FACEBOOK Algorithm Monolithic Censorship Suspensions

From the Mueller Report, IRA refers to fake Russian accounts.

6 Social Media Influence in the 2016 US. Election, Hearing Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 115th Cong. 13 (11/1/17) (testimony of Colin Stretch, General Counsel ofFacebook) (“We estimate that roughly 29 million people were served content in their News Feeds directly from the IRA’s 80,000 posts over the two years. Posts from these Pages were also shared, liked, and followed by people on Facebook, and, as a result, three times more people may have been exposed to a story that originated from the Russian operation. Our best estimate is that approximately 126 million people may have been served content from a Page associated with the IRA at some point during the two-year period.”). The Facebook representative also testified that Facebook had identified 170 Instagram accounts that posted approximately 120,000 pieces of content during that time. Facebook did not offer an estimate of the audience reached via Instagram.

So now, in an apparent effort to crackdown on “fake” political posts, meme’s like the one I made above, are being censored and I received a one week suspension for attempting to post to some pro-Democratic groups. Facebook provides an “appeal process” in which you get to state why you don’t think you should be censored, however, they never tell you exactly what post or the reasons why you’ve been censored, they refer you to their “Community Standards” page which is extremely vague about what can and can’t be posted. Considering that Republicans have systematically introduced over 200 bills in various Red States designed to restrict, outlaw or end woman’s care including abortions through Planned Parenthood and other facilities and considering that protests to these bills routinely have woman dressed in the Handmaid’s Tale costume, referring to the show which portrays what America would be like under a military, extreme right wing Christian government where woman are under complete control of the state, used for breeding purposes or sent to the colony to be worked to death, the meme I created is completely appropriate and indicative of more restriction, for woman in particular, if more Republicans including Trump, get elected in 2020. Facebook is restricting the 1st Amendment right to Free Speech in a discriminatory fashion and by doing so, they again will have an impact on upcoming elections. This is way too much power for one social media platform to wield. One solution would be to have a more responsive method for their censorship process. They’re making enough money, hire people so that after the algorithm flags something, there’s a human being that can distinguish and make a “more reasonable” assessment. As to the increased size, scope and power Facebook has to influence international politics and ways to curtail that power, I don’t know.

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