‘You have repeatedly insisted that these numerous incidents of discrimination, censorship, and suppression of speech are merely glitches…’
(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) Four Republican senators are demanding Facebook issue a correction, remove restrictions slapped on a pro-life organization, and submit to an external audit of how it decides what content merits punitive action.
Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday criticizing the company’s recent fact check—which resulted in a false rating—and subsequent censorship of the pro-life organization Live Action.
They said Facebook has a demonstrated pattern of retaliation against speech it dislikes.
The content in dispute was two videos produced by Live Action.
One featured Dr. Kendra Kolb, a board-certified neonatologist. The other was a speech by Live Action founder and President Lila Rose. In the videos they both claimed that abortion is not medically necessary.
“This is a widely-held view, one shared by the thousands of members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, among others,” the senators’ letter stated.
Yet, Facebook stamped the videos with a false rating. Live Action’s website and Rose’s Facebook page were suppressed, they were prohibited from advertising and promoting content, and users who had shared the videos were notified they spread false news.
The senators disparaged the fact check as violating Facebook’s neutrality policy. The review “was performed by two pro-abortion activists with significant ties to abortion-rights advocacy organizations, both of whom are paid to perform abortions.”
The letter said Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest and many other major Silicon Valley social media firms have been “repeatedly confronted with evidence of bias against those with conservative viewpoints, especially on the issue of abortion. And in response you have repeatedly insisted that these numerous incidents of discrimination, censorship, and suppression of speech are merely glitches, not evidence of systemic bias.”
The senators called for a true independent audit of Facebook, unlike one last month that was roundly criticized as a shallow endeavor.
Hawley and Cruz previously sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to perform an in-depth review of whether Facebook, Google and Twitter are influencing elections due to anti-conservative bias by censoring and suspending accounts.
Hawley has asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to allow an audit to determine whether liberal bias exists on his social media platform.