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Culture

Facebook Censors PragerU

Another social media giant reveals its leftist bias against conservative content.

Thomas Gallatin · Aug. 20, 2018

Last Thursday, Prager University issued a public statement alerting its millions of Facebook followers to the fact that “our last 9 posts have been completely censored reaching 0 of our 3 million followers.” PragerU’s Will Witt added, “At least two of our video posts were deleted last night for ‘hate speech’ including a post of our recent video with The Conservative Millennial, Make Men Masculine Again.”

The deleted video in question had no graphic content, bad language, or calls for violence warranting Facebook’s own parameters for its “hate speech” designation. So why were these videos censored? This is now the second instance of PragerU being “erroneously” censored on social media over the false designation that its conservative political content was “hate speech.”

On Friday morning, Facebook issued a lame apology: “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.” However, the question remains, how could this mistake happen, especially given the fact that PragerU is a well-known and vetted media organization to which millions of people intentionally subscribed for news and opinion?

Much of the answer lies in the obvious leftist bias of those running these social-media giants. In a recent interview on CNN, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted as much, stating that those at Twitter do indeed have a “left-leaning” bias. Left-leaning? At the same time, he claimed that their bias did not affect how they handled “political ideology or viewpoints.” Dorsey added, “We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior.”

His answer is sly for its presumption of separating ideological content from behavior. Social media exists solely for the public sharing of various thoughts, viewpoints, and ideologies, no matter how trivial or mundane. Yet the social-media gatekeepers have a certain ideological bent that impacts how judgments are made as to what user content constitutes appropriate or inappropriate behavior. Thus, Dorsey’s assertion that his and his employees’ leftist bias doesn’t have an impact on decision-making is dubious at best.

Back to Facebook. Giving no other explanation other than it was a mistake only serves to increase speculation that the pervasive leftist bias within the company was the primary culprit. It’s increasingly clear that Facebook’s post-2016 algorithms are tilted against conservative perspectives, which are too easily flagged by trolls as content containing “fake news” or “hate speech.” As long as millions of Americans seek to get their news from social media, this filtering by the thought police is going to be hugely problematic.

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