Facebook, the world’s most influential and powerful social network with billions of users, is nowadays being forced to walk a veritable ideological and political tightrope.
And Facebook is also reportedly ever more prone to err on the side of suppressing conservative voices.
On one hand, Facebook is under fire by liberals for allegedly allowing powerful foreign forces to infiltrate it to the degree of deciding a US presidential election – while on the other, conservatives protest being under constant unfair and biased pressure.
And now, nearly three years on – things may have taken a turn for the absurd.
The Hill writers that Facebook has decided to let a video of US House Speaker and prominent Democrat Nancy Pelosi – apparently “drunk and rambling” – onto the social media platform – and keep it there.
But Facebook did so, according to the website – while explaining that the footage had been “doctored to make Pelosi appear even more confused and unaware than usual.”
However – if Facebook users or pages now want to share this video – they may be blocked under Facebook’s censorship rules, the website said.
According to reports elsewhere, Google’s YouTube has removed the controversial video – however, Facebook and Twitter have not. And Facebook chose to keep it- but also “demoting it” – i.e., making the video much less visible and discoverable on the platform.
It means that those who manage to find the Pelosi video and want to share it will find it accompanied by some “fact-checking” – essentially, dissuading information.
In the words of Facebook public policy manager Neil Potts, cited by The Hill – the Pelosi video is essentially a showcase for “fake news” – but by not removing it, Facebook also wants to be seen as “promoting user choice.”
And while the reportedly doctored video of a slurring Pelosi has been allowed on Facebook – Potts said it was at the same time flagged as fake, which means its dissemination has been heavily reduced.
It may be a harsh way of putting it – but Facebook itself at this point appears to be coming ever closer to a staggering, if extremely – thanks to its influence – dangerous social media monster.
Maybe it just needs to pick a lane: either be truly ideologically unbiased or openly serve just one master.