Facebook Issues an Apology for Taking Down Videos on a Conservative Page
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Facebook stirred lots of controversies last week with the removal of content from PragerU’s page.
PragerU is a conservative website started by conservative talk show host Dennis Prager that famously releases well-produced videos that inform and foster discussion on a variety of social, economic and political issues. According to their “About” section on their website, PragerU states, “We take the best ideas from the best minds and distill them down to five focused minutes. We then add graphics and animation to create the most persuasive, entertaining, and educational case possible for the values that have made America and the West the source of so much liberty and wealth. These values are Judeo-Christian at their core and include the concepts of freedom of speech, a free press, free markets, and a strong military to protect and project those values.”
The site’s main way to gain traction is to post their videos on social media outlets like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and, of course, Facebook. Some of their more popular videos include, “Make Men Masculine Again,” and “So, You Think You’re Tolerant?”
Without these social media sites, their videos reach substantially fewer people. PragerU noticed something odd over the weekend: their video views dropped 99.9%.
PragerU issued their concern on Twitter on Friday (August 17th)
BREAKING: We’re being heavily censored on @Facebook.
Our last 9 posts are reaching 0 of our 3 million followers. At least two videos were deleted last night for “hate speech” including our recent video with @conservmillen.
SHARE to spread awareness about big tech censorship! pic.twitter.com/k83HqmlMRc
— PragerU (@prageru) August 17, 2018
Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer at PragerU, said in a statement, “This is very troubling behavior from the world’s largest social network. Not only are they obviously ratcheting up their algorithms to target mainstream, conservative content and labeling it as hate speech, but they’re now completely blocking our posts from public view.”
After a few days, Facebook finally responded with an apology on Twitter, “We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don’t break our standards. This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your page.”
Many people, however, considered Facebook’s apology to be inauthentic.
Facebook: Hey, sorry for making those PragerU videos disappear https://t.co/4mJNnrHWCP
— DUANE ALLEN (@DUANEALLEN) August 19, 2018
#PragerU shares informative, educational, engaging videos that offer insights into American history and culture. Never do they use "hate speech"; in fact, they seek to promote understanding. @Facebook, diversity is strength, right? Please allow diversity of thought. https://t.co/VuVWobLSPp
— Good Woman (@gwttds) August 18, 2018
This certainly isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it won’t be the last.
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