Looks like it’s going to be a rainy, windy day. A day to stay inside and write, something I haven’t done for a while. I need to share with you something that happened a little more than a week ago at this same keyboard I am writing at today.
I got censored by Facebook. Now I know how Donald Trump feels.
It started one morning when I was reading a story in the online version of The Forum, a story about a West Fargo School Board meeting, with one of the most outrageous quotes about the covid pandemic I’ve seen so far. Here are the two paragraphs that caught my attention.
“Chris Anderson, from Fargo, has four kids in Fargo Public Schools, and said that the importance of masks was made by a small group of people in leadership.”
“What the world has been told about the current situation is not reality,” Anderson said. “COVID-19 was a virus created as a bioweapon against the world to affect the 2020 election and drive distance between families and communities. It was a planned criminal operation and about world control and population control.”
I had to go back and read it twice to be sure I hadn’t read something wrong. Nope. This Anderson guy really said that. And he really, apparently, believed it.
And that, I said to myself, needs to be shared. People who don’t go to school board meetings or subscribe to the Forum need to see that there really are people among us who believe that kind of thing.
So I just copied the quote, removed the fellow’s name and put some asterisks in its place, and pasted it into a Facebook post, with a note something like “There are people out there who really believe this kind of thing.”
Later that morning, curious about whether anyone else thought it was a pretty outrageous statement, I went back and visited my Facebook page.
Except that the post wasn’t there. It had disappeared. Hmmm. Looks like Facebook censored me. That’s never happened before. Undeterred, I wrote this, and posted it again:
For the first time, I got censored by Facebook this morning. I put a quote from today’s Forum in a post that said this:
“What the world has been told about the current situation is not reality,” Anders said. “COVID-19 was a virus created as a bioweapon against the world to affect the 2020 election and drive distance between families and communities. It was a planned criminal operation and about world control and population control.”
This was a Fargo guy talking at a Fargo school board meeting. I was expressing disbelief that someone would actually say this. Facebook, apparently didn’t like it and removed my post.
I went and had breakfast, and came back to my computer and found the quote was gone.
We’ll see if they disappear it again.
Yep. They did. And the second time, they sent me a message telling me why. It said:
Your post goes against our Community Standards on misinformation about COVID-19.
No one else can see your post.
We have these standards because misinformation about COVID-19 can make some people feel unsafe on Facebook.
We use either technology or a review team to remove anything that doesn’t follow our standards as quickly as possible.
Our review team works in many languages to make sure our standards are applied consistently.
We use the same Community Standards around the world for everyone on Facebook.
We don’t allow viral hoaxes that have been repeatedly debunked.
Learn more about our policies in our COVID-19 and Vaccine Policy Updates & Protections section of the Help Centre.
Then they asked if I accepted their decision or wanted to argue. I accepted. Then they wrote:
You accepted our decision
If something you post doesn’t follow our standards in the future, your ability to post or comment may be restricted.
We have Community Standards to encourage people to express themselves and connect with each other in a way that’s respectful to everyone.
Well, how about that!
Now, I don’t believe that Facebook has somebody sitting in a cubicle in California reading my posts, so I must have tripped one of their algorithms or something. That probably all happened automatically, and no human ever saw it.
But still. Now I know how Donald Trump feels.
At least Facebook didn’t kick me off completely. Yet. We’ll see what happens when I put a link to this blog post on my Facebook page . . . I’ll report.