'The banning of multiple political commentators from Facebook and Instagram, including conservatives Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, is an outrage against the ideals of an open Internet on its own. But beyond the bans on individuals, Facebook has deployed an even more terrifying tool of censorship — link-banning.
The mainstream media were, of course, tipped off about the bans in advance, and the Atlantic’s report contains the following eye-opening detail. Not only has Alex Jones’ personal account now been banned from Facebook, in addition to PrisonPlanet editor-in-chief and YouTube star Paul Joseph Watson, but all links to Infowars sites are now banned across the platform. Share Infowars too often, and you’ll be banned too.
Via The Atlantic:
Infowars is subject to the strictest ban. Facebook and Instagram will remove any content containing Infowars videos, radio segments, or articles (unless the post is explicitly condemning the content), and Facebook will also remove any groups set up to share Infowars content and events promoting any of the banned extremist figures, according to a company spokesperson. (Twitter, YouTube, and Apple have also banned Jones and Infowars.)
This takes censorship on social media to altogether new levels. If you post Infowars content on Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram, your post will be removed. If you post it repeatedly, you will be banned.
Note the wording, too — you’ll be banned unless you’re condemning Infowars. Facebook is now brazenly using its power to reward certain political positions and punish others.
This isn’t censorship of an individual or a group over a violation of terms of service. It’s the wholesale ban of an independent media site, which for all the criticism levied against it, has had a major impact on the politics of the United States.
And Facebook has made no pretense, as it has in other cases where the pages of news sites have been banned, that the ban occurred because of alleged “inauthentic behavior,” by which it means the use of multiple pages or automated accounts to promote a site’s content.
That Facebook is dispensing with its previous excuses shows that the social network has become emboldened to regulate the flow of news on its platform, knowing that no consequences are headed its way from Republicans on Capitol Hill or in the White House.'
Read more: Bokhari: Link-banning Is Facebook’s Terrifying New Censorship Tool