A long-standing and widely accepted claim that Joe Biden’s crime bill passed in 1994 had the result of dramatically increasing incarceration rates of black Americans is no longer acceptable on Facebook’s Instagram.
Biden seems to have been granted immunity from criticism on this social network, that is now placing labels on posts making the claim.
Once again, censorship on social media comes under the guise of “independent” third party “fact-checkers” – in reality either shadowy groups, or those associated with media outlets that openly display their own biases. It is their verdicts that produce labels aimed at discrediting people’s posts as false information.
This happened to Brad Troemel, an artist who uploaded a photo of Biden and former President Clinton, who was in office at the time, and captioned it, “Find someone that looks at you the way Biden looked at Clinton after Clinton signed Biden’s crime bill into law. Bringing mass incarceration to black Americans.”
Troemel was censored as posting false information thanks to a fact-checker, USA Today’s Dough Stangling, thinking this claim “has no basis in fact.” But USA Today’s own “facts” and the way the outlet arrived at the conclusion that the 1994 law had no impact on the increase in the number of black people in prisons is questioned as dubious by experts and activists.
People like Cornel West, a professor at the Harvard Divinity School who pushes left-wing politics was last year certain that the law did contribute to mass incarceration, while New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice was not as explicit, however, without saying the claim was incorrect, either.
Facebook, through Instagram, reiterated what looks like its unofficial but clearly discernible policy of delegating responsibility for censorship, and avoiding criticism and consequences (either for there being too little, or too much of it) to these third-parties it pays to do its “dirty work.”
In line with this, spokesperson told us that it was up to USA Today to change its mind on this, and clearly, any other topic it labels.