Facebook Bans Far-Right Extremists Like…Louis Farrakhan?
It didn’t take long for corrections to be issued, but when Facebook announced they had banned several prominent pundits from their platform on Thursday, the Washington Post and The Atlantic both made the same “mistake”: They lumped Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in with the “far-right” label attributed to the other individuals.
“Facebook said on Thursday it has permanently banned several far-right and anti-Semitic figures and organizations, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, for being ‘dangerous,’ a sign that the social network is more aggressively enforcing its hate speech policies under pressure from civil rights groups,” read the lead paragraph in the Post’s story.
The Atlantic did the same thing: “In an effort to contain misinformation and extremism that has increasingly spread across the platform, Instagram has banned several prominent right-wing extremists. Specifically, Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have banned Alex Jones, Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen, and Louis Farrakhan under their policies against dangerous individuals and organizations.”
After a wave of mockery and criticism from social media, the Washington Post issued a correction: “Louis Farrakhan is an extremist leader who has espoused anti-Semitic views. An earlier version of this story and headline included him in a list of far-right leaders.”
Good for them to admit they were wrong, but we still find it interesting that they couldn’t bring themselves to tell the whole truth. Which is, of course, that Louis Farrakhan is a left-wing Muslim extremist who has espoused anti-Semitic views and has influenced Democrats like Tamika Mallory of the Women’s March, Keith Ellison of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. That’s a bit of a mouthful, we suppose, but if you’re going to correct the record, you ought to make it count.
Facebook was likely even more upset about these botched stories than conservative commentators. Why? Because it’s patently obvious that they only included Farrakhan in their clean-up sweep to throw Republicans off the trail. They’ve been defending themselves against potent accusations of left-wing bias for more than a year now; they needed a red herring to say, “But…but…we banned Farrakhan!” By tossing that loon in with the other right-of-center figures, the media ruined Facebook’s (admittedly transparent) public relations scam.