PDA

View Full Version : Social Media Censorship


PlasmaHam
May 16th, 2017, 03:29 PM
Over the last year or so, there have been reports of Facebook and Twitter banning certain users and groups for reasons seemingly pertaining to ideology. Just in the last week, I have heard reports of a Pro-Life group and an ex-Muslim group being banned from their accounts. Facebook claims that they broke their guidelines, but Facebook hasn't clarified what rule they broke, and both the Pro-Life and ex-Muslim group claim innocence to violating the guidelines. You see this many times.

I could go on, but that isn't necessary. Lets just talk about the hypothetical. Do you think Facebook and similar ought to be able to censor users for "problematic" views? Or to change their algorithms in such a way to treat certain users unfairly?

mattsmith48
May 16th, 2017, 04:05 PM
If Facebook are doing such thing its probably just a business move like Youtube demonetizing controversial content advertisers don't like. Facebook is business and as long they are not breaking any law they are free to do things like this

ShineintheDark
May 16th, 2017, 04:24 PM
I wouldn't get too defensive on the ideological ground because the facebook live murders and all the ISIS stuff on Twitter shows that both sites are actually terrible on cencorship and make a lot of accidental mistakes so I wouldn't put too much faith in the idea that they're particularly targetting controversial views.

PlasmaHam
May 16th, 2017, 04:36 PM
If Facebook are doing such thing its probably just a business move like Youtube demonetizing controversial content advertisers don't like. Facebook is business and as long they are not breaking any law they are free to do things like this
Couldn't you legally challenge their activities through civil rights and anti-discrimination laws?
I wouldn't get too defensive on the ideological ground because the facebook live murders and all the ISIS stuff on Twitter shows that both sites are actually terrible on cencorship and make a lot of accidental mistakes so I wouldn't put too much faith in the idea that they're particularly targetting controversial views.
You could say that is actually proof they are bias, as they let pro-Islamic terrorirsm propaganda remain, while eliminating anti-Islam speech.

Uniquemind
May 16th, 2017, 04:55 PM
My view is that this sucks but I do feel there is danger in letting people so freely have an advertise an ideology that upon further investigation ends up only being based in opinion, which they chain to the fact they have the right to have the opinion.

One does not equate to the other, and I can understand why private entities who provide their services for free, don't want controversial drama on their platform that drives advertisers away. Youtube is also in this category in this topic as well as I'm sure you've heard.

---

The thing is no business wants to even inadvertently fund any group which seeks to do bad things to people. In some cases if your company's money ends up being funneled into a harmful organization, that's only one degree separation away from breaking the law.

It isn't just an unsavory public relations marketing problem for any company brand, it may very well be illegal. That's why you saw such a hard pull out from advertisers with youtube and google, because there was an agreement between youtube and google and their sponsors, that they trusted google's AI algorithms to be smart enough to avoid matching a company's ads with bad content....AI is obviously still learning because it can't detect literal phrases with sarcasm and puns and rhetorical questions and "devils advocate" discussion/debates".

Google cannot remain profitable to hire manpower to review the Influx of new content that hits them everyday.


Couldn't you legally challenge their activities through civil rights and anti-discrimination laws?

You could say that is actually proof they are bias, as they let pro-Islamic terrorirsm propaganda remain, while eliminating anti-Islam speech.



You certainly could challenge it in court, but you will most likely fail because your right to free speech on the topic isn't obstructed.

It's just denied on the platform they built up.

The freedom to amass your own wealth and build your own service where you can publish whatever as an individual still exists, so therefore the defense would argue what the constitution protects is not obstructed. Whereas millenia ago you'd have regimes who literally would make you disappear or fine you as a government ruling body for saying an unfavorable opinion. The constitution only prevents the latter from happening.

Living For Love
May 16th, 2017, 05:15 PM
My view is that social media has to bide to political correctness and general opinion if they don't want to lose users and, more importantly, advertisers, and that means banning anti-Muslim, anti-feminism or pro-life content. While I might think such policy is biased and discriminatory, I understand the reasoning behind it, and I can ultimately agree with it. As far as letting people livestream raping/murder on Facebook and sharing ISIS propaganda on Twitter, I'd say it's a double edged sword: on one hand, it might be more difficult to them to control such situations, and on the other, they wouldn't want to lose all the free views, shares and ad money that type of content generally generates.

