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Facebook Political Bias, Explained

nickmon1112Sep 6, 2019, 6:29:08 PM
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Fact 1: Facebook is a part of a "Big Tech" effort called the "Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT.)" http://archive.is/6wVTI#selection-95.1-103.9

Fact 2: The GIFCT supports the Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology (GRNTT). https://gifct.org/transparency/

Fact 3: On page 8 and 9 of Paper No. 7 it says "when civil society organisations compile lists of violent actors, they will invariably reflect the mission and advocacy of the organisation and its donors."

Therefore, BIAS. https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/20190722_grntt_paper_07_final.pdf


Fact 4: In November 2018, Facebook began publishing the minutes from their Product Policy Forum meetings. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/11/content-standards-forum-minutes/

Fact 5: Facebook says they base their rules decisions "from experts and organizations outside Facebook so we can better understand different perspectives on safety and expression, as well as the impact of our policies on different communities globally." http://archive.is/FVYgr#selection-553.0-557.104

- Keep Fact 5 in mind. It'll become relevant

Fact 6: These experts are collectively known as the "stakeholders," as defined by this sub-page. https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/stakeholder_engagement

Fact 7: "We typically don't release the names of those we engage with because conversations can be sensitive and we want to ensure open lines of communication. Some stakeholders may also request or require confidentiality, particularly if media attention is unwanted or if they are members of a vulnerable community." http://archive.is/gfssK#selection-385.262-385.569

Fact 8: "At the Product Policy Forum, the Stakeholder Engagement team presents a detailed summary of the feedback we've received on each policy proposal, and we lay out the views of our stakeholders on a spectrum of policy options. This summary is made public (minus the names of individual stakeholders and organizations) in our published minutes of the meeting. http://archive.is/gfssK#selection-397.0-401.17


Fact 9: Even though Facebook prides itself on this motion of transparency, they say "We know that some people would like us to go further and disclose the names of our stakeholders and even the substance of our discussions with them. For reasons discussed above, we’ve chosen not to go this route, at least for now." http://archive.is/gfssK#selection-517.124-517.353


Fact 10: Facebook's Content Standards Forum held a meeting on March 26th 2019. In the aftermath of the New Zealand shooting. https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/csf-final-deck_03.26.19.pdf

Fact 11: The result of said meeting happened the very next day. a blanket "ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram" was announced. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/03/standing-against-hate/

Fact 12: On page 6, 7, and 9, three options about dealing with white nationalism and separatism are presented.

Fact 13: Option 2 is seen as "easier to implement" (I added a red arrow and highlight to place emphasis on that)

Fact 14: Option 3 says "targets WNS content where hateful intent is clear" and "scope of policy is more precise."

In layman's terms, it accounts for nuance and is more EXACT in dealing with hateful conduct on the FB platform.


Fact 15: You can see on page 12 of the 3/26/2019 minutes report, that Facebook consults a CLEAR MAJORITY of "experts" from one region of the world. Even the US/Canada area in particular.



Fact 16: The panel of "experts" almost unanimously voted for the "Blanket Ban" in option 2, instead of the more nuanced and precise approach of option 3.



Fact 17: On page 15, someone POINTS OUT the geopolitical bias, in the wake of the New Zealand shooting.

"Comment: I see APAC was consulted on this policy change, but I don’t see anyone from our ANZ teams on the list. In the wake of the horrible tragedy in New Zealand, I would suggest we reach out to regional public policy to get their input"

"Response: Yes we can follow up. As I mentioned, our external engagement focused on the parts of the world where white nationalism and white separatism has historically been more prevalent, but you’re right that we should talk to people in

ANZ as we move forward with next steps. "

Conclusion: Based on the 17 facts above, I have firmly established that the presence of political bias is present, using solely Facebook's own organizations/pages as means of proof.