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It looks like Facebook isn’t even trying to hide their bias anymore. The social media giant has come under fire from conservatives due to their apparent efforts to censor right-wing voices on their platform. The company has repeatedly denied taking sides when it comes to political posts. But reality seems to indicate something different.
Abortion has always been a hot-button issue, but it has received more attention over the past year due to pro and anti-abortion laws that have been passed in various states. Recently, Facebook threatened a prominent pro-life organization’s videos. This isn’t abnormal, but in this case, the company’s reasoning for targeting this content was rather shaky, which could indicate the beginning of a disturbing trend.
Earlier this week, Facebook chose a side in the abortion debate and is actively working to suppress pro-life content. Newsbusters reported that Live Action, a nonprofit pro-life organization received communication from Facebook on August 30th informing them that two of the organization’s videos were marked “false” by the company’s fact-checkers. Lila Rose, the organization’s founder, explained that their page’s outreach would be “limited.”
Newsbusters’ report explained further:
“A third-party fact-checking site, Healthfeedback.org, conducted a fact-check of Lila Rose’s YAF video that she shared to Facebook. In the video, Lila Rose defined abortion as the ‘direct and intentional killing of an embryo, a fetus, a baby in the womb.’ She stated that this act was not “a medical treatment” and therefore ‘Abortion is never medically necessary.’
The fact-check, which included opinions from Dr. Daniel Grossman and Dr. Robyn Schickler, stated that abortion was defined as ‘a procedure to end a pregnancy.’ This definition differs from the one used by Rose. In addition, the fact-checkers consulted biased activists. Grossman is on the board for the pro-abortion NARAL, and was a consultant for Planned Parenthood.”
Put simply, Facebook targeted two pro-life videos based on a “fact check,” relying on the opinion of a pro-abortion activist. Apparently, they forgot to also speak with an expert on the pro-life side to gain a balanced perspective.
While Rose and her team are not medical doctors, their second video did include commentary from Dr. Kendra Kolb, who happens to be a certified neonatologist. It’s almost like experts in the same field can have different opinions on a matter, and it’s never a good idea to base one’s judgments only on the people with whom you already agree.
But the disturbing aspect of this story is Facebook’s willingness to censor an organization’s videos based solely on semantics. Both sides of the debate use different terminology to describe abortion. There is no valid reason to pretend that one’s interpretation is somehow more accurate when both statements are different ways of saying the same thing.
In the past, Facebook would at least attempt to provide a more compelling defense of their censorious actions. In some cases, it could be argued that their targets violated their terms of service. But now, they are brazenly using their power to ensure pro-life views are not seen by users. But in this case, they hardly tried to justify their decision, which indicates that they are all but admitting that they don’t care what those on the right think of their actions.
If this is the case, we can expect to see a more aggressive effort to crack down on those expressing right-leaning views. Conservatism has experienced a resurgence in large part due to the prevalence of conservatives using alternative media to subvert the progressive media establishment. In this way, we have managed to stay ahead of the left’s attempts to silence us. But if leftist-owned media platforms are going to squelch right-wing views, we must find another way to ensure that the public is exposed to viewpoints that don’t align with progressivism.