Over the last week, Twitter alternative Parler was summarily executed by Amazon, which kicked the conservative social media platform off of its servers due to ‘far-right’ users coordinating last week’s protest at the Capitol which turned into a riot after a small group split off, gained access to the Capitol building, and ran amok.
Now we learn that Facebook also had a giant role in coordinating the so-called ‘Capitol Riots’ which President Trump was just impeached over on Wednesday for allegedly inciting the incident.
According to the Washington Post, a “growing body of evidence shows that Facebook played a much larger role” than COO Sharyl Sandberg claimed in a Monday interview livestreamed by Reuters, in what the Post described as ‘deflecting blame.’
“I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate, don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency,” said Sandberg.
She noted that last week the company took down content affiliated with the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory and the Proud Boys extremist group, as well as content affiliated with the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” movement seeking to delegitimize election results. She said there was likely to be some content on Facebook because the company’s enforcement was “never perfect.” –Washington Post
Au contraire Sharyl, it’s far more than just ‘some’ content.
According to the Post, the hashtag #StopTheSteal was still widely in use as of Monday, when a search revealed that 128,000 people were talking about it, and in many cases using it to coordinate for the rally, according to Eric Feinberg, Vice President with the Coalition for a Safer Web.
What’s more, two dozen GOP officials and organizations in at least 12 states coordinated bus trips to the rally via Facebook, according to Media Matters.
“BUS TRIP to DC … #StoptheSteal. If your passions are running hot and you’re intending to respond to the President’s call for his supporters to descend on DC on Jan 6, LISTEN UP!” wrote the Polk County Republican Party of North Carolina in a Facebook post which has since been deleted.
Amazon, Apple and Google now have an ethical obligation to ambush and shut down Facebook-
That’s how we were told this works. https://t.co/eNZXhzNqQF
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 14, 2021
Facebook is now backpedaling, with spokeswoman Liz Bourgeois saying in a statement that “Sheryl began by noting these events were organized online, including on our platforms — with the clear suggestion we have a role here,” adding “She was making the point, which has been made by many journalists and academics, that our crackdowns on QAnon, militia and hate groups has meant large amounts of activity has migrated to other platforms with fewer rules and enforcement,” while denying that Sandberg sought to deflect blame.
Feinberg’s searches for the banned hashtag #StopTheSteal and the affiliated hashtags #DoNotCertify, #WildProtest and #FightForTrump on Facebook and Instagram as recently as Monday revealed hundreds of posts promoting the rally, according to a review by The Washington Post.
Some of that promotion included Instagram posts with detailed maps of the Capitol and a guide to the speakers there.
A meme posted on Facebook on Jan. 5 called for “Operation Occupy the Capitol” and promoted the hashtag #1776Rebel, according to a screenshot posted by Media Matters, referencing the year America freed itself from British rule. The post also included a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution.” –Washington Post
Based on recent precedent, this means Facebook should be shut down – right? Since they’re large enough to run their own servers, however, it may prove difficult even for the wokest of cloud hosts.