- Facebook has reversed its decision to block users from sharing content from anti-establishment financial blog Zero Hedge after appearing to ban the site earlier this week.
- A backlash from figures including the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Joseph Watson, and Nigel Farage sparked reactions related to civil liberties surrounding conservative voices on social media.
- The decision to ban the site came about after a “mistake” in spam filtering controls according to a Facebook statement.
Facebook said it made a “mistake” in banning content on its site from conservative, anti-establishment finance website Zero Hedge, after uproar from right-wing media figures claiming censorship.
Zero Hedge, which posts articles under the moniker Tyler Durden, a nod to the anarchic 1999 film “Fight Club,” claimed its content was blocked by Facebook on Monday. Users reported that the site’s posts were banned due to a contravention of “community standards.”
“This was a mistake with our automation to detect spam and we worked to fix it yesterday,” a Facebook spokesman said, according to Breitbart. “We use a combination of human review and automation to enforce our policies around spam and in this case, our automation incorrectly blocked this link. As soon as we identified the issue, we worked quickly to fix it,” Breitbart cited Facebook as saying.
Right-wing commentators have accused social media sites of liberal bias, with companies such as Facebook and Twitter reportedly meeting with GOP officials in the past to address complaints around censorship. The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., Infowars writer Paul Joseph Watson, and Brexiteer Nigel Farage led the outrage on social media, claiming Facebook’s Zero Hedge ban was a violation of civil liberties.
The censorship continues. How does @zerohedge’s content not “meet community standards?” FB doesn’t agree with them and they hit the platform’s obvious flaws at times. That’s it and it’s disgusting!
Facebook Bans Zero Hedge | Zero Hedge https://t.co/n6YsFhvFI5
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 12, 2019
It’s unclear exactly which content caused the ban on Zero Hedge material on Facebook’s website which the social media giant calling it a glitch rather than an attempt to silence conservative voices.
In a statement, which Zero Hedge posted, Facebook said: “This was a mistake with our automation to detect spam and we worked to fix it yesterday.”
In a piece on its website Zero Hedge said: “While we were in the dark about what had triggered Facebook, or what was the company’s motive, we were humbled and delighted not only with the media coverage this event received.”
Zero Hedge is a favourite of City and Wall Street traders, known for its anti-establishment and bearish slant on financial topics. Zero Hedge authors have railed against a variety of issues, most famously their takedown of Goldman Sach’s high-frequency trading platforms, which were later addressed by US regulators.
The founder of the site was outed in 2009 as Bulgarian immigrant Dan Ivandjiiski, a man whom New York Magazine alleged has with a penchant for conspiracy theories and was banned from working in the brokerage business for insider trading.
Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider requests for comment.
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