While testifying before a House committee on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, that the company’s designation of the popular pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk as “unsafe” was an “enforcement error.”
Barton, The Verge said, started his questioning by reading a query he got through Facebook: “Please ask Mr. Zuckerberg, why is Facebook censoring conservative bloggers such as Diamond and Silk? Facebook called them ‘unsafe to the community.’ That is ludicrous. They hold conservative views. That isn’t unsafe.”
Zuckerberg floated the company’s usual excuse in these situations, telling Barton that, “in that specific case, our team made an enforcement error, and we have already gotten in touch with them to reverse it.”
But as we reported Tuesday, the ladies said they had never heard from the company.
Twitchy noted a question that wasn’t asked:
The question that WASN’T asked, but should have been:
— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) April 11, 2018
Good questions. Chances are that outside of even more investigation or discovery as part of a lawsuit, we’ll never get a real answer.
Zuckerberg, however, was right about one thing — his company made a mistake. But was it an accident? That’s the question that really needs to be asked and answered.
I’ve been covering these kinds of issues since 2010 and have documented perhaps hundreds of incidents where the social media site made highly questionable decisions against its users.
For example, one conservative user was told her profile picture of a lilac tree was pornographic. In another case, a user was told that a picture of a 2012 Donald Trump campaign button violated the site’s rules on nudity. The picture only showed his face.
“Wake Up America,” a pro-Trump page with more than 300,000 followers, was removed by Facebook after false claims of content violations. At the time, we looked at the page and found nothing that violated the company’s terms.
One conservative page was yanked for daring to oppose the transgender agenda and an international page dedicated to supporting veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was yanked by Facebook over an image that doesn’t come close to violating the site’s standards. The page was eventually restored, but some administrators were still banned from doing anything.
Yours truly was banned repeatedly in 2015 over posts forged to appear as though I posted them. Others were banned for the exact same posts, also forged to appear as though they had posted them. That seven-month excursion into Facebook Hell inspired “Banned: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad,” a book published in 2016 with American-Israeli Adina Kutnicki.
There’s more stories like this — many more — but you get the idea.
Which leads us to believe that either one of two possible scenarios are at play: Either (1) site moderators are acting on their personal political beliefs or (2) Facebook has the most incompetent moderators in the business.
Which is it? We’ll let you browse through our coverage of Facebook here and then you can decide for yourself.
As for Zuckerberg’s apology, we’ll just leave you with this: He’s been doing this for about 14 years now, so one would think he would have gotten this right by now…