Facebook has once again shown that on its platform only certain viewpoints are allowed in discussions about controversial topics.
Facebook announced it would be censoring so-called “misinformation” and “hate speech” regarding the verdict in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. According to Facebook, the move was an attempt to "limit content that could lead to civil unrest or violence."
“We want to strike the right balance between allowing people to speak about the trial and what the verdict means, while still doing our part to protect everyone’s safety,” Facebook said in its announcement that was published a day before the verdict was read. Facebook said it would be removing any “calls to bring arms” to the Minneapolis area, as well as “content that praises, celebrates or mocks George Floyd’s death.”
Facebook claimed it would “allow people to discuss, critique and criticize the trial and the attorneys involved.” Yet, the platform “will remove content that violates [its] Community Standards, including [its] policies against hate speech, bullying and harassment, graphic violence, and violence and incitement.”
While Facebook has sought to “protect the memory of George Floyd and members of the Floyd family from harassment and abuse” with its censoring, it has not sought to protect information critical of Chauvin in the same fashion. Facebook’s blog said the platform considered Chauvin “a public figure, for voluntarily placing himself in the public eye,” which “means [Facebook] will remove attacks that are severe, in line with [its] policies.” However, Facebook considered “Floyd an involuntary public figure which is why we apply a higher level of protection to content about his death.”
This is not the first time Facebook sought to censor content centering around a controversial topic. Facebook also foreshadowed the removal of coronavirus content back in April 2020. The platform would later censor a video of Frontline Doctors “calling out a ‘massive disinformation campaign’ on the treatment of the coronavirus,” in July 2020, according to Real Clear Politics. Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen even bragged, almost a year later, that the platform removed over 12 million pieces of content related to COVID-19.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook via phone at (650) 308-7300 or (650) 543-4800, or by mail to 1601 Willow Road Menlo Park, CA 94025, and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.