One of the world’s largest internet companies claims it will restrict fewer social media posts after the upcoming election is over.
Facebook Inc. has promised to impose fewer restrictions on content after Election Day on Nov. 3.
“Once we’re past these events, and we’ve resolved them peacefully, I wouldn’t expect that we continue to adopt a lot more policies that are restricting of a lot more content,” founding CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a company conference call, according to Fox News.
The 36-year-old entrepreneur admitted his decision to ban paid election messages, which warn voters about widespread electoral fraud due to increased postal voting, was at odds with his company’s founding principle of defending free speech.
“The basic answer is that this does not reflect a shift in our underlying philosophy or strong support of free expression,” he said.
However, he still believes his crackdown on political advertising was necessary to protect Facebook users from harming themselves by becoming more informed voters.
“What it reflects is, in our view, an increased risk of violence and unrest, especially around the elections, and an increased risk of physical harm, especially around the time when we expect COVID [CCP Virus] vaccines to be approved over the coming months,” he said.
The company had cited “hate speech” rules to remove election ads on both Facebook and Instagram that contain any suggestion that:
- voting fraud is widespread
- U.S. election results will be invalid
- or that any method of voting should be questioned
It also banned Trump 2020 campaign ads that suggested illegal aliens might have been a significant source of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus infections across the nation.
“[The new election ad prohibition will include any content that] portrays voting or census participation as useless/meaningless,” a Facebook representative said, according to Reuters. “[It also includes any messages] that delegitimize any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation … as illegal, inherently fraudulent or corrupt.”
The measure was strongly criticized by the Trump 2020 campaign and different members of the Republican Party because it denied Americans their First Amendment right to express their opinions.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” the Constitution states according to the U.S. Congress website.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) describes Facebook’s political censorship as a clear example of social media bias.
“It is time to stop pretending anti-conservative bias does not exist,” he said on Twitter.
Lee urged Zuckerberg to declare whether he wants to decide the narrative for Facebook users or take a more independent position.
“Facebook needs to decide whether it wants to be a publisher or a neutral platform worthy of protection under the law,” he said. “Which is it, Mr. Zuckerberg?”