Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

“We have identified the shooting in Kenosha as a mass murder and are removing posts in support of the shooter,” Facebook announced less than a week after the event, when it launched a truly epic campaign of censorship openly contrary to its declared free support. talk.

Just first: Killing two people is mass murder now? It certainly seems that the social media giant’s staff has just reached the nearest excuse to suppress posts that were in conflict with their personal prejudices – and no senior wanted to direct the call.

The blackout went far and wide: Facebook actively monitored its users for pro-Kyle Rittenhouse posts and removed the content. It was even targeted posts from legal scholars arguing for the benefits of his self-defense case.

And that made it hard to see even the things it was not killed directly. “One of the great things they did was manipulate the search engine so you could not even find any references to Kyle Rittenhouse,” Dan Gainor, vice president of the Media Research Center, told The Post. “They are out of touch with normal people.”

More broadly, the company explained its blackout as follows: “We do not allow symbols, praise or support from dangerous people or organizations on Facebook. We define dangerous as things like: terrorist activity, organized hatred or violence, mass or serial killings, human trafficking, criminal or harmful activity . ”

Facebook logo.
Facebook was actively looking for users who supported Kyle Rittenhouse’s case on self-defense.
AFP via Getty Images

In other words, it found Rittenhouse guilty of exceeding some of these lines months before he got his day in court (where he won justification) – and did his best to ensure he would be found guilty in the public opinion court by throw out almost all defensive arguments and evidence.

We also strongly doubt that Facebook is using its alleged ban on support for “dangerous individuals or organizations”, “organized hatred” or “criminal or harmful activity” with any consequence. Too many of these terms are too vague: legitimate protests, for example, can be technically criminal, and accusations of “organized hatred” are all too common.

A truly neutral standard here is the one used by GoFundMe: It pulled down all of Rittenhouse’s defense funds, saying its terms of service “prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime.” As long as it does so for all such funds, it is not biased.

Kyle Rittenhouse walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., This August 25, 2020
Facebook is clearly more concerned with moderating pro-Kyle Rittenhouse content than terrorist organizations.
Adam Rogan / The Journal Times via AP, fil

But Facebook staff just could not help but choose page. As one employee put it in internal discussions obtained by The Post: “Employees are full of absolute power by having control over community life in America without ever having to visit a voting booth (whose voting is an option at all).”

Social media now qualifies for various legal protections by claiming to be “neutral platforms.” Yet Big Tech is developing a strong record for suppressing the truth in the service of clear political bias. Something needs to change.

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