Uniquemind
May 16th, 2017, 05:29 PM
My view is that social media has to bide to political correctness and general opinion if they don't want to lose users and, more importantly, advertisers, and that means banning anti-Muslim, anti-feminism or pro-life content. While I might think such policy is biased and discriminatory, I understand the reasoning behind it, and I can ultimately agree with it. As far as letting people livestream raping/murder on Facebook and sharing ISIS propaganda on Twitter, I'd say it's a double edged sword: on one hand, it might be more difficult to them to control such situations, and on the other, they wouldn't want to lose all the free views, shares and ad money that type of content generally generates.

I'm sure someone has a dark sense of humor for marketing somewhere...one persons trash is another person's treasure as twisted as this sounds it's truth.


What you will see in the coming years is a polarization of internet websites. Those that will be about controversial discussions and ones that won't breach it.
For better or worse.

The main compromise I see is that in youtube's case you can post controversial content, but then don't expect that to be a revenue stream, but the social merit and discussion from that topic being raised can still happen.

I think that's a compromise that's fair compared to just yanking videos down, and banning accounts/channels.

Becomes sometimes graphic/tragic 1st person video footage IS HELPFUL to many issues.

Ex:

1. Showing police brutality

2. Showing a crime or necessary for law enforcement to engage a community to help with a manhunt or dragnet.

3. Showing tragic events



Another way to look at it, is that witnessing horrible stuff is hard and can be traumatizing, but it's also a civic duty too, because you then become a witness for truth of such an event occurring.

It's not like any of us haven't seen images of starving children in Africa, or really graphic deaths of people in our history classes.

A death or an instance of torture is the same as any other. If it's posted to social media the event happened already so it's not like you can stop it from occurring. If it's upsetting stop watching it.




In Facebook's case though, such videos really should not be publicly uploaded to a newsfeed stream. I think for some things such content needs to be in the public domain, but that it's not forcefully shown on your individual page; children
especially.

PlasmaHam
May 16th, 2017, 08:14 PM
I wasn't intending this as a discussion on the recent Youtube ad debacle, but that is an interesting topic worthy of discussion.

My biggest complaint of the recent Youtube ad system is the demonetization of videos that simply discuss a controversial topic. For example, someone simply discussing a terror attack with no visuals will still have their video demonetized. That seems to be major overkill on their part. That rule right there is killing the alternative news sources, as discussing controversial events is their main thing. A guy I watch for some news commentary has had all his videos demonetized, even though most all his content is FCC approved for public broadcast. I can understand controversial images and videos. but not controversial discussion being demonetized.

Of course, my biggest complaint with Youtube is their failure to properly protect fair use. But that is a discussion for another time.

You certainly could challenge it in court, but you will most likely fail because your right to free speech on the topic isn't obstructed.

It's just denied on the platform they built up.
So you are saying that a private business is not bound to discrimination laws when it comes to how they distribute their service?

Uniquemind
May 17th, 2017, 01:13 AM
I wasn't intending this as a discussion on the recent Youtube ad debacle, but that is an interesting topic worthy of discussion.

My biggest complaint of the recent Youtube ad system is the demonetization of videos that simply discuss a controversial topic. For example, someone simply discussing a terror attack with no visuals will still have their video demonetized. That seems to be major overkill on their part. That rule right there is killing the alternative news sources, as discussing controversial events is their main thing. A guy I watch for some news commentary has had all his videos demonetized, even though most all his content is FCC approved for public broadcast. I can understand controversial images and videos. but not controversial discussion being demonetized.

Of course, my biggest complaint with Youtube is their failure to properly protect fair use. But that is a discussion for another time.

So you are saying that a private business is not bound to discrimination laws when it comes to how they distribute their service?

Both problems stem from deficiencies in the artificial intelligence algorithm they are using. Again the AI is learning and it fails to pick up sarcasm, rhetorical discussion or analogies. Based on reports what it does at this stage is scan for keywords and blocks the video from ads, as a conservative business move to protect advertisers. The new trend is that youtube would prefer the specific youtube personality make a contract directly with their sponsors.

Youtube really is balancing a middle-man business model for themselves versus encouraging content people want vs the trade-off of content saturation and the missed revenue from what controversial news brings.


It's a large question "to what extent does shock jock" personality types of entertainment bring to society's public discourse? Is it a capitalistic justification for bullying disguised as free speech via opinions?


