Facebook groups have been subject to mass censorship over the last year with the tech giant vowing to cut recommendations to health groups and political groups, shutting down popular groups, and introducing numerous other measures that restrict the reach and functionality of groups.
Yet according to a report from The Markup, which tracked the group recommendations for 1,917 Facebook users via its Citizen Browser project, 12 political Facebook groups were still getting recommended to some users after Facebook vowed to stop recommending them.
Now, in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has demanded that Zuckerberg explain “this apparent inconsistency between your commitments and your platform's practices” and provide “a detailed review of the steps you are currently taking and plan to take to stop Facebook from recommending political groups to its users” by February 9.
Markey also claimed that “many Facebook groups” are “breeding grounds for hate, echo chambers of misinformation, and venues for coordination of violence, including explicit planning for the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
Markey's letter to Zuckerberg follows 30 House Democrats sending a letter to Facebook and several other tech giants last week which urged them to fix their “dangerous algorithms” to address “harmful disinformation.”
As with groups, Facebook has already deployed significant censorship against content that it deems to be harmful disinformation or “misinformation” with hundreds of millions of posts being censored each quarter for containing so-called misinformation.
In the last month, Facebook's censorship of content has reached unprecedented highs with some of the many examples of this censorship including former President Donald Trump being banned from the platform indefinitely and the phrase “Stop the Steal” being banned.
But no matter how much content is censored by these tech giants, these calls from Democratic politicians to introduce new censorship measures persist.