Facebook’s & Twitter’s Troubling Free Speech

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In April 2018, Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee to answer questions about concerns with Facebook.

One issue involved Facebook seeming to regularly demonstrate strong anti-conservative bias in its algorithm design. The concern was censorship of conservative opinion, especially on hot-button and emotionally charged issue, even when the posts contained fact- and reason-based analysis. In such cases the conservative poster would be informed that their post was being removed as it was contrary to Facebook’s determined “community standards.” Though Facebook never explained the “standards,” the poster would then be penalized with posting ban for a set period.

Zuckerberg was well prepared to take questions. Even after hours of testimony, the Committee got few admissions and many promises to look into the concerns and do better.

Rarely it seems do Left-wing social media posters suffer this same censorship. Their opinion posts are often deficient of fact and reason and fuelled mostly by ideologically biased thinking, political bigotry, and even anti-Israel propaganda that demonizes Israel and delegitimizes its right to exist.

Three years ago, a Times of Israel article revealed Facebook’s pro-Palestinian-anti-Israel bias.

Now there is a report that Facebook and Twitter executives have been consulting with the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) on the censoring and banning of individuals and groups not approved by CAIR.

The report concludes:

“ Silicon Valley tech giants have been all too eager to look the other way and allow groups like CAIR to use their platform to spread propaganda completely unchecked. Others have bought into the group’s newfound “civil rights group” label and even funded CAIR’s advocacy. Now, the social media titans appear to be consulting with CAIR on the censoring and banning of unwanted individuals and groups.”

This report identifies head of CAIR’s San Francisco’s office, Zahra Billoo as one CAIR official taking a leading role in demanding Facebook and Twitter accommodate CAIR’s demands in this regard. Billoo is described as a radical Islamist. Even more concerning is that Billoo’s views are reported to reflect the mainstream consensus within CAIR. A 2018 IPT exposé on Zahra Billoo reports, inter alia, that she is filled with blinding hatred of Israel and of anyone who supports Israel.

These reports on the anti-conservative bias of Liberal and Left-leaning Facebook and Twitter have been deeply troubling to many. With Facebook and Twitter reportedly now accommodating the views and concerns of Islamist-minded CAIR and other like-minded Muslim activist organizations on issues of censorship protocols, those concerns are made all the more disturbing, if not alarming.

These foregoing concerns are apparent not only in the United States, but globally. People who are concerned that their rights of free speech are being infringed upon, if not trampled on altogether by Facebook and Twitter, must become the courageous Davids to stand up to these social media Goliaths and rally broad socio-political support to that end if we are to see full rights of free speech (obviously not hate speech), fairness, common sense and decency being restored to social media.

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