, regardless of one’s political or religious affiliation,” she said. “The public is growing increasingly disgruntled, and rightly so, with the double standard of Silicon Valley companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter who are getting exposed for applying a different standard to users on the right and the left of the social/political spectrum.”
“The big guys at Facebook do not want us little guys to compete evenly in the marketplace of ideas and free speech because they realize we greatly outnumber them,” she added. “Just last weekend Facebook lost $3.3 billion after owner Mark Zuckerberg announced that he knows better than us what we want to see on our news feeds and will be more heavily controlling the flow of news on Facebook.”
“With two billion users, it can be argued that Facebook has become a public utility and thus cannot discriminate against users based upon their political or religious views. Conservative users who don’t toe the liberal line on issues like Islam, abortion, and homosexuality are repeatedly banned and silenced in an Orwellian manner for expressing their valid concerns, thus causing conservatives to cry out for an alternative platform that welcomes the free exchange of ideas,” Johnston said.
PJ Media reached out to Facebook and is still waiting for a reply. We will update if they respond.