Facebook said Friday that Donald Trump’s accounts with the social giant will be suspended for two years — until January 2023 — and will only be reinstated “if conditions permit.” The company’s announcement comes after the independent Facebook Oversight Board upheld the company’s suspension of the ex-U.S. president after Trump praises people engaged in violence […]
Regulators want to know whether Facebook is using data gathered from advertisers to directly compete with them.
Facebook has had no reservations about censoring conservative accounts. Yet, it allows accounts of state-controlled propaganda outlets from the genocidal regime of China to flourish. Forty-one accounts on Facebook, amassing over 751 million followers, are managed by Chinese state-controlled media outlets. For comparison, 751 million is over six times (6.39x) more followers than CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, ABC News, NBC News, The Washington Post and CBS News have combined (roughly 117,500,000) on Facebook.
Facebook has taken down disinformation networks tied to Iranian state-controlled media and removed accounts belonging to Russian state-controlled media. It has even removed media accounts not labeled state-controlled media — albeit not very many — purportedly linked to China’s government and to China-based hackers. But Facebook has given Chinese state-controlled media a pass to push propaganda no matter how outlandish the claims made in their posts.
Thirty-seven of the 40 Facebook accounts identified by the Media Research Center as belonging to Chinese state-controlled media have corresponding accounts on Twitter. There they were labeled “state-affiliated” media. The MRC identified only 23 out of the 40 accounts that Facebook labeled state-affiliated accounts on its platform — a blatant violation of its policy on identifying accounts run by state-controlled media outlets.
A seven-month long investigation by the Associated Press and Oxford Internet Institute found China’s rise in influence on Twitter and Facebook has been propelled by inauthentic and manufactured user engagement.
Facebook has allowed Chinese state-controlled media to push inaccurate and dubious claims with little to no repercussions. China has used its arm of state-controlled media agencies to curate Facebook posts that dispute Western criticisms against the genocidal regime. Frequently, China has also used its posts to stir discord in American politics.
China has used its state-controlled media presence on Facebook to rationalize, justify and legitimize its human rights violations against various religious and political minorities. A large portion of these posts are devoted to rebuking accusations of egregious human rights violations against the country’s Muslim minority Uyghurs living in China’s Northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Facebook has also allowed China to used its state-controlled media presence on the platform to push propaganda aimed at Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters and activists. A number of posts have also been used to build support around China’s authoritarian crackdown in Hong Kong.
China Uses Facebook to Gaslight the World
The U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom have all called evidence of China’s “human rights violations and abuses” against Uyghur Muslims “overwhelming.” But Facebook accounts run by China tell a different story. Chinese state-controlled media have pushed a narrative on Facebook justifying its regime’s genocidal actions toward Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim.
Chinese state-controlled media used Facebook to gaslight the world on its crimes against humanity, which include arbitrary imprisonment, mass surveilance, torture, forced sterilization, coerced abortions, forced labor and persecution of Uyghurs and members of other religious, ethnic and political minority groups.
“#China’s de-extremism measures have pulled many people back from the brink of terrorism,” read a post from Chinese propaganda outlet Global Times. The post accused the “U.S.-led West” of killing terrorists “without taking any effective measures to save them,” insinuating that China does more to protect human rights than its accusers. Another post, this one from China Global TV Network (CGTN), rationalized China’s genocidal actions: “Yes, What Xinjiang did to fight terrorism does not conform to Western values, but it worked.”
Even Facebook’s own employees have voiced concerns that the company has been used as a conduit for Chinese propaganda, The Wall Street Journal reported. That problem centered on Facebook advertisements from Chinese accounts that purport to show the economic success and happiness of Uyghurs living in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
China Uses Facebook to Push Disinformation About Human Rights Abuses
Facebook’s employees were incensed “Over China’s Ads Portraying Happy Muslims in Xinjiang.” A worker at Facebook declared in an internal company message board: “It’s time our platform takes action to fight misinformation on the Uighur genocide,” according to The Journal.
Facebook accounts run by Chinese state-controlled media have used videos, images and commentary about Uyghurs to construct a narrative of happiness and economic achievement. China has also used its state media’s presence on Facebook to justify its arbitrary detentions and other genocidal actions on Facebook by framing them as help. A post from China Plus Culture retold the alleged story of “a young Uyghur woman” who “walked away from a life of violence and extremism thanks to one of China’s vocational education and training centers.”
