Social Media Censorship – Fact Checking Your News Source

There are no laws to shield people from misinformation. So as the nation chugs toward the final stretch of the presidential campaign Americans need to take a good look at where they gathered the information that formed their political opinions.
If your news flows primarily from social media sources like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube you are not alone.

A Pew Research survey shows that citizens under 50 get an astonishing 78% of their news from these sites, mostly from Facebook with more than 2.7 billion active users.

But given the way Facebook aggregates information it is likely consumers have been manipulated away from alternative viewpoints, viewpoints that might have changed minds had the user been exposed. Few realize the depths to which Facebook analytics and human monitors restrict, delete and fact-check the information they receive.

Facebook is the powerhouse for news. Yet it was founded in 2004 as an internet site for Harvard University students to connect. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg and his team, are computer programmers not trained gatherers of factual reporting.

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Has An Algorithms Kept Vital News From Reaching You? – Flickr

The fact that Zuckerberg’s invention got as big and pervasive as it has says something profound about the public’s respect for the mainstream media. Many Americans have abandoned traditional news sources with articles written by experienced, vetted journalists. As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi put it, “For those of us in the business, the manner of conquest has been the most galling part. The CliffsNotes version? Facebook ate us.”

What kind of news does one get on social media? Basically, Twitter brims with short personal opinions and gossipy snark. YouTube is all about individual influencers and videos so consumers can see what happened during, say, a controversial police stop. Video storytelling, however, is limited to a moment in time and doesn’t tell the whole story about what happened before the camera was activated.

There has been a stream of complaints from both Republicans and Democrats about the way social media operates and how it has permeated the national psyche. Yet internet operators enjoy extraordinary legal protections that have helped sites reap huge benefits. In 2019, Facebook’s revenue was a staggering $70.7 billion.

At the center of upcoming Senate hearings is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which governs speech on the internet and was passed in 1996 (when Zuckerberg was just 11). Among other things, Section 230 recognizes social media platforms as “information content providers,” mere conduits of outsider’s material, and protects the companies from lawsuits arising out of objectionable posts. Important: “content providers” are treated differently under the law than “publishers” of traditional news. Publishers enjoy no blanket immunity from lawsuits.

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Facebook Makes Billions With Ads & Selling Your Information

Critics of the status quo claim since social media sites have now begun to edit content – in much the same way a publisher would – their Section 230 protections should be removed, thus allowing aggrieved parties to sue.
Liberals have complained that internet platforms were too slow to edit, failing to immediately remove revenge porn, slander, physical threats and harassment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Section 230 is a “gift” to tech companies and warned it “could be removed.”

But conservatives have protested loudest about viewpoint discrimination by the big three – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Twitter’s most notable target is President Donald Trump. He has had “content warnings” placed on many tweets including one in June warning he would not tolerate establishment of an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C. “If they try they will be met with serious force!” Twitter said the President’s tweet violated its policy against “abusive behavior.”
YouTube has inexplicably restricted access to more than 200 of conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager’s educational videos saying they are “not fit for younger audiences.” Prager says, they simply educate “people of all ages about America’s founding values.”

Facebook recently removed a post from Fox News personality Tucker Carlton. He linked to his interview with a Chinese virologist who said she could prove COVID-19 came from a lab in China and not from a local marketplace. A Facebook fact checker, likely one with no specific scientific background, labeled it “fake news” and erased it.

Screen cap from YouTube
Conservative PragerU Offers Videos on Thought Provoking Topics

Conservative TV and radio host Mark Levin also says his Facebook posts are censored.

In June, the activist group Project Veritas released an undercover video highlighting about a dozen Facebook “content monitors” openly gloating about how they deliberately censored posts supporting Republican ideals. An internal memo was revealed which directed monitors not to remove a provocative statement from CNN’s liberal presenter Don Lemon saying that white men are, “the biggest terror threat in this country.” That kind of statement would typically be removed but the African-American Lemon got an unexplained “narrow exception.”

There are no laws to protect citizens from media bias. With the presidential election looming, and online political maneuvering in high gear, now is the time to fact check ourselves. Do we believe what we believe because we read it on Facebook or Twitter? Best to make sure the opinions we hold were formed with facts, not political manipulation.



