Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling for an investigation after a Facebook executive announced earlier today that the platform would be egregiously censoring a report detailing Hunter Biden’s leaked emails.
.@Facebook I want to know on what grounds you are actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president. If you have evidence this is “disinformation,” disclose it immediately. Expect a formal inquiry from my office
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
Hawley was responding to a shocking post from Facebook Communications Director Andy Stone, a veteran Democrat operative before being hired by the social media giant, who announced publicly that the report would be censored regardless of its accuracy:
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
The explosive report, which was initially published in the New York Post, detailed Hunter Biden’s drug-fueled cronyism. The emails showed how Hunter Biden introduced his father Joe, who was vice president at the time, to Ukrainian Burisma advisor Vadym Pozharskyi. This contradicts claims made by the Biden campaign that Joe and his troubled son never talked business while he was vice president.
“The seemingly selective nature of this public intervention suggests partiality on the part of Facebook,” Hawley wrote in a letter addressed to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“And your efforts to suppress the distribution of content revealing potentially unethical activity by a candidate for president raises a number of additional questions, to which I expect responses immediately,” he continued.
“Isn’t such a public intervention itself a reflection of Facebook’s assessment of a news report’s credibility?” Hawley asked.
“The New York Post previously reported that employees of the six largest Silicon Valley tech firms – including Facebook – have donated nearly $5 million to the Biden-Harris campaign, compared to just $239,000 to President Trump’s campaign. What steps has Facebook taken to ensure that your employees’ political preferences don’t influence decisions to suppress content?” Howley added.
Hawley’s full letter to Zuckerberg can be seen here:
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
Big League Politics has reported on Facebook’s malicious efforts to oust President Trump from the White House, which has ramped up dramatically throughout the election season:
Facebook has announced an October surprise in the form of a new policy that will come into place just weeks before the November election.
“We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook,” the new terms of service read…
This new policy will allow Facebook to capriciously censor content from Trump supporters in the lead up to this year’s presidential election. It is another encroachment in the real electoral interference conspiracy coming from the Silicon Valley tech giants…
Facebook is trying to use their monopoly power, granted to them under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to influence elections. They are more dangerous to democracy than the Russians could ever hope to be.
Facebook and other monolithic Big Tech entities are guilty of the collusion that the Russians were framed for. They have emerged as an existential threat to democracy.
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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