A video embedded in another post from China Plus Culture chronicled a young Uyghur woman’s time in one of China’s so-called “vocational training centers.” The woman remarked in the video that throughout her time in the camp, during which she was forced to perfect her Mandarin speaking skills and learn about Chinese law, her “thinking has improved.”
China Daily, another state-controlled media outlet on Facebook, curated a post celebrating the purported success of China’s “vocational education and training centers” in Xinjiang. The outlet claimed in its post that the centers “have been effective in eliminating conditions that foster terrorism and religious extremism,” according to an unnamed white paper. In a different post another one of China’s mouthpieces, CGTN, attempted to justify the genocidal nation’s arbitrary detention, and deflect accusations of forced sterilization. “After graduating from a vocational training center in Kashgar, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tudigul Nur landed a job in her native village. She had a daughter after graduating, who will soon turn a year old,” claimed CGTN in the post.
Facebook posts from accounts run by Chinese state-controlled media have been used to discredit accusations that China is using techniques of forced sterilization to keep the Uyghur population low. Other posts aim to discredit and deflect accusations that China is forcing Uyghurs into abusive labor programs and forcibly separating Uyghur children from their families.
Chinese state-controlled media has also tried legitimizing its crackdown on Uyghurs by depicting them as terrorists, and attempting to portray communist China as the saving grace that rescues the minority from lives of poverty and Muslim extremism. “Even children have to learn violence from terrorists in Xinjiang,” said a Facebook post from Chinese mouthpiece China Global Television Network America (CGTN-America). The post appeared to show a man — allegedly a member of the Uyghur separatist group known as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) — teaching a child how to shoot a sidearm.
Omer Kanat, the Executive Director of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, called “China’s exploitation of the imagined ‘ETIM’” a real threat that has led to “20 years of state terror directed at Uighurs,” according to The Journal. Other posts from Chinese propaganda accounts on Facebook claim ETIM is “[t]raining child terrorists on China’s frontier.”
China Uses Facebook to Promote Authoritarian Crackdown on Hong Kong
China has also used its massive following on Facebook to attempt to paint its authoritarian crackdown on Hong Kong in a positive light. “It is totally untrue and biased to say that the Hong Kong National Security Law has had a chilling effect on the exercise of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong,” alleged China Daily in a story linked to a Facebook post.
The post rebuked European criticisms of China’s authoritarian crackdown against Hong Kong. However, “[m]ore than 50 of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy activists” were arrested for attempting to “run an unofficial ‘primary’ election to pick opposition candidates” for Hong Kong’s 2020 elections, according to the BBC.
China claimed the activists were attempting to “overthrow” the government, the BBC reported. A post from Chinese propaganda outlet CGTN said the accused had committed “conspiracy to commit subversion” for simply attempting to pick opposition candidates to run against Beijing’s candidates.
Chinese propaganda accounts also created posts meant to frame the democracy protesters in a poor light. “Hong Kong protesters threw objects from an overpass, requiring police officers to fire tear gas, even though children and the elderly were present,” read a post.
Alleged Facebook insider Morgan Kahmann went public in an interview with Project Veritas to reportedly expose Facebook’s system to crack down on COVID vaccine criticism.
“One of two Facebook Insiders featured in Project Veritas’ recent #ExposeFacebook series that revealed the company’s censorship of vaccine concerns on a global scale has officially come out of the shadows,” guerilla journalism outlet Project Veritas reported May 27. Project Veritas added: “Kahmann was able to secure additional internal Facebook documents before his suspension that confirm the ‘vaccine hesitancy’ algorithm is live and being implemented globally across Facebook and Instagram platforms.” In the interview with Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, Kahmann explained that “Facebook uses classifiers in their algorithms to determine certain content to be what they call ‘vaccine hesitant,’ or they call it ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ And without the user’s knowledge, they assign a score to these comments that’s called a ‘VH Score,’ ‘Vaccine Hesitancy Score.’ And based on that score, will demote or leave the comment alone, depending on the content within the comment.”
Kahmann also suggested that Facebook can hide posts that have a high “vaccine hesitant” rating for violations such as “indirect discouragement,” such as describing the side effects felt after getting injected with a COVID vaccination.
Kahmann stated, including a reportedly leaked internal document as evidence to bolster his comments, that Facebook seeks to restrict the spread of knowledge regarding “potentially or actually true events or facts that can raise safety concerns.” He said that “vaccine hesitant” content categorized as “indirect discouragement” is flagged by the platform “because they don’t want people to see someone had a bad effect. They’re not saying, ‘don’t get the vaccine,’ but they’re saying, ‘look at all this negative stuff that happened after I got the vaccine.”
