Republican Colorado Rep. Ken Buck is taking intention at Facebook, calling out the social media large’s resolution to censor sure tales — reminiscent of The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden and content in regards to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter despatched to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Buck charged that the web site “opted to obliterate commentary on these topics from the public square in the supposed interest of public informational safety.”
The congressman alleged that Facebook purges largely conservative content from its platform — and urged the corporate to make sure that each side of the aisle have an equal alternative to be heard.
“Your company is only able to selectively moderate content based on the political agenda of your company and its employees because Facebook possesses monopoly power over the market,” Buck wrote to Zuckerberg.
He warned that “stifling ideas can backfire if it leads people to believe there’s a ‘real story’ that is being suppressed.’”
While the letter famous the in depth endeavor that moderating the location’s content to fight misinformation entails, it additionally said that Facebook flagged a number of tales with out authentic trigger.
“During the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook removed more than 7 million posts that purportedly spread misinformation about the virus, and your company placed contextual notes on more than 98 million posts it deemed as potentially misleading,” Buck wrote to Zuckerberg. “Monitoring posts across Facebook and Instagram for misinformation about COVID has been an undoubtedly herculean task, but Facebook has vigorously taken on this challenge.”
“Likewise, Facebook thoroughly eradicated the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden from its platforms leading up to the 2020 presidential election on the basis that the story was potentially inaccurate,” Buck continued.
“However, in both of these situations, Facebook has had the embarrassing position of having to defend its censorship of legitimate content.”
The letter states that “much of the content Facebook censored under the pretense of combating misinformation about COVID was related to the theory that the virus could have leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
“Facebook quickly eradicated this theory from the public discourse amidst criticism – including from the propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party – that the theory was racist,” Buck wrote.
He famous that “evidence has continued to support that this theory cannot be so easily and summarily dismissed.”
“Similarly, the unconditional erasure of reports that were damaging to then-candidate Joe Biden regarding his son, Hunter Biden, has since been proved to be unfounded,” Buck added.
The lawmaker went on to cost that Facebook has didn’t to deal with “illegal and sexually abusive content,” and has not performed sufficient to maintain the platform getting used as a device in human trafficking.
“The company appears to have an astonishing lack of concern about illegal and sexually abusive content that is rampantly permitted on your company’s platforms,” Buck wrote to Zuckerberg.
“Facebook has established a rigorous system for policing speech that is Constitutionally protected, yet your company’s failure to effectively screen illegal and exploitative content represents a misalignment of values that is deeply disconcerting.”
Buck additionally famous Zuckerberg’s latest testimony earlier than Congress the place he mentioned reforms to Section 230, the availability of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a legal shield to tech companies for content on their web sites.
“Recently, you testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In this hearing, you advocated for vaguely defined Section 230 reforms, saying that the law should ‘condition immunity for the larger platforms on having a generally effective system in place to moderate clearly illegal types of content,’” the letter states.
Buck mentioned whereas he thinks legislative reforms on the matter are wanted, he has considerations about Congress taking “counterproductive actions.”
“Simply because a company has established a system to review potentially illegal content does not create any standard for ensuring such content is systematically removed from the platform,” he wrote. “I agree with you that no system is perfect, but if Congress were to adopt your recommendation, it would codify the status quo and fails to address the issues that are pervasive across Facebook.”
Buck added: “I urge you to take necessary steps to ensure your platform is an open platform for the free and open exchange of ideas and an unwelcoming place for illegal and exploitive content.”