‘We Can Save Them Time’: Bozell RIPS Facebook Oversight Board, Preempting Abortion Case Reviews

June 8th, 2023 9:56 AM

The Oversight Board for Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta plans to announce three abortion-related posts that have been censored, looking at whether pro-abortion Meta platforms are stifling debate about the issue. But it doesn’t require any scrutiny to know the answer.

The Meta Oversight Board has invited the public to comment on three cases involving the censorship of posts related to abortion discussions in the United States. The announcement claims that this will help it “look at whether Meta’s enforcement practices may be limiting discussion about abortion in the U.S.” The Oversight Board’s invitation to submit comments will close on Thursday, June 29.Court Protest

MRC President Brent Bozell said no comment period is necessary and that the Oversight Board doesn’t need to review whether Meta’s enforcement practices are limiting discussion on abortion in the U.S. “We can save them time,” said Bozell. “Facebook hates the pro-life movement.”

The 18 documented cases (12 Facebook, 6 Instagram) recorded in MRC Free Speech America’s exclusive CensorTrack database illustrate Bozell’s point. For example, Facebook flagged a video posted by both Alliance Defending Freedom and SBA Pro-Life America that explained a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The lawsuit alleged harms caused by common abortion pill drugs. The platform slapped a warning on the post, claiming the post contained “partly false information” and that “Independent fact-checkers say this information has some factual inaccuracies.”

The PolitiFact fact check, written by staff writer Samantha Putterman, relied on the statements of Dr. Daniel Grossman to rebut claims in the lawsuit. But Grossman, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, is actively working to expand access to the abortion drugs in question according to pro-life activist group Live Action, an obvious conflict of interest. 

In another case, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Republican presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley and former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and his wife Candy posted a screenshot of a Lila Rose tweet criticizing a Colorado abortion law that explicitly allowed abortion up to the moment of birth in April of 2022. Facebook flagged the two posts, applying fact-checks produced from biased fact-checkers Lead Stories and PolitiFact, ultimately reducing the reach and engagement of the posts.

Some of the other prominent cases where Meta platforms have censored pro-life content include when Instagram suspended the account of the Students for Life chapter at Auburn University Oct. 13, 2022, according to purported screenshots. The platform cited its "Community Guidelines on business integrity," but did not explain how the account violated this rule. 

Both Facebook and Instagram also censored a post by MRC quoting then-HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson on Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger’s racist views. The two Meta platforms applied a PolitiFact fact-check to claim that the MRC post was “missing context,” but the fact-check applied to the MRC post was from 2015 and appeared to be referencing an entirely different Ben Carson quote. 

In another outrageous case of censorship, Instagram found the iconic 1999 image of an in-utero baby’s fingers holding the fingers of the surgeon saving its life to be “sensitive content.” Instagram placed a sensitive content filter over the image, requiring users to click a small link in order to view the image.

There’s really no doubt about where Meta stands on the abortion issue, and it's completely ridiculous for the Oversight Board to treat the matter like it’s still an open question. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called 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.