Facebook is going all out for censorship in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections. Citing “fake news” (news the social media giant doesn’t like or disagrees with) Facebook will begin banning certain types of speech from the platform.
According to CNBC, Facebook doesn’t want to be known as the social media platform which bans free speech, but it’s probably already far too late for that. This latest ban on certain “fake news” butts up against free speech, but is also a sensitive area for the company, which has come under fire for its lax approach to “fake news” reports as seen as fake by liberals, and disinformation campaigns, which many erroneously believe affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, won by Donald Trump.
The new policy was disclosed by Facebook’s cyber security policy chief, Nathaniel Gleicher, and other company executives.
The ban on false information about voting methods, set to be announced later on Monday, comes six weeks after Senator Ron Wyden asked Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg how Facebook would counter posts aimed at suppressing votes, such as by telling certain users they could vote by text, a hoax that has been used to reduce turnout in the past.
The information on voting methods becomes one of the few areas in which falsehoods are prohibited on Facebook, a policy enforced by what the company calls “community standards” moderators, although application of its standards has been uneven. It will not stop the vast majority of untruthful posts about candidates or other election issues. –CNBC
However, Facebook’s News Feed feature product manager said they won’t remove anything, even if it’s “false” from “authentic people” unless their community standards are violated. “We don’t believe we should remove things from Facebook that are shared by authentic people if they don’t violate those community standards, even if they are false,” said Tessa Lyons, manager of the feature that shows users what their social media friends are sharing.
For the most part, Facebook appears to be only banning “fake news” or free speech with regards to voting information. Take that as you will, but it still reads as censorship of “voting information” that Facebook doesn’t approve of will be banned.