Censorship and Fake News in Facebook

Every post, every like, and every comment on social media, in today’s society, is regulated and sometimes even altered by those in control. Recently a social media superpower, Facebook, unexpectedly decided to take delete around 800 political accounts. The owners and constant users of the accounts filled with anger, they feel as if their ideas and views were censored, along with their right to the freedom of speech. Facebook is currently restricting the first amendment among its users, ruining political accounts whom have been active for many years with millions of followers, and is now falsely accusing accounts of spamming with “fake news.”

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The first question that pops into our heads when we hear of these unexpected actions is “why.” These political accounts have been active for years and just now, the accounts are being purged. “Facebook said on Thursday it purged more than 800 U.S. publishers and accounts for flooding users with political-oriented spam, reigniting accusations of political censorship and arbitrary decision-making’ (Dwoskin and Romm par. 1). Since the purging of the accounts by Facebook has happened, nobody knows what Facebook is attempting to hide. As more and more research was conducted into this question, another surprising fact was uncovered.

Facebook scratched for any excuse they could find about why they decided to carry out the deletion. A multitude of accounts were accused of spam, fake news, and having clickbait ads, which for the most part was a false acquisition. “…largely domestic actors using clickbait headlines and other spam tactics to drive users to websites where they could target them with ads” (Dwoskin and Romm par. 5). Facebook believes that what they are doing with the purging of accounts does not affect the public as much as it does, along with thinking that their users’ rights are not being taken away. Facebook started with the purging of over 800 political accounts, the public then feels their right to the freedom of speech being revoked, and eventually an outbreak of debate and controversy between Facebook and the public has erupted.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” In the United States, the citizens receive certain human rights, of them being the freedom of speech and the right to publish anything if they line up with certain regulations. The users of Facebook whose accounts were taken down and those who regularly visited them feel like something is being hidden and silenced themselves. “… and other now-shuttered pages denied Facebooks hazy charges of “fraudulent” activity and accused the company of attempting to suppress dissenting voices that reuse to toe the corporate lines” (Johnson par. 8).

Facebook purged these political accounts with no truthful reason and strong evidence; Facebook purged these political accounts, spiraling more political drama around; Facebook purged these political accounts by abusing their power and censoring the truth from the public. The political accounts still allowed by Facebook today, for the most part show a bias toward the Democratic Party. Many polls have been created the show the statistics on certain political parties feeling censored, such as the one conducted by Pew Research Center between May 29 and June 11. “Eighty-fiver percent of Republicans and those who label themselves conservative feel that social media platforms censor political speech. And 64 percent of them feel the views supported are liberals over conservatives… only about a quarter of Democrats worry that these companies support the views of conservatives over liberals” (Johnson par. 4-7). In the past elections, many people have suspected that the Republican Party has been a victim of being censored and the recent actions by Facebook have brought more notice to the censorship.

All over social media, there are people breaking their rules and regulations, yet unfortunately not all of them receive equal punishment or punishment at all. This brings back the idea of Facebook favoring one political party over the other. “On the opposite end of the political spectrum, Reverb Press posted attacks on President Trump and referred to Republicans as “cheating scumbags” to its over 700,000 followers” (Dwoskin and Romm par. 17). Surprisingly, this account received no punishment even while violating the rules and regulations that go along with posting on Facebook. It is nowhere near okay for Facebook to allow their rules to be broken just because the political party they dislike is being cruelly bashed and censored.

Through the censoring in Facebook, it seems that escaping Alcatraz is easier than running a Republican bias political account. Imagine one politically driven idea pops into our bias mind and the message must be heard, so as humans we want to show it to the world. The shiny black laptop across the room is calling your name, so you sit down in the dark, squishy chair and begin to write down some thoughts. One thought turns into nine truthful political facts backed up with hours of reliable research being posted on Facebook with one click of a button. Thousands of views are acquired by the post and suddenly your post is abolished and accused of spam, political clickbait, and fake news because of those in control do not support your post, the truth. A multitude of tears begin to roll down your face as you sit in a dead silent, dimly lit up room staring at your computer in extreme anger. Facebook has abused its power in censoring truthful statements about opposing political parties with no legitimate reasoning.

Everything the public does on social media and the internet can be and is controlled by those in charge of the applications. In the past few years, Facebook has been out of control and taken down over 800 political accounts, taking away certain human rights and creating a feeling of anger in the users of Facebook. Many of the political accounts being censored have followed the rules and regulations, while still being accused of spam and fake news. Sadly, not much has been done to stop Facebook from censoring the truth from the public and swinging toward a certain political party, but for the future, we hope for the best. 

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Censorship and Fake News in Facebook. (2022, Sep 10). Retrieved October 4, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/censorship-and-fake-news-in-facebook/

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