Readability

Censored!

I’ve joined a grow­ing num­ber of con­ser­v­a­tives who have been cen­sored under Facebook’s com­mu­nity standards.

It is unclear what my crime was. My weekly col­umn for DaT​e​chGuy​.com included an analy­sis that the Mueller inves­ti­ga­tion was not sim­i­lar to Water­gate — a con­stant refrain from the media. Here it is: http://​dat​e​chguy​blog​.com/​2018​/​08​/​28​/​i​t​-​a​i​n​t​-​w​a​t​e​r​gate/

We have peo­ple in 11 offices around the world, includ­ing sub­ject mat­ter experts on issues such as hate speech, child safety, and ter­ror­ism. Many of us have worked on the issues of expres­sion and safety long before com­ing to Face­book,” wrote Monika Bick­ert, vice pres­i­dent of Global Prod­uct Man­age­ment wrote ear­lier this year in a post that accom­pa­nied the release of FB’s “27 pages of com­mu­nity stan­dards. “I worked on every­thing from child safety to counter ter­ror­ism dur­ing my years as a crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tor, and other team mem­bers include a for­mer rape cri­sis coun­selor, an aca­d­e­mic who has spent her career study­ing hate orga­ni­za­tions, a human rights lawyer, and a teacher.”

The stan­dards are bro­ken up into sec­tions deal­ing with vio­lence and crim­i­nal behav­ior, user safety, “objec­tion­able con­tent,” integrity and authen­tic­ity, copy­right mate­r­ial, and content-​related requests.

The only pos­si­ble expla­na­tion for the cen­sor­ship of my col­umn was under the objec­tion­able con­tent stan­dard. It appar­ently was objec­tion­able because it was con­ser­v­a­tive. That’s awfully scary when you real­ize that FB is the largest provider of infor­ma­tion in the world.

Face­book says it has cen­sors work­ing 24/​7, includ­ing pow­er­ful algo­rithms, to make sure your feed is “safe.”

I’ve hardly the first one to note the chill­ing thought of these 1984 trolls pulling down mate­r­ial that peo­ple really should see.

But there’s more. A few days ago, a senior FB engi­neer posted a mes­sage on the company’s inter­nal mes­sage board. Titled “We Have a Prob­lem With Polit­i­cal Diver­sity,” it quickly took off inside the social network.

We are a polit­i­cal mono­cul­ture that’s intol­er­ant of dif­fer­ent views,” Brian Amerige, wrote in the post. “We claim to wel­come all per­spec­tives but are quick to attack — often in mobs — any­one who presents a view that appears to be in oppo­si­tion to left-​leaning ideology.”

Since the post went up, more than 100 Face­book employ­ees have joined Amerige to form an online group called FB’ers for Polit­i­cal Diver­sity. The aim of the ini­tia­tive, accord­ing to Amerige’s memo, is to cre­ate a space for ide­o­log­i­cal diver­sity within the company.

For the moment that diver­sity doesn’t seem like it will come any time soon. I’m still wait­ing for a deci­sion on my appeal of the censorship.

I’ve joined a growing number of conservatives who have been censored under Facebook’s community standards.

It is unclear what my crime was. My weekly column for DaTechGuy.com included an analysis that the Mueller investigation was not similar to Watergate—a constant refrain from the media. Here it is: http://datechguyblog.com/2018/08/28/it-aint-watergate/

“We have people in 11 offices around the world, including subject matter experts on issues such as hate speech, child safety, and terrorism. Many of us have worked on the issues of expression and safety long before coming to Facebook,” wrote Monika Bickert, vice president of Global Product Management wrote earlier this year in a post that accompanied the release of FB’s “27 pages of community standards. “I worked on everything from child safety to counter terrorism during my years as a criminal prosecutor, and other team members include a former rape crisis counselor, an academic who has spent her career studying hate organizations, a human rights lawyer, and a teacher.”

The standards are broken up into sections dealing with violence and criminal behavior, user safety, “objectionable content,” integrity and authenticity, copyright material, and content-related requests.

The only possible explanation for the censorship of my column was under the objectionable content standard. It apparently was objectionable because it was conservative. That’s awfully scary when you realize that FB is the largest provider of information in the world.

Facebook says it has censors working 24/7, including powerful algorithms, to make sure your feed is “safe.”

I’ve hardly the first one to note the chilling thought of these 1984 trolls pulling down material that people really should see.

But there’s more. A few days ago, a senior FB engineer posted a message on the company’s internal message board. Titled “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity,” it quickly took off inside the social network.

“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, wrote in the post. “We claim to welcome all perspectives but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Since the post went up, more than 100 Facebook employees have joined Amerige to form an online group called FB’ers for Political Diversity. The aim of the initiative, according to Amerige’s memo, is to create a space for ideological diversity within the company.

For the moment that diversity doesn’t seem like it will come any time soon. I’m still waiting for a decision on my appeal of the censorship.