Julia Hahn, Breitbart, May 18, 2016
In the past week, there has been much discussion about the allegation that Facebook is censoring its “trending” news stories based on political ideology. However, advocates for curbing immigration into the United States say that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The advocates claim that Facebook suppresses users who promote material which could undermine Facebook’s lobbying efforts for expanding the admission of foreign labor. They say that Facebook has ceased to be an impartial communications facilitator, but is now a “political combatant.”
“Facebook is intentionally suppressing our traffic and hiding our stories in people’s newsfeeds,” said Patty McMurray, co-founder of the group 100% Fed Up. “[The censorship] has everything to do with immigration,” McMurray said. “When we started covering immigration and began promoting reports from the Refugee Resettlement Watch, all of a sudden our [Facebook] engagement dropped even though our followers were growing by the day. We couldn’t figure out why our page was crashing and burning.”
“Facebook’s usual mode of operation is to sandbag the communications of immigration reduction groups in a way that we can’t [immediately] detect,” said William Gheen, founder of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) grassroots organization. “You can’t defend yourself against censorship if you’re not even aware of its taking place,” he said.
In August, Facebook banned four reports demonstrating the impact mass migration has had on American jobs and wages. The reports, which were based on federal data, were authored by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). “[It’s] disturbing that Facebook, owned by immigration-expansionist Mark Zuckerberg, has banned four reports published by the Center for Immigration Studies pertaining to jobs and immigration,” CIS wrote at the time.
When reporters investigated the censorship, Facebook officials claimed the ban was “an error” and promised to lift it. But the nonpartisan research group remained skeptical about those claims. “Facebook has still not responded directly to the Center for Immigration Studies as to why four of our job studies were marked ‘abusive’ and blocked. They did, however, advise media outlets there was an error in their system,” Marguerite Telford, a spokesperson for CIS, told Breitbart.
“It is interesting that of the many reports published by the Center, only the reports relating to immigration’s impact on the U.S. job market were blocked by Facebook,” the CIS spokesman said. “The government data showed that American workers are clearly impacted by high levels of immigration– information imperative to the immigration policy debate.”
“Every time I threaten to take legal action [against Facebook’s censorship], I get the same response: ‘Glitch. Mistake. Sorry.’” said anti-amnesty filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch. “It is total censorship, and there is no question it is an effort by those at Facebook who want to muffle the sounds of people like myself,” Lynch said. “It’s a total cover up.”
While there is no evidence that the alleged censorship campaign is directed by the company’s executives, the suppressed advocates of immigration enforcement believe that Facebook–which has repeatedly pushed for increased immigration–has fostered a company culture in which this campaign to silence speech that undermines its lobbying efforts has been able to flourish.
Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg is fronting a Silicon Valley lobbying coalition called FWD.us, which is pushing Congress to boost the current influx of lower-wage guest workers. His group’s leadership includes many investors, plus CEOs from Microsoft, Google, and other tech companies, all of whom could stand to profit from an influx of cheaper foreign labor.
Patty McMurray says that since her group began covering immigration on its Facebook page, her group’s engagement numbers dropped by around 93 percent–even as her group continued to gain more followers.
“We were seeing engagement levels of 27-32 million people,” she said. “We had 150,000 Facebook followers who were very active [and] if we posted something on our page, within an hour it would have 10,000 shares,” she said. “Now we have more followers than ever before–over 400,000–but now we’re lucky if we can get an engagement level of 2 million people.”
“We routinely get complaints and messages from our followers asking us what happened and why they don’t see our content in their newsfeed anymore,” McMurray said.
In 2012, Gawker reported that Facebook used a third party contractor with a “team of about 50 people from all over the third world–Mexico, Turkey, India and the Philippines–[who] work to moderate Facebook content.”
The use of foreign monitors spilled out into the open when one of those monitors, a Moroccan worker who was paid $1 an hour, publicly accused Facebook of “exploiting the third world.”
William Gheen says he believes these foreign monitors have a shared interest with Facebook’s billionaire founder in suppressing U.S. advocacy against Zuckerberg’s push for greater immigration.
Facebook also sometimes blocks the advocates from using the social network’s advertising channels. For instance, Facebook allegedly denied Lynch’s request for an ad to promote a post that illustrated how mass immigration has created pockets of radicalized communities, such as in Dearborn, Michigan.