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Censorship Gone Wild: Facebook Censors…ME

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Facebook

So there I was the other evening, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, minding my own business.  In comes a note from someone I met the other week when Vice President Pence was in town here in the middle of Pennsylvania. It seems this gentleman had re-posted a column I had written for The American Spectator. The headline: Nancy Pelosi: Chinese Asset? Omar and AOC bow to Beijing

The subject was Speaker Pelosi following the lead of the Chinese government, the latter saying quite publicly that to refer to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus” was racist.

Pelosi promptly accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of  being “bigoted” because he had tweeted out a link to a site providing virus information, saying: “Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website.”

Oh, by the way? If you are reading this – feel free to re-post to Facebook and see what happens.

Pelosi’s fellow House Democrat Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined in, saying exactly what the Chinese government was saying. Not to put too fine a point on this, but naming a disease after its geographical point of origin has zero to do with race and everything to do with standard procedure. From Lyme Disease (named after Lyme, Connecticut) to the Marburg Virus (originating in Marburg, Germany) to the West Nile Virus ( named for the West Nile section of Africa)r this is utterly routine. Indeed the World Health Organization has pages on its site devoted to each of those. Location naming has nothing to do with race.

So OK. This was duly noted in the column. The gentleman who had re-posted the column to Facebook had just been notified by Facebook that the re-posted column had been taken down.

Hmmm. Interesting. But in the age of left-wingers running social media, the fact of criticism of Members of the US Congress – Democrats all – saying the same thing as the Chinese government could easily be seen as something that must not be allowed.

But it was only once, said I. Why bother raising the roof?

About five minutes later – and for the next fifty minutes – I personally was suddenly receiving e-mails from Facebook. One column after another that I had posted to Facebook were being systematically taken down.

Gone from Facebook was now not only the Pelosi/China column of mine that appeared at The American Spectator. Gone too were the following:

One column I had written for NewsBusters, one of those taken down twice from wherever they had been posted. That would be this column:

CNN Plays the ‘That’s Racist’ Card on Virus, Forgets Own History

This column by a NewsBusters colleague, Clay Waters, that I had re-posted to Facebook was now gone. This column:

NY Times, Which Used ‘Wuhan Virus,’ Accuses Conservatives of Racism for Doing Same 

This column by Breitbart’s Joel Pollak that I had re-posted was taken down:

Pollak: Democrats Pushed Impeachment While Coronavirus Spread

This column by Breitbart’s John Binder:
Joe Biden Refuses to Listen to Experts, Rejects Travel Bans amid Coronavirus

This column by Politico’s Susannah Luthi:

Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, White House physician says

Each individual e-mail about each censored column was accompanied by this message from Facebook:

Your post goes against our Community Standards on spam
No one else can see your post. We have these standards to prevent things like false advertising, fraud and security breaches.

Say what? “False advertising, fraud and security breaches”??? Political news and commentary is none of those things. They are, in fact, a long and honored practice and tradition that is as old as America itself.

Now. I have no idea what is going on here with this sudden surge of censorship at Facebook. I will endeavor to find out. In fairness, Facebook has taken a lot of heat from the Left for standing up for free speech and refusing to censor political ads – and good for them.

But this sudden surge of highly political censorship by Facebook, eight messages in 50 minutes (!!), is on the face of it (no pun intended) both wrong and dangerous to free speech. And if this is happening to me – who else had this happen in the last day or so?

Stay tuned. Inquiry underway.

Oh, by the way? If you are reading this – feel free to re-post to Facebook and see what happens.