As I wrote here, the Left is outsourcing censorship of the internet to the tech companies of Silicon Valley, all of which are happily–if you are a leftist–run by liberals. What the government can’t do, on account of the First Amendment, private companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can do with impunity. Increasingly, conservatives are persona non grata on social media platforms.
The latest instance is Salena Zito, one of America’s best columnists. I don’t know whether Salena would call herself a conservative, but she isn’t part of the left-wing cabal, and that apparently is enough to get her censored by Facebook:
At 7:55 a.m. Thursday morning, I posted a story I had written for The New York Post on both Facebook and Twitter. It was a reported piece on how people who voted for President Trump were feeling after both former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his lawyer Michael Cohen found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Within two hours I started receiving a handful of notes from people who are friends on my personal Facebook page that their posting of my piece, entitled “Why Trump’s supporters won’t care about Cohen and Manafort,” had been removed.
Sometimes the removal was accompanied by a message from Facebook. “Spam” was the most common reason given, but a couple of people were told Facebook removed the post because “it did not follow our Community Standards.”
Facebook’s “community standards” apparently don’t allow anything that could be construed as positive toward our president.
Immediately I went to my original post, which led to the link with this graph: “Right now the value of Trump to the Trump voter is he is all that stands between them and handing the keys to Washington back over to the people inside Washington. That’s it. He’s their only option. You’ve got to pick the insiders or him.”
The post was gone.
Why? Facebook had given me no reason why it would censor a story, and asking them for an explanation wasn’t easy.
Salena describes the steps she went through to find out why her New York Post column had been censored by Facebook. She never got an answer. Her inquiries got results, however. After a while, her column popped back up on Facebook.
Facebook offers no transparency for its methods or decisions.
The article was based on my conversations with Trump voters. It had no expletives, conspiracy theories, hate speech or sexual language. What sort of algorithm would find it, much less censor it?
Perhaps someone doesn’t like my stories and complained about it. But then, who is that person and why does Facebook give them that sort of power?
The third option is that someone working for Facebook actually saw it and made the decision to take it down. If that’s the case, what standards are they working from?
My guess is that the post was deleted by a Facebook employee who applied a simple standard: the post wasn’t critical of President Trump. Facebook can’t defend that standard, of course, so when Salena persisted, it relented. Again, without explanation or apology.
This kind of thing happens every day on social media. Salena Zito is a well-known, national columnist. Her complaints eventually got results. But the leftists at Facebook have their thumbs on the scale all day, every day. That’s my impression, anyway.