(NewsBusters) – Facebook is getting bashed for sending notifications to users who it deemed as having been exposed to “extremist content” that may be considered too right wing.
Users across the internet torched Facebook for sending them pop-up warnings that they had been exposed to so-called “extremist” content. RedState editor Kira Davis tweeted July 1: “Hey has anyone had this message pop up on their FB? My friend (who is not an ideologue but hosts lots of competing chatter) got this message twice. He’s very disturbed.” The Facebook notification asked, “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” The platform followed up by assuring users that “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”
One Media Research Center staffer received the message three times within a minute. The internet was quick to torch the platform for the notification.
“Yeah, I’m becoming an extremist. An anti-@Facebook extremist. ‘Confidential help is available?’ Who do they think they are?” Writer and former reporter for the New York Times Alex Berenson asked via Twitter. “Either they’re a publisher and a political platform legally liable for every bit of content they host, or they need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY. Zuck’s choice.”
Parents Defending Education vice president and Wall Street Journal alum Asra Q. Nomani summarily scorched Facebook for bringing America one step closer to a nightmarish police state: “Facebook is following the playbook of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. From K-12 to social media, we now have snitch squads being created, turning people against each other and creating the platforms to turn each other in as ‘extremists.’”
Virginia House Delegate Nick Freitas (R) voiced his concern about extremism from Facebook leadership rather than its users: “Yes…actually I have a real concern that some leftist technocrats are creating an Orwellian environment where people are being arbitrarily silenced or banned for saying something the ‘thought police’ doesn’t like.”
Facebook reportedly explained to Fox News that the notifications were a “test” across the platform:
“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk. We are partnering with NGO’s and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”
Fox News reportedly received no response to its inquiry as to what NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and experts Facebook was partnering with or how the platform determines what content is deemed “harmful” and “extremist.”