After backlash online, Facebook said it accidentally labeled stories by popular anti-establishment blog Zero Hedge as spam. Its readers had complained that they began experiencing problems while sharing the blog’s content.
“This was a mistake with our automation to detect spam and we worked to fix it yesterday,” Facebook’s spokesperson was quoted by Breitbart as saying.
The incident added fuel to longstanding allegations that Mark Zuckerberg’s company harbors a bias against conservative and anti-establishment voices. Many commenters online remained skeptical as to whether Facebook’s actions against Zero Hedge were an honest mistake.
Zero Hedge confirmed on Wednesday that the bewildering ban was “reversed” and things went back to normal. The blog’s authors noted that they don’t know which stories Facebook branded as “spammy,” as the social network still hasn’t contacted them.
It seems that Facebook backed down and restored Zero Hedge after a lot of complaints. They of course claimed it was a technical error. https://t.co/QDeHJxYGzP
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) March 13, 2019
Funny how it’s only the right that is affected by “technical errors” and other various “mistakes”.
— Dave Graham ?? (@DaveGraham25) March 13, 2019
According to the publication, its readers first noticed the problem over the weekend. Many complained that Facebook was blocking their attempts to share stories published by Zero Hedge. Some posted screenshots, showing that the company deemed the stories to be in violation of its community standards, while others reported that Facebook had flagged Zero Hedge content as “abusive.”
The situation sparked accusations of censorship and drew criticism of Facebook, with public figures like former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and US President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr speaking in defense of Zero Hedge.
Launched in 2009, Zero Hedge is a popular anonymous anti-establishment blog, whose authors publish stories under the pen name Tyler Durden – a reference to an anarchist-minded character from the novel ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk. Among other things, the blog is critical of large American corporations, including Facebook.