Facebook is under pressure from Republican lawmakers to prove that it can be a responsible and objective steward of online news and information, despite its blatant, proven, and multi-faceted reputation for leftist ideologies. But from the way the site behaves, you wouldn’t know that it is under any such pressure. Just this week, Facebook decided to ban a website called Right Wing News, which is run by popular conservative blogger John Hawkins.
Of course, if you take the story from The New York Times, this just sounds like Facebook cleaning their site of lying propaganda:
When Christine Blasey Ford testified before Congress last month about Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault, a website called Right Wing News sprang into action on Facebook.
The conservative site, run by the blogger John Hawkins, had created a series of Facebook pages and accounts over the last year under many names, according to Facebook.
After Dr. Blasey testified, Right Wing News posted several false stories about her — including the suggestion that her lawyers were being bribed by Democrats — and then used the network of Facebook pages and accounts to share the pieces so that they proliferated online quickly, social media researchers said.
The result was a real-time spreading of disinformation started by Americans, for Americans.
Hawkins has said that he did not have any involvement with the Facebook page over the last year, and Facebook claims the page’s administrators have changed several times in recent months. We don’t begrudge Facebook for taking action if a website is using fake accounts and other suspicious means of activity to boost their popularity, nor do we have a problem with Facebook taking action against outright “fake news.”
But it seems that this goes much further than that, even if Facebook cites those two factors in their reasoning for the recent swath of bans. It seems that Facebook is declaring itself a truth-finder, and that “truth” appears to rely heavily on mainstream Democrat-Party narratives. For instance, you may argue that Ford’s lawyers were not bribed by Democratic Party officials, but then, you can also argue that there was absolutely no veracity for Deborah Ramirez’s claims against Kavanaugh. Will The New Yorker be banned from Facebook? Will Michael Avenatti?