Facebook blocked WikiLeaks DNC email files, bringing into question once again whether the company intentionally favors liberal views while censoring conservatives. Tweets began to emerge on Twitter Saturday that Facebook and Twitter were censoring links to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails that had been dumped by WikiLeaks.
Facebook: Censorship of DNC Emails Leak 'an Accident' https://t.co/cq2qlSBUY3 MY HAND ON YOUR FACE IS PURELY ACCIDENTAL!— Bruce Prather (@WesternMilitary) July 26, 2016
“Both Twitter and Facebook were bombarded with accusations by users claiming they were being restricted from sharing posts regarding the DNC email dump,” reported Digital Trends.
WikiLeaks posted a workaround for the problem on its social media accounts.
Facebook quickly fixed the problem and blamed its algorithms for filtering the content.
Facebook issued a statement saying, “Our anti-spam systems briefly flagged links to these documents as unsafe. We quickly corrected this error on Saturday evening,”
Twitter completely denied the allegations, calling users who said otherwise “uninformed.”
Facebook and Twitter have both come under fire regarding actions viewed as censorship. According to the Inquisitr, Twitter’s most recent act of permanently banning conservative columnist Milo Yiannopoulos brought renewed outrage over past acts of silencing outspoken conservatives like Chuck Johnson and Stacy McCain.
Likewise, Facebook has fielded several accusations of censorship recently. Digital Trends reported that the social media giant temporarily removed the video of Philando Castile being shot by police. Prior to that, the company took heat for its alleged practice of promoting liberally biased news stories while suppressing conservative trending topics. However, contradictions to the company’s excuses keep surfacing, which brings one to question its trustworthiness when it comes to handling these continued claims.
Earlier this year, former Facebook employees came forward with information alleging that the company manipulated the Trending Topics section of the website by suppressing articles with conservative viewpoints. According to Gizmodo, they also “injected” liberal news into the trending feed even if it did not have enough views to be considered trending.
Initially, Facebook came out and denied the allegations, stating that they have guidelines against such actions and that reviewers are carefully monitored and fired if they violate those guidelines. Shortly thereafter, the anonymous sources leaked a Facebook document to the Guardian showing its trending news guidelines that seemed to refute the company’s denial. When faced with hard evidence rather than anonymous accusations, Facebook went into damage control mode and updated its guidelines along with posting a long and detailed post about how Trending Topics works.
Instead of taking ownership of making a mistake or exercising bad judgment, Facebook chose to deny and divert. It was not its fault that some employees interpreted its guidelines in a biased way. It was not its fault that a “technical glitch” deleted the Philando Castile video. It was not its fault that its algorithms filtered links to the DNC emails from WikiLeaks as spam.
Or is it?
This latest suppression of WikiLeaks is not the first time the social media site has been accused of censoring information from the whistleblowing website.
Back in March of this year, WikiLeaks went public with a searchable database of Hillary Clinton’s emails that it retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act. Facebook appears to have been issuing a similar warning when users tried to link to the database as it was issuing with the DNC emails. Facebook’s excuse that the DNC filtering was just an error does not float and leaves one with more questions than answers.
Was the Clinton email database a problem with Facebook’s anti-spam systems too? If so, how come the problem was not addressed back then? Was it more important to suppress WikiLeaks during the Clinton email scandal than during the DNC email scandal? If the problem was addressed back then (evidence is lacking that it was), how come the same problem has popped up again? Will the next big scandal that WikiLeaks breaks encounter this issue once more?
The Inquisitr has reached out to Facebook with these questions but has yet to obtain a response. We will update this article if the company chooses to provide a statement.
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