Now that's just issue number 1, compound issue 1 with issue 2, which is the issue of copyright law being utilized everywhere complicating issue number 1.

Youtube is entrenched...

But let's discuss Facebook and other social medias because each case is similar yet different, if you're up for that niche discussion.

PlasmaHam
May 17th, 2017, 10:17 AM
Sure, but my discussion is not upon algorithms and the failings of artificial intelligence. I am talking about deliberate censorship. And it is happening.

Examples:
Mark Zuckerberg told Angela Merkel that he is working on removing anti-government and anti-immigrant posts from Germany. (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/27/angela-merkel-caught-on-hot-mic-pressing-facebook-ceo-over-anti-immigrant-posts.html)

A significant group of Facebook employees threatened to leave the company because they weren't allowed to censor Donald Trump's posts. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3860962/Facebook-allow-graphic-news.html?ITO=applenews)

Leaked document reveals Facebook's news section is ran by human editors, not algoritms (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/12/facebook-trending-news-leaked-documents-editor-guidelines)

Former Facebook employees admit to conservative censorship (http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006)


In the reverse, Facebook has let a Pro-Islam video remain up, despite large backlash from conservatives due to its condoning of domestic violence. (https://www.facebook.com/womenofhtaust/videos/1416725748380328/)

All I am saying is that there is deliberate censorship of certain materials by social media. Even if you don't believe that deliberate censorship is happening now, then just discuss a hypothetical situation.

Uniquemind
May 17th, 2017, 10:59 AM
Sure, but my discussion is not upon algorithms and the failings of artificial intelligence. I am talking about deliberate censorship. And it is happening.

Examples:
Mark Zuckerberg told Angela Merkel that he is working on removing anti-government and anti-immigrant posts from Germany. (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/27/angela-merkel-caught-on-hot-mic-pressing-facebook-ceo-over-anti-immigrant-posts.html)

A significant group of Facebook employees threatened to leave the company because they weren't allowed to censor Donald Trump's posts. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3860962/Facebook-allow-graphic-news.html?ITO=applenews)

Leaked document reveals Facebook's news section is ran by human editors, not algoritms (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/12/facebook-trending-news-leaked-documents-editor-guidelines)

Former Facebook employees admit to conservative censorship (http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006)


In the reverse, Facebook has let a Pro-Islam video remain up, despite large backlash from conservatives due to its condoning of domestic violence. (https://www.facebook.com/womenofhtaust/videos/1416725748380328/)

All I am saying is that there is deliberate censorship of certain materials by social media. Even if you don't believe that deliberate censorship is happening now, then just discuss a hypothetical situation.


Oh no it's happening for sure. Thanks for linking let me read some of these articles.

ShineintheDark
May 17th, 2017, 12:35 PM
Again I doubt this is some sort of bias towards radical views either since, whilst they may be overly tolerant to hate preaching, they definitely aren;t gonna extend that to ISIS. The sites have very few moderators compared to the content they have to moderate so are more likely to get rid of absolutely anything they think may be controversial rather than checking the content itself, which explains why some content is banned for very little reason whilst others may be skipped over

Stronk Serb
May 18th, 2017, 03:05 AM
I was in a right-wing closed group on Facebook and they shut us down. Also the report raids are just shit. A bunch of triggered liberals mass report us and then shut us down. Also Polandball has been downed so many times that... It's not even funny. I mean I get it, you come across material you don't like or it offends you, fucking ignore it. If I had that same mindset, I would go on a report spree for every liberal thing I could find.

Matryoshkasystem
May 18th, 2017, 08:11 PM
I say it depends, for example if it's something like pro-life or not, then let it stay up. Though if it's something like pro-ISlam and anti-Islam then I can understand it. Since social media is just that a website for media made by society. For example you don't see every TV station blasting the same thing. Whereas TV stations specialize, the overall thing for media has no specilization, only a filter for saftey. Do I agree with the banning of groups, not really, but there are points where radicals start showing up, and that is when things start entering a snowball effect-such as ISIS KKK etc-. I think censorship, as long as it's to prevent a snowball effect, can be useful. Though I disagree with the banning just for being of a topic, since that is imposing on the freedom of speech.

