Actually, what I believe is that Facebook has a shitty algorithm that wrongly penalizes people on the political right and left far too often, but roughly equally. Right-wingers just whine about it more because they generally have a martyr complex through which they get their rocks off by telling themselves and tribe members they are poor persecuted children of God and followers of Christ being oppressed by the modern day Romans (liberals). So if a right-winger gets hit by Facebook’s terrible moderating algorithm, you hear about it. And since even left-wingers have internalized this myth of pro-liberal bias, they don’t get vocal when the algorithm hits them.
Sorry (but not sorry) about the click-bait title and picture, but I was curious if the people who whine about other people being triggered would be… triggered by it.
It’s entirely likely that right-wingers do in fact get reprimanded overall (wrongful plus legitimate reprimands) more than liberals on Facebook, but that’s likely mostly because—again, since they have a morbid thirst to feel persecuted—they intentionally violate Facebook rules to get reprimands. Right-winger Milo Yiannopoulos is an example of that. He considered himself a professional “provocateur,” and “most fabulous supervillain on the internet.” Yiannopoulos eventually fell out of grace even with conservatives when he went on a podcast and talked sympathetically of certain pedophilic relationships. His appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was cancelled.
Then there’s of course Alex Jones. This right-wing conspiracy theorist has been banned from most social media, but what else could be expected when he invites death-threats to the parents of children killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre? He said parents “faked their children’s deaths,” and he even eventually lost a court case against a Sandy Hook parent he explicitly threatened. He thinks 9/11 was an “inside job,” and that the Boston bombing was a “false flag” and “has inside job written all over it.” So was he banned from social networks because he’s on the political right? No. He was banned for being an unhinged violent lunatic.
In any case, I am on the political left, and I have repeatedly received what I consider to be unfair reprimands and punishments from Facebook based on posts I’ve made criticizing right-wingers. My examples are glaring contradictions to the myth that Facebook is bias against conservatives.
A few months ago I shared a right-winger’s post to criticize it, which I did. Next thing I know, I’m getting messages from friends saying they got notifications that Against Unreason was sharing false information. Apparently Facebook is either too lazy or too inept to distinguish between sharing false information versus critiquing false information. I don’t remember what the post was even about now, and I can’t seem dig up the notification about it being taken down.
Another incident occured about a week ago when I got a notification saying that a post I made on December 1st, 2020 was flagged as harassment and bullying. I won’t use his full name so as not to violate anyone’s harassment rules, but his first name is Gurvan.
He initially came on my Facebook page Against Unreason telling me that abortion was “murder” and that the fact some states charge murdering a pregnant woman as double-homicide proves it. I calmly responded without harassing or being a bully. We went back and forth without me ever becoming a bully, though I did start getting very condescending and irate after he kept intentionally misrepresenting my arguments, calling them “retarded” multiple times, then explicitly calling me a “fucking retard.”
Did I get butthurt and report Gurvan to Facebook for this “harassment” and “bullying”? No, I simply banned him from Against Unreason because only people who can discuss in good faith are allowed on the page. I then made a post explaining why I banned Gurvan, giving a full transcript of our conversation so people wouldn’t accuse me of not being transparent. This post had a screenshot of Gurvan’s initial comment so that people knew which thread I was referring to. It is this post that was reported, likely by Gurvan, as harassment and bullying, getting it taken down.
It isn’t harassment to criticize. I didn’t invite anyone to doxx him, nor did I comment anymore about him. I certainly never threatened him. I didn’t go to his profile and antagonize him. In any case, when I got the notification that the post was removed I didn’t particularly mind. It was an irritating exchange and I was just happy to be done with it.
This brings us to the most recent run-in that led Facebook to ban me from posting, commenting, or doing much of anything else for a 24-hour period.
A personal friend who leans left had made a post on December 9th, 2020 poking fun at Trump supporters who are trying to ignore the election results. I noticed there were a lot of comments, so I checked the comment section. I saw that there was a hardcore right-winger harassing my friend and his other friends in the comments. Here is a screenshot of a small sample of what he had commented.
So, using my personal profile, I decided to make a single comment in a sub-thread where Michael was running amok. I said the following:
Michael [last name], you’re an idiot. Sorry ’bout it.
Yes, not the most original insult, but all I wanted was to return this troll’s trolling just a little and without too much effort. And what did this person do? This person who thinks liberals are just being too sensitive about Trump being a “mean old bully.” This person who complained about people being “offended.” Well, I’ll tell you what. He got offended and reported me for being a bully, that’s what.
So Facebook banned me from its site for 24 hours, both regarding my personal profile and the Against Unreason page. I later found out there was even more icing on the cake. I went to comment in a post by Reuters two days after my ban and it appears Facebook reset a part of my account, making it look like I’m just a troll who recently created my account. Even though I’ve been on Facebook since 2010, and Against Unreason has been around since 2012. Because of this apparent reset, I’m blocked from many public comment sections.
Let’s sum it all up. For fighting against right-wingers and right-wing arguments on Facebook, Facebook repeatedly took down my posts and eventually banned me temporarily. Not only is it ironic that I was being targeted by the same company that right-wingers complain about as being bias in favor of my side, but I was being reported repeatedly by the same right-wingers who claim liberals are too sensitive and intolerant of conservatives.
I’ve never been reported by a leftist and reprimanded (and I criticize leftists almost as much as I criticize right-wingers). In my experience, right-wingers are every bit the snowflakes leftists are, and they “play the victim” even more (if by play the victim we mean people who claim oppression with actually being oppressed).
As for myself, unlike right-wingers, I don’t get a kick out of feeling like a holy strong-willed martyr struggling against unjust oppression. I recognize the situation for what it is; Facebook having some shitty algorithms, and not having enough staff members with enough time to properly investigate situations like this for its 2,600,000,000 active monthly users.
Right-wing internet victim culture goes deep. Another of the ways right-wing pages claim they’re being targeted is with post reach. For example, on a December 4th post the ironically named Pragmatic Constitutionalist page ranted about election fraud, and while doing so managed to slip in some conspiracy about Facebook throttling its reach maliciously because of its right-wing content.
Of course it is entirely possible Facebook is throttling this guy’s page, but jumping to the assumption that it has to be because he’s a conservative is dumb to say the least. Perhaps it is the more likely scenario that Facebook is throttling everyone who won’t pay for ads. I have no evidence of that, but it’s more likely than a conspiracy theory about a “panic button” and “Zuck” conspiring against Trump and this guy’s 34,000-like page.
Between now and last November my page has had less reach as well, but my first thought wasn’t oppression and conspiracy. It could simply be that my posts have become more of a snooze-fest and nobody is interested in reading them. That too could be the case with the Pragmatic Constitutionalist. It could be random variation. It could be any number of more probable things, but instead of doing the research to rule out those more probable things, right-wing sources just prefer to assume they’re being targeted and systematically oppressed because because it fits their narrative of oppression.
But this is how things have been for a long time, and a rant by a nobody like me sure isn’t going to change them.