Facebook has suddenly disabled the account of biologist, evolutionary theorist, and DarkHorse Podcast host Bret Weinstein. The platform provided no explanation and no option to appeal the decision.
Weinstein shared the notification he received from Facebook which claims he didn’t follow Facebook’s community standards but doesn’t point to the specific alleged violation or any posts that supposedly violated Facebook’s rules.
The notification also offers Weinstein no recourse and states: “We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed.”
Weinstein added that even when he downloaded his information, there was no explanation as to why his account had been purged.
“We are governed now in private, by entities that make their own rules and are answerable to no process,” Weinstein tweeted. “Disaster is inevitable. We are living it.”
The removal of Weinstein’s account is the latest of many examples of Facebook’s far-reaching, arbitrary censorship which can impact individuals, groups, public figures, trending stories, and even the President.
Facebook used to attempt to justify the censorship by claiming that banned accounts had violated a specific section of its community guidelines which are filled with censorship buzzwords such as “hate speech.”
But over the last few months, Facebook has often failed to even do that and instead cited general community guideline violations or even censored content without reviewing it for potential violations.
Today Facebook’s Oversight Board, which allows users to appeal to a supposedly independent body when their posts are censored, announced that users can start submitting their appeals.
The Oversight Board says that it will hold Facebook accountable but its members’ past statements have raised censorship and bias concerns.
And even if the Oversight Board decides that Facebook should restore a censored post, Facebook has 90 days to act on the decision meaning that the post will likely have lost its impact and relevance when it gets restored.