American Thinker piece on Planned Parenthood's chop shop 'violates' Facebook 'community standards'

Despite Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional mea culpas about “enforcement errors,” it would appear that the social media site’s ideological blinders are still in place and those nebulous “community standards” are still playing havoc with free expression.

I recently posted a link to my American Thinker article, Funding For Planned Parenthood Chop Shop, on the page of one of the conservative Facebook groups I belong to and received the notification that : "1 of your posts has been flagged because it might go against our Community Standards.”  Clicking on the notification link, this Big Brother notice is explained in more detail:

“It looks like this post might go against our Community Standards, so it's not visible in the group. If the admin approves your post, it will appear in the group. If the admin doesn't do anything, it will be permanently deleted after 30 days. You can also delete your post. “

Interesting choice presented here, I could wait for the post to be deleted or do it myself. This is the same Facebook that restricted the reach of the iconic bloggers Diamond and Silk because their beliefs were deemed “unsafe to the community.”  Not everyone has their notoriety or has their case discussed in congressional hearings. As I have found out, this practice of censorship is still there and still widespread, affecting everyone, big and small, famous or not, seeking to discuss the issues of the day and to offer their viewpoint on Facebook and other social media.

The picture attached to my Planned Parenthood showed the exposed belly of a pregnant woman on which was overlaid the ultrasound image of an unborn child. Is this what violates Facebook’s community standards? Or was it the reference to Planned Parenthood being a “chop shop,” a reference to an organization which has been credibly accused of harvesting organs from its sponsored abortions to “researchers”? 

The photo was hardly graphic, and the article, while blunt and pointed in its tone, was as restrained as one could be in discussing such ghastly activities. Surely, some, such as those who support abortion rights up to the very moments before birth, might take offense. Public discourse has that effect on those who disagree with the view being expressed, but the answer to “offensive” speech is more speech, not less. Facebook, it would appear, is trying to convert its platform into one gigantic “safe space” that liberal whiners crave, a mindset that has taken over much of academia and our college campuses.

Zuckerberg was forced to admit Facebook’s inherent pro-abortion bias in favor of Planned Parenthood and againsy pro-life viewpoints such as mine when grilled by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz:

The social media giant Facebook has repeatedly censored pro-life pages and advertisements from pro-life organizations. But during a congressional hearing yesterday CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted Planned Parenthood has never been censored….

During questioning he said he was never aware of a single circumstance where the Planned Parenthood abortion business had its message censored on Facebook. Zuckerberg acknowledged that Cruz raised a “fair concern” but insisted that Facebook was committed to being a “platform for all ideas.”

No, it is not. A “community” is diverse, particularly in the opinions of its members. Its “standards” should include a commitment to the free exchange of ideas. Otherwise, Facebook’s “community” is nothing more than an ideological gulag.


Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.