  1. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Dean C

    Facebook, Wikipedia and Twitter isn’t fact checking. It’s handing your brain on a silver platter to the thought police and having them tell you what to think.

  2. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:42 am

    America Loving Patriot writes:

    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google as private concerns, can have any policies they choose — However, it is painfully obvious that these media platforms don’t support the 1st Amendment and therein are blatantly unAmerican – Due to their platforms and their influence, legislative efforts are now required to protect Americans’ 1st Amendment Rights – Platform, or Publisher? If Big Tech firms want to retain valuable government protections, then they need to get out of the censorship business, or have their Section 230 protection rescinded.

  3. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Jean d Arc writes:

    Indeed 78 percent of citizens under 50 get their news from these sites where Marxist owners are masters of propaganda!
    By SILENCING the patriot’s opinions these sites have kept the sheeple thinking that if “everyone” is against Trump then he must be bad for America.
    Once again, who bears the blame: the traitorous Marxist Barbarians are evil indeed…but the unwitting dangerously uninformed sheeple are being led to the “slaughter of the lambs” and taking “us” with them!

  4. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:42 am

    david wright writes:

    Facebook? For news? LOL……So if I’m not on it, I have no idea what is happening in the world? oh my!

  5. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:43 am

    NavyVet writes:

    First, you say Section 230 protects “content providers” from lawsuits, then you say “There are no laws to protect citizens from media bias.”
    So, other than a minor like Nick Sandmann that managed to sue because he is a minor, how are we able to hold the media accountable for its brazen and harmful discrimination?
    I mean, if you remove Faceplant’s Section 230 protections, so what? What could anyone do to them they can’t do to the media?

    • Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:43 am

      Diane Dimond replies to Navy Vet:

      Navy Vet – I think you’re comparing apples and oranges here.

      Social media gets legal protection from Section 230 – which makes it very hard for a citizen to sue, say, Facebook or Twitter for something derogatory someone has posted there.

      At the same time there is no particular law that shields citizen from enduring or reading misinformation/political propaganda or erasure of their posts. In effect, it is Buyer Beware.

      As for Nick Sandman – that had nothing to do with social media platforms and 230 protection. Sandman sued, among others, newspapers (like the Washington Post) and Cable TV outlets (like CNN) and TV networks like NBC.
      Finally, to your last question, >> “if you remove Faceplant’s Section 230 protections, so what? >>

      So, what? If 230 protections are removed an aggrieved party could sue Facebook/ YouTube/Twitter and if they were successful they might reap millions of dollars. Nothing like having to shell out lots of money to make a business change its ways.

  6. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Samuel Ricolla writes:

    Held up as a source of legitimate news by the author is Project Veritas. That’s a group that is trump-funded, and whose leadership commonly known to be a conservative PR machine.

    And yet you publish this on the main news page of the newspaper. Brilliant!

    • Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Diane Dimond replies to Samuel:

      Please send me links to evidence that Project Veritas is funded by President Trump. I am very interested to see your source(s) on that as I am unaware.

      However, even if P.V. was funded by the president or other conservative sources – how do you explain the fact that about a dozen Facebook fact checkers openly bragged on video tape that they make it a habit to delete conservative messages?

      Any censorship bothers me – be it banishment of a conservative or progressive message. Doesn’t that bother you? ~DD

  7. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:45 am

    rogerscarol1737 writes:

    Social media is not a good source for news, most know that. re-posting without checking sources is irresponsible. However, it allows contact with world wide members of my religion. Just talked with a 17 year old in South Africa.

    Again the responsibility does not rest with the company but the user. The content that is being taken off has been proven to to false, check you facts and don’t post lies or innuendo, and you are good to go. You might look at the REAL facts of what is posted before you take it as truth. If you don’t know how to check facts, two to three independent news sources not biased in their reporting.

  8. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:46 am

    rockmonBo writes:

    Section 230 recognizes social media platforms as “information content providers,” mere conduits of outsider’s material, and protects the companies from lawsuits arising out of objectionable posts.

    That was then. Now they’ve become censors as to what outsiders can and can’t post depending on their political leanings…..So they’ve taken a side. Now it’s time to stop their monopoly…

  9. Diane Dimond on October 12, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Flo Dove writes:

    Parler and Rumble are alternatives to Twitter and YouTube. No censorship.

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