O’Keefe observed that “they’re reporting facts, but truth doesn’t matter.” Kahmann responded, “No, because it doesn’t match the narrative.”
Kahmann explained his rationale that exposing Facebook may be a risk for him, but the future of free speech is more important. “What would happen if this [Facebook Vaccine Hesitancy censorship policy] was scaled larger and scaled to Twitter and the internet as a whole is way worse than anything that could happen from me getting fired from my job,” he explained. “To me, that, it far outweighs that. Because it’s about more than me. It’s about really everyone in the world.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 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.
Conservative commentator Candace Owens said her Facebook account was silenced for 24 hours after inquiring whether COVID-19 vaccines were pushed too hastily.
After Facebook allegedly censored her page, Owens took to Twitter in a May 25 tweet to slam Big Tech censorship: “So @Facebook has locked my account for 24 hours for the below tweet, citing ‘False, Harmful, Information’. What part of this tweet is false? Is the vaccine fda-approved? NO. Are women not told to avoid wine and non-pasteurized juice while pregnant? STOP BIG PHARMA CENSORSHIP.” The post Owens said Facebook censored, which she also shared on Twitter, asked why COVID-19 vaccines are pushed with so few cautions in comparison with other substances:
“Big Pharma tells pregnant women that one glass of wine or unpasteurized juice (which they make no profits from) can be harmful to their unborn chilld—but an experimental, non-fda approved vaccine with no long term trials (which earns them billions) is perfectly safe.
Owens declared that she would be taking action. “Obviously I am suing @Facebook fact-checkers so absurd censorship like this just help my case,” she proclaimed in a tweet. “EVERYTHING IN THIS TWEET WAS FACTUAL.”
Facebook has not yet responded to MRC inquiry to confirm the alleged censorship or explain which policies Owens allegedly violated.
Owens has locked horns with Facebook’s censorious policies before.
She accused Facebook of “censoring” information about now-Vice President Kamala Harris in an August 13, 2020 tweet and added that the platform has “demonetized my page for ‘spreading false information about how @KamalaHarris represents her race’.” Owens declared in no uncertain terms that Harris “ran as an INDIAN-AMERICAN” and suggested that Facebook’s censorship of this information was “ELECTION INTERFERENCE.” Facebook has since placed an interstitial, or filter, over her post, and linked to a fact-check by the Associated Press.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 or 1-650-543-4800 and demand that the platform mirror the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.
Project Veritas may have just exposed Facebook — again. This time, Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe alleged that Facebook documents detailed an algorithm test that targeted users concerned about COVID-19 vaccinations.
Project Veritas purportedly received documents detailing an algorithm beta test for “Vaccine Hesitancy Comment Demotion,” leaked by two Facebook insiders. “Even if the facts are true … your comments will be targeted and demoted,” O’Keefe said on the Fox News show Hannity. He added that the algorithm test ranked comments into several tiers based on caution against COVID-19 vaccinations. “Tier one is alarmist and critical remarks about COVID and the vaccine, and tier two is something called indirect vaccine discouragement,” O’Keefe explained. The stated goal of the algorithm was to “[d]rastically reduce user exposure to vaccine hesitancy (VH) in comments,” according to the leaked documents.
O’Keefe’s investigative outlet also reported that tiers one and two applied highly subjective language for identifying content. Tier one covered “suggesting that vaccines are unsafe, ineffective, sacrilegious or irrelevant, in exaggerated, conspiratorial, or sensational terms.” Tier two included:
“Promoting Vaccine Refusals & Alternatives: Implicitly discouraging vaccination … [and]
“Shocking Stories: Potentially or actually true events or facts” that depict “severe adverse events in hyperbolic terms” or are “without context,” [emphasis added].
Project Veritas later released more information from the leaked documents claiming Facebook also had a third and fourth tier for ranking “vaccine hesitancy.” Tier three purportedly included “Objections and Skepticism” which covered “religious-based” and “liberty-based” objections. These comments were “filter[ed] from preview,” while tier four included neutral content that received “no action,” Project Veritas reported.
One of O’Keefe’s anonymous sources, an alleged “Data Center Technician” at Facebook, claimed that the scale of suppression would likely vary on a case-by-case basis. The document mentioned reducing the number of likes a “vaccine hesitant comment” could receive.
