Monday, 20 August 2018

Facebook to PragerU: Sorry About That Censorship

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Facebook has once again apologized for censoring conservative material that apparently offended the social-media giant’s left-wing gatekeepers. This time, the victim was the neoconservative PragerU, which found that the Facebook blue pencilers completely blocked nine of its posts.

PragerU Shut Out
The trouble for PragerU, founded by radio talker Dennis Prager to help Americans “understand the values that shaped America,” and promote free enterprise and limited government, began when Facebook’s censors slammed the door on nine straight posts.

According to PragerU, “Internal Facebook analytics reveal that as of Thursday, Aug. 16, at 10:00 PM PDT, posts by PragerU on the social media platform have been completely invisible to its more than 3 million followers.”

PragerU frontman Will Witt explained that Facebook’s censors deleted two videos because they were “hate speech.” At the time, “Witt reported, visitors to PragerU’s Facebook page are unable to see any of its most recent posts”:

Our last 9 posts have been completely censored reaching 0 of our 3 million followers. At least two of our video posts were deleted last night for “hate speech” including a post of our recent video with The Conservative Millennial, Make Men Masculine Again.

Craig Strazzeri, another PragerU official, said the censorship shows why the organization filed a lawsuit — ultimately dismissed — against Google/YouTube:

“This is very troubling behavior from the world’s largest social network,” adds Strazzeri. “Not only are they obviously ratcheting up their algorithms to target mainstream, conservative content and labeling it as hate speech, but they are now completely blocking our posts from public view. This is shocking and it should deeply concern every single American.”

According to PragerU, the Facebook attack came “just days after discovering that 47 additional PragerU videos have been restricted by YouTube. This brings the total number of PragerU videos restricted on YouTube to 88, or more than 10 percent of educational nonprofit’s entire online media library.”

After Witt posted his complaint, Facebook quickly apologized: “We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don't break our standards. This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page.”

Censorship Continues
But PragerU isn’t the only recent victim of Official Corporate Leftism. Last week, Robert Spencer, the Islam expert who runs Jihad Watch, divulged that he too was a victim.

The video monetizing website Patreon banned Spencer after it received an order from Mastercard that Spencer had to go.

“I've been axed from Patreon, without explanation, warning or notice,” Spencer tweeted, “no doubt as part of the ongoing efforts of the Left to deny all platforms to those who reject its agenda. To those who supported me there, thank you, and I'm sorry we couldn't follow through on plans.”

It didn’t matter that Spencer doesn’t have a Mastercard account. “Hi Robert,” Patreon’s Tweet began with the usual discourteous informality of the Internet. “We emailed you earlier today which explained that unfortunately Mastercard required us to remove your account. You replied to us but if you have further questions we're happy to keep emailing.”

In reply to a critic of the ban, Patreon wrote: “Hey, we've been emailing with Robert today to explain the situation as unfortunately Mastercard required us to remove his account. We will continue to email with him if he has further questions.”

Spencer smelled a leftist rat. “This was plainly disingenuous,” he wrote.

They had not “been emailing” with me, never explained why MasterCard objected to my account or why they had to comply with MasterCard’s wishes, and didn’t answer my request for an explanation. I don’t have a MasterCard and didn’t have one attached to my Patreon account, so MasterCard really wasn’t involved — unless it owns Patreon, which is apparently the case.

Spencer explained that the censorship likely the was the result of the discredited but still highly-influential Southern Poverty Law Center, which specializes in smearing conservatives and trying to ruin them professionally. SPLC includes Spencer in its official list of “extremists.”

All-out War on Conservatives
The social-media giants have been waging war on conservatives for some time. Facebook, YouTube, and Apple iTunes have banned Alex Jones and his InfoWars program, while Twitter suspended him for seven days.

Before that, Twitter landed in hot water for blocking conservatives and Republicans from surfacing in its search results.

After some loud complaining, Twitter stopped that cyberattack.

Image: screenshot from PragerU YouTube channel

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