Facebook will now penalize Facebook groups if individual users post news articles, videos, or images the platform considers “false news.”
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.”
Thank you Fascistbook, very cool! pic.twitter.com/pBrjDcodPW
— God Emperor Trump (@realGETrump) April 12, 2019
“God Emperor Trump: Official” uses an all volunteer group of moderators to police its content and ensure it follows Facebook’s community standards. The platform now expects this volunteer group of conservatives to independently research and vet the truthfulness of every post in the group, a superhuman feat the multi billion dollar platform itself has trouble doing effectively.
This also raises concerns about satire. News checkers have repeatedly fact checked articles by Babylon Bee, a Christian satire website, branding them as “fake news” for their satirical content.
In 2018, fact checkers called a satire article from Babylon Bee claiming that CNN purchased an industrial sized washing machine to spin the news before publication “fake news.” They did the same with a satire article suggesting Planned Parenthood defended Bill Cosby because sexual assault was “only 4%” of what he does.
This year fact checkers felt the need to declare another Babylon Bee article claiming CNN hired hoaxer Jussie Smollett after he formed a story out of thin air “fake news.”
All of these satire articles, when posted to Facebook, now come with a disclaimer showing they are not real news.
The development raises the questions: Should volunteer moderators for “God Emperor Trump: Official” prohibit group members from posting satire articles? Are satirical memes safe?
This also raises concerns about potential abuse. It is now entirely possible for radical leftists to infiltrate conservative Facebook groups and purposely post fake news articles to destroy the group.
If taken to its furthest logical conclusion, perhaps moderators should only allow only articles from CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News in the conservative group to be safe.
Facebook’s new enforcement measure seems to be another thinly veiled attempt to censor conservatives by holding them to unreasonable standards, and offering no clarification about what is acceptable and what the volunteer moderators should censor.
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