Are major social media outlets censoring conservative ideas?
The big companies — Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — have insisted that the answer is “no,” but a disturbing series of incidents and problems looks like a trend, and it’s forcing the right to ask hard questions.
As The Western Journal has extensively documented, recent algorithm changes at Facebook appear to have hurt conservative sites far more than their liberal counterparts.
Even Republican elected officials seem to have been hit with possible bias, and instances of conservatives being “shadow banned,” wrongly flagged as inappropriate or completely ejected from platforms paint a dire picture for social media corporations.
On Friday, it happened again. Prager University, the hugely popular educational nonprofit founded by radio talk show host Dennis Prager, announced that it was being censored by Facebook — and PragerU had the evidence to prove it.
BREAKING: We're being heavily censored on @Facebook.
Our last 9 posts are reaching 0 of our 3 million followers. At least two videos were deleted last night for “hate speech” including our recent video with @conservmillen.
SHARE to spread awareness about big tech censorship! pic.twitter.com/k83HqmlMRc
— PragerU (@prageru) August 17, 2018
“We’re being heavily censored on Facebook,” PragerU posted on Twitter. “Our last 9 posts are reaching 0 of our 3 million followers. At least two videos were deleted last night for ‘hate speech.'”
As anybody who has viewed PragerU content knows, the group is about as far away from “hate speech” as possible.
Over 3 million people follow the outlet because it produces smart and well-thought-out videos that present conservative ideas in a calm manner, featuring prominent conservative guests such as Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson and Candace Owens.
Screenshots from Facebook’s control panel shared by PragerU appeared to confirm the allegations. Despite the organization having millions of followers, its latest posts were stifled by the social media giant and were seen by nobody.
Facebook’s reason for the obvious censorship? PragerU’s recent videos went “against our standards on hate speech,” the corporate giant claimed.
In that video, “(Hussein) Aboubakr points to a Pew Research poll that shows the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and Nigeria believe ‘any Muslim who chooses to leave Islam should be put to death,’ women should be stoned for committing adultery, and people should be punished for criticizing Muhammad or Islam,” The Daily Caller said.
Remember, that’s a factual report: Pew Research is a widely respected polling group.
“At end of the video, Aboubakr pleads for moderate Muslims to reform the religion around the world,” continued The Daily Caller.
Asking for people to be moderate and nonviolent was somehow twisted into “hate speech” in the eyes of Facebook.
Even President Donald Trump expressed frustration Saturday with social media’s censorship of conservatives, although he didn’t mention PragerU by name.
Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
After numerous outlets picked up on the story, Facebook did finally reverse its decision — but it offered what can only be described as a weak apology and almost no explanation for why it happened in the first place.
“We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don’t break our standards,” Facebook said, after earlier claiming that they did break its standards.
“This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page,” Facebook continued.
We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don't break our standards. This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page.
— Facebook (@Facebook) August 18, 2018
In response, PragerU posed a simple question: “Does anyone really believe this was simply a mistake?”
It’s hard to accept that. After all, PragerU has already been hit with similar censorship-like action from YouTube. Other conservatives such as Diamond and Silk were previously flagged as “dangerous” by Facebook, while Candace Owens was recently banned by Twitter for calling out another person’s racism.
The list of evidence goes on and on. If these are honest “mistakes,” why do they seem to only happen to conservative voices?
“Removing two videos, marking them as ‘hate speech’ and then subsequently censoring over 15 of our following posts to reach 0 of our 3 million followers is not a mistake,” PragerU chastised. “It’s deliberate censorship of conservative ideas.”
It shouldn’t take mass outrage and the attention of the U.S. president for outlets like Facebook and Twitter to take free speech and diversity of opinions seriously.
As big social corporations tank in value and people continue to search for alternative platforms, these companies should pay attention: America is supposed to value many different views and opinions. Social media should too.
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