I’m surprised and not surprised. Not surprised because using “flagging” widgets on social media behemoths like YouTube to silence one’s ideological opponents has been happening for years. Surprised because the people responsible for this can’t seriously have believed that Facebook would pull the plug on a post written by the one person who, more than any other, has made FB politically relevant. It’d be like YouTube yanking an Obama video.
Sarah Palin’s attack on plans to build a mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center vanished from Facebook amid an online campaign to brand it “hate speech.”
Neither Facebook nor Palin’s camp was immediately sure what happened, but automated systems for reporting abuse have been used effectively in the past to take aim at political speech. Palin’s note now contains a footnote saying the original was “somehow unintentionally deleted by mistake or technical glitch.”
They looked into it and a Facebook spokesman responded:
“The note in question did not violate our content standards but was removed by an automated system. We’re always working to improve our processes and we apologize for any inconvenience this caused.”
She’s influential enough to have survived the sabotage attempt. Not everyone is. Below, as a treat for HA newbies and veterans alike, two Vents on this very subject from fall 2006. Did you know, newbies, that videos used to run in the space now occupied by Headlines? True story.