Facebook and Google have a long history of unevenly applied censorship, targeting those on the political right and those espousing Judeo-Christian values.
In September 2011, for example, the National Religious Broadcasters released a 43-page report on the anti-Christian bias exhibited by the most influential Internet platforms and service providers, including Google and Facebook.
Here are some examples of this biased treatment:
• In 2015, Facebook locked Catholic Online out of its Facebook pages, blocking the administrators as well. Although the account was eventually restored, no explanation was ever given for the months-long outage.
• In May 2016, the Wall Street Journal published a study which indicated that Facebook manipulates the news seen by users depending on their political views—resulting in ideological “echo chambers” in which users see only or mostly what news aligns with their views.
• In July 2017, Facebook removed two dozen popular Catholic Facebook pages, across several countries and languages, with no explanation. Many of these pages had millions of followers. Some pages included Fr. Rocky at Relevant Radio, with 4 million followers, “Catholic and Proud,” with 6 million followers, and “Jesus and Mary,” with 1.7 million followers. A day later, Facebook unblocked the pages and blamed it on “spam detection.” However, many speculate that anti-Catholicism was behind the shutdown, as only certain popular Catholic pages were targeted.
• In January 2018, Facebook removed paid ads and blocked the sharing of ads crowdfunding a pro-life documentary, Roe v. Wade, produced by Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece. Actor Nick Loeb, who stars in the film, called the move “stealing or fraud,” since the film had paid Facebook to distribute inoffensive, non-graphic ads about the film, including a short trailer. The block was reported initially on January 11th, and by January 18th, Facebook issued a statement indicating that the ban had been lifted, blaming it on an “error” for “spam behavior.”
GOOGLE (YOUTUBE IS OWNED BY GOOGLE)
• From 2008 to present, Catholic Online has published several reports of YouTube removing, blocking, or demonetizing videos that support a pro-life or Biblical message. In 2008, pro-life activist Carlos Polo had one of his videos, which was produced by the Catholic News Service and uncovered truths about the abortion movement, removed by the platform; in August 2017, Catholic Online reported that “at least as far back as 2014,” YouTube has censored videos of Bible readings and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch; in September 2017, Catholic Online reported its own Scriptural reflection videos and saint biographies had been removed or demonetized.
• In September 2011, the Christian Post reported that Google removed “orthodox Christian viewpoints” on “hot button issues.” It also cited Google’s refusing to allow the English Christian Institute to purchase anti-abortion advertising. Google also removed an anti-Scientology page after that “church” pressured Google to do so.
• A September 2011 report by the National Religious Broadcasters found that the Google for Non-Profits tool had a policy that excluded churches and faith groups which consider religion or sexuality in their hiring processes. The report also said that Google had blocked a Massachusetts pro-family, conservative Christian website.
• In January 2018, former Google employee James Damore filed a lawsuit against Google after he published an internal memo criticizing the company’s “ideological echo chamber” and suggested the gender gap in technology is due to personal choices, not sexism. A study by The Stream indicated that Google, at the time of Damore’s employment, held events celebrating polygamy and gender identity politics, but fired Damore for his stances.