(Last week I voluntarily took a 30-day hiatus from Facebook. I decided to end it early because the growing scandal regarding the misuse of our data as well as censorship by social media companies is too great to remain silent.)
Facebook has repeatedly punished a fast-growing news website for its conservative views on immigration and other topics–-suspending its moderators, censoring content, and threatening to close the site down.
Voiceofeurope.com, which takes pride in its “uncensored news,” has been effectively bludgeoned into submission by Facebook and recently announced it will censor itself to avoid losing its page.
According to Facebook statistics, Voiceofeurope.com was growing at the rate of about 30,000 new followers every month, with some days registering as many as 5,000 new followers.
As examples of some of the “offensive” postings that incurred the wrath of Facebook, Voiceofeurope.com exhibited a photo of Poles protesting behind a banner that said “Mohammed not welcome.” Despite the fact that the photo was undoctored and the news 100 percent accurate, Facebook forced the site to remove the content and suspended one of the site’s moderators for 24 hours.
Voiceofeurope.com also posted a book review of former Czech President Václav Klaus, who compared the influx of migrants to “the barbarian invasions of Europe.” The review was highly critical of uncontrolled immigration, and for this, Facebook punished Voiceofeurope.com by removing the article, suspending a moderator for 30 days, and threatening to shut the site down permanently.
Do we really want social media companies censoring us? The reality is that social media companies now exercise a control over our lives, communication, and commerce that previously belonged only to government. We need legislation extending the First Amendment freedom of speech as well as other Constitutional rights to Corporations as well as government. We already do this with Equal Opportunity Employment. We need to do it with the right to Free Speech!