Project Veritas asked Facebook to comment on the testing. The company reportedly replied: “We proactively announced this policy on our company blog and also updated our help center with this information.” Facebook has openly promised to reduce the distribution of perceived medical “misinformation” on its blog, Newsroom and Help Center. On Hannity, O’Keefe said that, at the time, “[Facebook hadn’t] yet made most of these documents public.” The platform did not respond to MRC Free Speech America’s request for confirmation of O’Keefe’s report and statements.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “medical misinformation” 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.
A public interest legal team that specializes in election integrity has asked a court to order officials in Palm Beach County to return the leftover money from a donation that was provided by leftists to run last November’s elections.
The leftovers amount to about $1.3 million of the $6 million in “Zuckerbucks” that were given to officials in the county by the Center for Technology and Civil Life.
That organization was given several hundred million dollars by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to install leftist and progressive organizations as part of election procedures across America for the 2020 election.
In some cases, the contracts providing the “donations” included provisions that elections officials had to do what designated progressives wanted in order to keep the money.
It is the Public Interest Legal Foundation that said it filed a request for Writ of Mandamus that would order Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Link to return some $1.3 million that was left over from the 2020 election.
The problem is that the state has a newly adopted law that prohibits the use of such donated money from running elections.
PILF last week wrote state officials telling them they must return the money, but a week passed and without action, so officials at PILF sought the order.
“Palm Beach County must give these funds back to the CTCL,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “We notified the County Supervisor of Elections that these funds needed to be returned. We are taking action to ensure that these unspent funds are returned to the CTCL and not used to influence the 2022 elections. Palm Beach County must follow the law.”
The earlier letter explained PILF is a public interest law firm focusing on election integrity, and it was writing on behalf of a voter in Florida.
It explains county election officials last fall got more than $6.8 million “exclusively for the public purpose of planning and operationalizing safe and secure elections” in 2020.
The money was supposed to be used by the end of last year but $1.3 million was left over and county officials asked for an extension.
Then Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 90, which now prohibits the use of private funds “for election-related expenses.”
“Current law does not allow a supervisor of elections to ‘use’ any donation in the form of money or ‘grants’ from individuals or a ‘nongovernmental entity’ like the CTCL for the purposes of ‘funding election-related expenses,” the letter said.
So spending the leftovers would “violate current election law,” the letter said.
Multiple jurisdictions now are looking at the millions that came from Zuckerberg, and the Amistad Project, an election integrity organization that has spent much time since November reviewing the outside and possibly illegal influences on the 2020 president election, has filed multiple complaints with the Wisconsin Elections Commission over those funds.
The organization pointed out that the deals CTCL made with Wisconsin officials was that private corporations would be allowed to run or help run elections, in violation of state law.
Director Phill Kline said it was a “shadow government” that actually ran the 2020 election there.
The allegations are all part of a campaign to uncover what Zuckerberg, a known leftist, demanded from cities and counties when he donated some $400 million to local election officials to help them with their election work.
The money actually went to the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life, which handed out millions of dollars but put strings on the money, with provisions that it could get the money back if local elections officials didn’t allow the CTCL’s own designated private groups essentially to run the elections.
Now, in a report at the Thomas More Society, Erick Kaardal, a special counsel with the project, said documents that have been obtained confirm “election officials from the five largest Wisconsin cities – Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha … adopted and implemented private corporate conditions, including direct corporate and corporate employee engagement in the administration of the general election.”
“Moreover, the mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay agreed in private meetings to place the same corporate conditions on their election administration. These are the five largest cities in Wisconsin. The private corporations through engaging in these five cities’ election administration hoped to conduct outreach and target certain neighborhoods and communities for extra voting information, to register more voters and to obtain more votes and absentee votes,” he reported.
But the fact is the Wisconsin State Legislature never has given municipalities the authority to take private money with conditions affecting existing state election laws.
Wisconsin is just one of six battleground states where anomalous practices and results have prompted suspicions of election fraud from the 2020 presidential race. Lawsuits continue in several of the states, even though the results already were certified and Joe Biden moved into the White House.
Among the suspicious activities are sudden surges of votes – often all for Biden – in the middle of the night. Additionally, several of the states stopped counting votes, about the same time, with Trump ahead. Then when they resumed counting hours later, Biden suddenly surged into the lead.
Among the factors in the election that are not in dispute are circumstances like those outlined in Wisconsin, where election officials changed state law for voting by themselves, even though the Constitution requires those procedures – and any changes – to be approved by state lawmakers.
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