Facebook made the decision to allow an edited video showing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear to be drunk and rambling through a press conference to remain on the platform, as there is no rule against posting false information to Facebook, however the platform is continuing to punish users and groups who share it.
Instead of removing the video outright, Facebook made the decision to flag the video and provide an additional article explaining that it has been doctored to make Pelosi appear even more confused and unaware than usual. This, according to Facebook, will allow users to have better information.
“It is our policy to inform people when we have information that might be false on the platform so they can make their own decisions about that content,” Potts said during a meeting of the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy in Ottawa, Canada.
However, Facebook is continuing to penalize groups and individuals who share this content and other content like it.
As Big League Politics reported, Facebook now notifies Facebook group admins that when users in their groups post what the platform considers to be “false news”, Facebook may stop showing posts from the group in users’ news feed, and may stop encouraging users to join the groups.
In other words, if one user posts fake news, the entire group is punished and may become functionally useless, with no Facebook users seeing posts made in the group, and no new users joining the group.
After a user in the Facebook group “God Emperor Trump: Official” posted an article the website considers fake, admins of the group were given a notification that their entire group could be penalized if the behavior is repeated.
According to Facebook’s message, the platform will use its endless fight against “false news” as an excuse to “push all of that group’s content down in News Feed, which may mean fewer people visit the group.”
The platform “may also stop suggesting that people join the group.”
Facebook sent an identical message when another user posted an article showing philanthropist and public speaker Dan Pena discuss climate change, and yet again when a user posted the doctored footage of Pelosi.
In other words, Facebook will allow the content to remain on its platform so that users and groups may face punishment for posting it repeatedly.
It seems as though the big tech platform found a way to ensure a continuing source of censorship of conservative users.
Facebook Will Create “Oversight Board” For Users to Appeal Censorship Decisions
A smidgen of accountability.
Facebook is planning on rolling out an “oversight board” to which users of the platform can appeal the censorship of content.
“Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to an independent review of difficult content decisions,” announced the company in a Thursday blog post.
Oversight Board to Start Hearing Cases https://t.co/AAaa2nPmsF
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 22, 2020
Facebook is describing the oversight board as a “global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear.” Facebook users will presumably have the option to appeal incidences of censorship to Facebook’s oversight board when they have exhausted use of Facebook’s existing censorship appeal process. However, the existing process is only available on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and it’s probably not unlikely that those who already aren’t in Facebook’s good graces won’t be allowed the opportunity to appeal to the oversight board.
The overseers are employed and selected by Facebook itself, casting serious doubt as to whether they’re genuinely impartial arbiters of social media censorship.
It’s hard to tell if this is a step in the right direction or merely a ruse for the monopoly to counter accusations that its arbitrary censorship process is undemocratic and authoritarian. In predictable fashion, the powerful Oversight Board is staffed almost exclusively with Soros-linked neoliberal progressives, some of whom have already advocated for a European understanding of “free speech” as opposed to an American one.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Facebook seems content to accept the former without the latter. It simply isn’t their place to declare what is permissible political speech.
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