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May 8, 2023

‘You Can’t Talk About the Russians That Way’

Facebook once again hit The Patriot Post with a bogus strike for a cartoon.

Is it any surprise that Facebook’s censors have levied another hate speech strike against us? Self-appointed arbiters of truth that they are, it was inevitable. They really outdid themselves this time, though, with what our staff believes is the lamest one yet.

We have written countless times about this. Broadly interpreted “community guidelines” and “fact-checks” being used against us are exhausting topics. Especially since 2020, we have faced an ever-increasing heat, no doubt with hopes from Big Tech powers that we will go away. And of course, we are not alone. Most other conservative voices have reported an onslaught of silencing campaigns, while outfits like The New York Times and USA Today somehow get away with actual lies unhindered.

The double standard is outrageous. Equally troubling is the lack of transparency combined with the fact that we often have no recourse. If we’re going to be unfairly censored, is it too much to ask that our supposed transgressions be explained to us?

Apparently, it is.

It was a political cartoon this time; a medium that once enjoyed freedom of speech protection (no more on the Meta-censor platform). Eric Allie created a satirical image with clear commentary on the Hunter Biden laptop story. Thanks to the reporting of conservative media, half the country knows that U.S. intelligence agencies obfuscated damning evidence and blamed it on “Russian disinformation” to save Joe Biden’s election. It seems that despite widespread knowledge of this (and open reporting from Right and Left media alike), it is supposedly hateful for political cartoonists to discuss it.

To avoid any “missing context,” here’s what we think happened: A bot likely picked up the “damn Russians” reference, or an activist reported the post directly. Under Meta’s policy, “national origin” is one of its protected classes when it comes to hate speech. A strike was then assigned to us, though we were able to contest it, which we did. After that, some cloaked admin would decide whether the decision should stand based on our arguments. With rare exception, this has always resulted in such decisions being upheld. It was no different this time.

Of course, we can’t help but wonder about a more insidious explanation. We know that the Hunter Biden laptop story was suppressed by Facebook at the instruction of the FBI. This action was a key element that led to the deep state successfully executing a coup against the sitting president of the United States. Given the history of collusion between Facebook and the intelligence community, could this image have been suppressed as a damage control measure? Hanlon’s razor tells us, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Maybe this was simply incompetence — but maybe it’s more.

I got someone on the phone for this one. It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that. The guy was probably from India and just gave me official talking points. No room for reasoning with anyone. No logical explanation for the decision. No surprise.

To be clear, we can speculate, but we honestly don’t know how this could possibly be considered hate speech. That’s probably the most damning thing of all. Facebook/Meta offers zero transparency when it comes to enforcing community standards. The thought police simply write up a broad set of standards, interpret them however they like behind closed doors, and assign a verdict, refusing to explain themselves.

Meanwhile, we the users (who built Facebook, by the way) are constantly threatened with having our reach diminished, our posts removed, or our page dismantled altogether.

Meta may be a private company, but it made itself into the public square. Big Tech social media platforms enjoy the protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, playing the role of publisher and platform in one. If they are going to insist on regulating free speech, the least they could do is explain themselves.

Update: Since writing this, Facebook (Meta) has levied another strike against us for sharing a recounting of the Global War on Terror. They have also issued a fact-check regarding Pro-life organization Live Action’s report on a United Nations linked organization calling for the decriminalization of all sex acts between adults and children.

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