Conservative comedian Steven Crowder is not laughing today. His site, LouderWithCrowder.com, was identified by an anonymous individual who worked as a news curator for Facebook as one site of many that were specifically being suppressed by Facebook due to their conservative news content.
Crowder learned of these egregious actions by Facebook after an article was released on Gizmodo on Monday that detailed sites and topics that were routinely “deep-sixed” or suppressed. When Crowder learned that his site had been targeted by Facebook for blacklisting, he was not only livid, he added that there would be more to come. On Tuesday morning, Crowder announced that he is filing a legal motion against Facebook for censoring conservative media, including his own.
In announcing his legal motion, Crowder stated that was far more behind the scenes that he could not yet discuss and added that this simple petition was a long time coming. Learning that his site had been blacklisted, along with other conservative news media, prompted him to speed up the process.
The source for Gizmodo, who is politically conservative, detailed what he witnessed happening at Facebook when it came to the dissemination of conservative news.
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.
In regards to the motion filed, Crowder stated, “I encourage you to read it in its entirety so that you will understand, this is an issue regarding transparency and the trust of business clients (as well as users), NOT merely “censorship” which Facebook has the right to do.”
Dallas, Texas—In light of the recent allegations brought to our attention by Michael Nunez and Gizmodo.com,Steven Crowder is taking steps to determine what, if any, legal action is necessary to address the assertions that he has been targeted by Facebook for suppression due to his conservative political commentary.
The Gizmodo.com story coincides with, and now potentially provides an explanation for, Facebook’s mismanagement of payments made to Facebook by Mr. Crowder and its woefully biased and unprofessional treatment of his accounts during an ongoing billing dispute. Simultaneously, Facebook has chosen to avoid any transparency in the ongoing removal of certain political posts by Mr. Crowder, ignoring all requests for explanation of purported policy violations. These issues have been ignored by Facebook and its Legal Department despite repeated attempts to resolve the issue on his behalf. Facebook’s ongoing refusal to take action regarding their clear-cut, inexcusable financial errors has necessitated that preliminary legal steps be taken.
It is fully understood that Facebook has every right to curate any content they so desire on their platform. However, Facebook’s bullying methods of operation in tandem with both the long-standing evidence of misconduct and the allegations newly brought to light require further investigation given the direct financial ramifications on business clients acting in trust with Facebook.
As part of this investigation, a petition for pre-suit discovery has been filed in Dallas County, Texas seeking discovery from Facebook regarding the actions of its News Feed curators as well as its billing department. A copy is attached. Mr. Crowder is confident that Facebook will promptly and transparently address the request for information.
This is not the first time that Facebook has been caught censoring conservative sites. MRCTV details a list of numerous instances where Facebook either blocked conservative posts from being opened, prevented certain conservative events from being shared, and took down conservative pages from the site.
As one of the founders and the editor-in-chief of The PolitiStick, I can add that we have attempted to contact Facebook for over five months after noticing a decrease in page performance and receiving countless messages from individuals who informed us that Facebook was not allowing them to go to our website. They were either being warned that the site was “possibly unsafe” or they were redirected back to Facebook.
This story will undoubtedly be developing as more and more sites and organizations could possibly join forces with Steven Crowder.