Allman Analysis: Are Social Media Giants Setting Stage For Silencing Conservative Voices?
ST. LOUIS —
We've heard about people being suspended or banned from the major social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, but in the past few weeks, it appears that a major effort, especially from Facebook, to silence people with conservative views is under way. Also, if those conservatives are politically active, it seems like they become targeted even more quickly.
One of the top Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, Austin Petersen announced that he has been banned for at least 30 days by Facebook for posting a non-violent video supporting gun rights (which are guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution). Jim Hoft, publisher of the conservative political website "Gateway Pundit" says his page has been shut down by Facebook.
A lot of their opponents will try to paint these two men as extremely conservative (right-wingers), whose views must be considered "racist" and "hate speech", maybe even promoting violence. But what about Peggy Hubbard?
Hubbard, a black activist in the St. Louis area with conservative values has gained a lot of popularity through Facebook the past few years after posting videos and statements fully expressing her political beliefs. These posts include facts she says she has shared about black history in the United States and the current problem of sex slavery in African countries like Nigeria.
For these posts, Hubbard says Facebook has recently informed her in a vague message that she is no longer "suitable" for the site and is now permanently banned. Hubbard says that her problems did not start with her posts years or even months ago, they started shortly after she announced a possible run for the Illinois State legislature. She talked to The Allman Report about her experience on social media.
Hubbard also points out that Facebook has not only failed to suspend or ban accounts with posts portraying illegal activity that includes guns, other weapons, and drugs, but it has maintained that it does not consider posts like these to be a problem. However, she says, a black woman with conservative views who served in the military and police has been determined "unsuitable" for Facebook.
The recent suspensions and banning of Hubbard, Hoft, and Petersen raise serious questions about the role of these social media giants in free speech in the United States. Are Facebook and Twitter (whose employees were recently exposed on hidden camera admitting to shutting down posts and "shadow banning" posts from conservative people they disagreed with) setting the groundwork to manipulate political thought going into the next two national elections?
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