Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Censored Pro-Life Group, But Refuses to Apologize

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 22, 2019   |   2:17PM   |   Washington, DC

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted Thursday that his social media company “clearly was bias” against the pro-life group Live Action and its founder Lila Rose, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley said.

Hawley held a closed-door meeting with Zuckerberg in Washington, D.C. to discuss growing concerns about the supposedly neutral online media giant’s pro-abortion political bias.

In August, Facebook censored Live Action with a heavily biased “fact check” written by two abortionists. As LifeNews reported, Facebook tagged the Live Action post as “false news” because it explained why abortion is not medically necessary. Later, the pro-life group learned that Facebook’s fact-checking mechanism relied on two abortionists, Daniel Grossman and Robyn Schickler, who obviously have their own biases about the issue.

Hawley said the Facebook CEO acknowledged the problem during their meeting.

“Zuckerberg admitted there ‘clearly was bias’ in the @LiveAction @LilaGraceRose censorship,” the Missouri senator wrote on Twitter. He “said bias is ‘an issue we’ve struggled with for a long time.’”

Hawley said he challenged Zuckerberg to do two things if he is serious about ending political bias, protecting privacy and allowing competition on Facebook: “1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship.”

“He said no to both,” Hawley said.

Lila Rose, the president and founder of Live Action, said Facebook has not done anything yet to correct the problem.

“We have yet to receive any apology from Facebook,” she responded Thursday. “Thousands of my FB followers were sent push notifications saying I spread ‘false’ news. The bogus ‘fact check’ by the abortionists who have publicly called for our deplatforming is still up on the Health Feedback website.”

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Rose also expressed gratitude to pro-lifers for their support through these struggles.

“As stressful as it is as a nonprofit leader to deal w/ billion-dollar tech companies that seem hell-bent on shutting down our online presence, I am incredibly grateful for those showing us support. When people learn what is happening, more people speak out against it. Thank you!!” she wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this month, U.S. Sens. Hawley, Ted Cruz, Mike Braun and Kevin Cramer sent a letter to Facebook condemning the censorship of Live Action, and demanding an immediate correction.

The letter noted that the medical science behind the fact that abortion is not medically necessary is a “widely-held view,” and it criticized Facebook for calling its abortion activist fact-checkers “certified” and “nonpartisan.”

“Your company, like Twitter, Google, Pinterest and so many of the other major social media firms in Silicon Valley, has repeatedly been presented with evidence of bias against those with conservative viewpoints, especially on the issue of abortion,” the letter reads.

For years, pro-life leaders have suspected that internet giants like YouTube, Google, Facebook and Twitter are quietly censoring pro-life content. Earlier this spring, the pro-life film “Unplanned” had its account suspended on Twitter and then lost all of its followers; Twitter later said it was a mistake and restored the account. Google also temporarily listed the film as “propaganda” on its search engine.

Over the summer, a whistle-blower at Pinterest exposed how the site was blocking content from Live Action by placing it on a list with pornography sites and other objectionable content.

Last fall, makers of the “Gosnell” film said Facebook also censored their ads. The Susan B. Anthony List accused Facebook of censoring its election ads just prior to the November mid-terms as well.

Live Action also has said Twitter repeatedly censored its ads. Rose said the social media site blocked their ability to advertise and told them to change information on their websites if they want to start advertising again. In 2015, Facebook also refused to allow Live Action to advertise one of its stories because “the image or video thumbnail may shock or evoke a negative response from viewers.” The image was of baby Eli Thompson who was born without a nose.