Is Facebook censoring conservatives or is moderating just too hard?
The company says it makes moderation errors. Others, particularly conservatives, see censorship.
Last year, Prager University took to Twitter to complain about Facebook. The conservative organization's grievance? Facebook had blocked videos that were flagged as hate speech.
One of the blocked videos argued that men should be more masculine, rather than less. Another video stated it wasn't Islamophobic to argue that the Muslim world is currently "dominated by bad ideas and beliefs."
Facebook quickly apologized, tweeting that the blocks were mistakes. The social network, which defines hate speech as a "direct attack" based on religion, gender or other protected characteristics, said it would look into what happened.
That didn't satisfy PragerU or some of its more than 3 million Facebook followers, who accused the company of intentionally censoring conservative speech.
"They didn't do anything until there was a public outcry," said Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer of PragerU, adding that the social network has a history of censoring conservative speech.
Facebook has repeatedly denied that it suppresses conservative voices.
The dust-up between PragerU and Facebook underscores one of the biggest challenges for social media companies as they try to become consistent about what content is allowed on their platforms. Content moderation errors, whether innocent or intentional, fuel an ongoing belief that social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube censor speech.
Conservatives are not the only ones to accuse Facebook of censorship. Some LGBQT users and some black users have made the same claim, but conservatives are the most consistently vocal.
The allegation of anti-right bias at Facebook goes back to at least 2016, when former contractors who worked at the company told Gizmodo they'd been instructed to suppress news from conservative sources. Facebook denied the allegations.
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