Professional Russian
May 19th, 2017, 08:44 AM
I was in a right-wing closed group on Facebook and they shut us down. Also the report raids are just shit. A bunch of triggered liberals mass report us and then shut us down. Also Polandball has been downed so many times that... It's not even funny. I mean I get it, you come across material you don't like or it offends you, fucking ignore it. If I had that same mindset, I would go on a report spree for every liberal thing I could find.

thats what youtubes doing aswell. i watch a guy on YouTube whos a farmer and they demonitized his videos because of what he believed in and some other petty bullshit. it seems like the facebook of social networks are going after right winged channels and groups more then anything

mattsmith48
May 19th, 2017, 09:14 AM
thats what youtubes doing aswell. i watch a guy on YouTube whos a farmer and they demonitized his videos because of what he believed in and some other petty bullshit. it seems like the facebook of social networks are going after right winged channels and groups more then anything

I don't know about Facebook, but Youtube demonetize any controversial videos, it as nothing to do with where you are politically, companies don't want their ads to be associated with controversial stuff, and since YouTube is a business and they have to make money what choice do they have? You want to blame something blame capitalism.

PlasmaHam
May 19th, 2017, 11:01 AM
I don't know about Facebook, but Youtube demonetize any controversial videos, it as nothing to do with where you are politically, companies don't want their ads to be associated with controversial stuff, and since YouTube is a business and they have to make money what choice do they have? You want to blame something blame capitalism.

How about if Youtube demonetized all pro-LGBT+ videos because their advertisers did not want to be associated with that? Would that still be acceptable to you?

Referring back to my earlier questions I asked you, do you think Facebook or similar ought to be able to deliberately censor certain materials simply on the basis they don't want to be associated with it?

Professional Russian
May 19th, 2017, 11:10 AM
I don't know about Facebook, but Youtube demonetize any controversial videos, it as nothing to do with where you are politically, companies don't want their ads to be associated with controversial stuff, and since YouTube is a business and they have to make money what choice do they have? You want to blame something blame capitalism.

well im blaming facebook because facebook now owns youtube. they are specifically demonizing right wing channels because they demonitized another one i watch amd he doesn't do anything controversial. unless youre offended by old style carpentry then theres nothing controversial there.

mattsmith48
May 19th, 2017, 11:38 AM
How about if Youtube demonetized all pro-LGBT+ videos because their advertisers did not want to be associated with that? Would that still be acceptable to you?

The advertisers would be in the wrong in this case, the thing I would criticize YouTube on is they would do what they are told by the homophobic companies, of course its easier find an new advertiser who are pro-LGBT, or just don't give shit than one that is pro Neo-nazi or anti-establishment.

Referring back to my earlier questions I asked you, do you think Facebook or similar ought to be able to deliberately censor certain materials simply on the basis they don't believe it is acceptable content?

And I'm gonna answer the same thing Facebook is a private business are probably doing it for money. I'm not on Facebook so probably not the best person to ask.

well im blaming facebook because facebook now owns youtube. they are specifically demonizing right wing channels because they demonitized another one i watch amd he doesn't do anything controversial. unless youre offended by old style carpentry then theres nothing controversial there.

There is channels I watch who are demonetize its only a right wing thing.

Dalcourt
May 19th, 2017, 11:39 AM
I don't use Facebook - never liked it,so honestly I don't know what they are censoring and what not.

But I don't like censorship in general. Everbody should be able to express their opinions freely. I mean if you accept pro Islam, you have to accept anti Islam. If you accept LGTB+ you have to accept opinions against it, too. As long as there are no people hurt personally and as long as statements that are made aren't against the law or anything I feel it's wrong to censor an opinion. Moreover censoring only produces more radicalism in my opinion. If you reduce the freedom of a certain group and marginalise them you do way more harm than with letting them express themselves even if you don't like what they say.

Professional Russian
May 19th, 2017, 11:48 AM
There is channels I watch who are demonetize its only a right wing thing.

then theyre censoring things they dont like. theyre trying to be politically correct.

mattsmith48
May 19th, 2017, 11:54 AM
then theyre censoring things they dont like. theyre trying to be politically correct.

No they are just doing it for money.

Professional Russian
May 19th, 2017, 12:00 PM
No they are just doing it for money.

no theyre being politically correct. there doing this right wing channels, gun channels, and inpolitically cprrect channels.

