On Monday night, Facebook added a new News Feed alert letting users know that certain pages they followed, which were created by Russian trolls, have been removed from the platform. While some may support this action, others were quick to label the page removals as “censorship,” suggesting users should be allowed to determine what is “true, fake, or otherwise.”
One user believes that the removal of the pages was not Facebook’s “call to make,” labeling the action as “censorship” and even “a flagrant abuse of our Constitutional right to freedom of speech.”
According to Gizmodo, some even eluded to an underlying conspiracy, claiming that Facebook did not disclose which pages were removed (though the alert did include a link that outlined the pages that were addressed in the action).
This isn’t the first step that Facebook has taken in regards to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In December, the social media company created a help page designed to show users any accounts or pages they may have liked or followed that were associated with Russia’s troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.
Even though Facebook announced which pages were removed, many users were still angered by the action.
It is important to note that the pages that were removed encompassed the entirety of the political spectrum, with some targeting those who align themselves to the left and other those who align themselves with the right.
However, many users defended the pages they chose to like or follow, stating that they weren’t part of the Russian interference activities.
This isn’t the only controversy surrounding Facebook, and other social media platforms, regarding their role in Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election. The company has also testified in front of Congress, and many question whether these efforts to remove such accounts is too little, too late.