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Facebook blocks pro-government media sites

May 18th, 2019

An alt-left commentator condemns the decision of Facebook to suspend the sites of the Mediaworks media group.

On Thursday, the pro-government Mediaworks Holding reported that their advertisements had been blocked by Facebook. According to Mediaworks, the ban has been applied to all their platforms including political as well as lifestyle and sports media outlets. Facebook did not specify the reasons for the ban. Mediaworks accused Facebook of censoring Christian-conservative media for ideological reasons.

In Mérce, Bence Bogatin finds it unacceptable for Facebook to censor political content. The alt-left blogger welcomes Facebook’s efforts to filter fake news, outright propaganda and hate speech. He thinks, however, that the decision to ban all content by a media group cannot be justified, though even in Bogatin’s view, Mediaworks outlets have indeed been spreading government propaganda including fake news. Bogatin suggests that Facebook’s screening decisions are arbitrary and lack transparency as well as democratic legitimacy. As opposed to leaving the task of filtering hateful content and fake news to private companies, governments should work out reasonable guidelines to regulate online content, Bogatin concludes.

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