PlasmaHam
May 19th, 2017, 12:16 PM
The advertisers would be in the wrong in this case, the thing I would criticize YouTube on is they would do what they are told by the homophobic companies, of course its easier find an new advertiser who are pro-LGBT, or just don't give shit than one that is pro Neo-nazi or anti-establishment.
But didn't you say "companies don't want their ads to be associated with controversial stuff." Wouldn't you say that LGBT+ falls under that umbrella? I am not saying that the advertisers needed to be homophobic, simply uncomfortable with putting their label on something controversial. Would it be more comfortable for you if Youtube censored pro-Christian videos.

Also, if it is so easy to get new advertisers, why doesn't Youtube just find new advertisers who don't care about controversial issues?

And I'm gonna answer the same thing Facebook is a private business are probably doing it for money. I'm not on Facebook so probably not the best person to ask.I'm not on Facebook either, so that isn't a requirement for this discussion. But you keep skipping around the question. I'll make it plain and simple: Do you think social media platforms ought to be allowed to censor material they don't want to support? Not on monetary basis, but simply ideologically.

mattsmith48
May 19th, 2017, 12:50 PM
But didn't you say "companies don't want their ads to be associated with controversial stuff." Wouldn't you say that LGBT+ falls under that umbrella? I am not saying that the advertisers needed to be homophobic, simply uncomfortable with putting their label on something controversial. Would it be more comfortable for you if Youtube censored pro-Christian videos.

With the exception of the US, most western countries don't see the LGBT community as controversial.

It depends on what kind of pro-Christian videos were talking about if they promote loving your enemies, or give your money to the poor so you can get into heaven and all the other hippie stuff Jesus said I have no problem with it, but if they promote the bad part of Christianity like pedophilia or killing someone for working on Sunday, or for not being a virgin on her we wedding night, you should probably censor that.

Also, if it is so easy to get new advertisers, why doesn't Youtube just find new advertisers who don't care about controversial issues?

Like I said its easier to find advertisers that are pro-LGBT than pro neo-nazi.

I'm not on Facebook either, so that isn't a requirement for this discussion. But you keep skipping around the question. I'll make it plain and simple: Do you think social media platforms ought to be allowed to censor material they don't want to support?

If it promotes hatred or violence, yes they should. Besides that I think its wrong to censor people or prevent some subject to be talked about, but I understand why Facebook wouldn't want to be used as a platform for those controversial subjects.

PlasmaHam
May 19th, 2017, 01:33 PM
With the exception of the US, most western countries don't see the LGBT community as controversial.
Most countries don't see simple political discussion as controversial, doesn't mean that Youtube is going to lift the demonetization on it. Anyway, that was just an example. A more realistic scenario would probably be Islam.

Like I said its easier to find advertisers that are pro-LGBT than pro neo-nazi. Neo-nazis make up an extremely small percentage of the demonitzed videos on Youtube. It seems like it would be extremely easy to find advertisers for the majority of the demonetized content, given that companies are paying traditional media big money to advertise in cable news, war films, violent TV shows, and rated R films.

Final question, then I'll leave you alone, I think I got all the info I need:

If more evidence comes around, suggesting heavily that Facebook is unfairly treating and censoring conservative voices, would you support legal action against Facebook regarding this?

mattsmith48
May 19th, 2017, 05:19 PM
If more evidence comes around, suggesting heavily that Facebook is unfairly treating and censoring conservative voices, would you support legal action against Facebook regarding this?

If Facebook does something illegal there should be legal actions, but simply banning users for posting things Facebook does not like is not illegal.

PlasmaHam
May 19th, 2017, 08:36 PM
...but simply banning users for posting things Facebook does not like is not illegal.
So, are you saying that Facebook and other social media companies have full rights to ban users simply on the basis that they don't like what they have to say? I am a bit confused, since earlier you seem to be implying that except for cases of hate speech, they shouldn't be allowed to ban/censor users they disagree with ideologically. Am I missing something here?

mattsmith48
May 20th, 2017, 01:52 PM
So, are you saying that Facebook and other social media companies have full rights to ban users simply on the basis that they don't like what they have to say? I am a bit confused, since earlier you seem to be implying that except for cases of hate speech, they shouldn't be allowed to ban/censor users they disagree with ideologically. Am I missing something here?

There is no law stopping Facebook from doing this, that is a fact. My personal opinion is this is wrong and they shouldn't do it.