- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2017


What the freak, Facebook. You let a post of a baby being murdered by a madman hang around the public viewing files for 24 hours — but when it comes to political censorship of, say, talk show giant Michael Savage, you’re on top of the booting?


For those who’ve not heard the story: A Thai man, Wuttisan Wongtalay, put up a video of himself killing his baby on Facebook, then killing himself. He killed his baby by hanging her from the rooftop of a building in the vacation hotspot Phuket. That part was shown; the portion of his suicide apparently was not.

But users, according to CNBC, could see the murder on Wongtalay’s personal Facebook page for 24 hours, starting Monday.

Facebook scurried to apologize.

“This is an appalling incident, and our hearts go out to the family of the victim,” a company spokesperson said. “There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook, and it has now been removed.”

Great. Except apparently, there is a bit of a place on Facebook for such content. ‘Cause a guy named Steve Stephens, just a few weeks ago, managed to post a video of his killing of 74-year-old Robert Goodwin that stayed live and publicly visible for a good three hours before it was removed. And before that, Facebook was home to a live-stream of a 15-year-old girl, as she was sexually assaulted.

For comparison purposes, there’s this: YouTube, owned by Google, managed to remove the video of the baby killing within 15 minutes.

“YouTube has clear policies that outline what’s acceptable to post, and we quickly remove videos that break our rules when they’re flagged,” a YouTube spokesperson statement read.

Ah, maybe it’s the policy difference. Maybe Facebook doesn’t have those “clear policies” that YouTube offers.

“We have a lot of work to do, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this month, CNBC reported.

See? Nary a mention of “clear policies” to prevent, oh say, the broadcast of a sexual attack on a teenage girl from going viral — or the gruesome hanging death of a little baby girl. Perhaps stronger policies are in order at Facebook?

It’s a matter of priority, that’s all. The problem with Facebook’s foot-dragging on the removal of unsuitable, inappropriate videos — like live killings of babies — is that Facebook can censor, when it wants. Just ask radio talk show star Michael Savage, who was blocked in August 2016 after he posted a story about a Muslim migrant murdering a pregnant woman in Germany.

Or the “Women for Trump” group that started during campaign season, and grew to one of the most popular pro-Trump Facebook pages, touting tens of thousands of followers — they were dinged by the company and warned about its posts.

Or, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who head up the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Jihad Watch, respectively, and who both saw their Facebook pages blocked for stories perceived by the company censors as offensive and over-the-top.

Starting to see a trend here?

Facebook, when it wants, is on top of censorship — but apparently, it’s political censorship, not baby killings and the like, that sits atop the censoring priority list. Unfair characterization? Maybe. But maybe, just maybe, Facebook ought to let some of its political censorship causes fall to the side for a bit, and put on its big boy radar for the criminal — for the videos and posts that really do harm.

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