OP/ED: …Of Facebook and censorship

Here is a short personal account of Facebook and censorship:  

A lot of people don’t realize that in addition to covering breaking stories along with crime, accident and public safety news for Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS), I also cover community interest stories, business events and news, and state and national headline news, as well as occasional articles related to our Nation’s politics and government.  

In regards to all the ongoing allegations of censorship by social media, specifically Facebook in this case, I have my own interesting story I’d like to share.  

LEADING THE RCNS & SCNS HEADLINES:

More details & suspect’s name released after crash that injured APD officer

Pinned under heavy fire, deputies shoot Eastvale man, rescue 3 juveniles

Married couple, 83 & 79, ID’d after Lake Mathews crash

Five shot near Lake Mathews – Two dead, two critical

Redding K9, UAV, help in recovery of stolen weapons

As all of my long-time readers and fans could confirm and attest, I could go into a never-ending tirade about the censorship and continuous, ongoing blocking via “Facebook Jail” – up to 30 days at a time – and other means of censorship and content blocking I have received on Facebook.  

But here I have one very perfect example of the platform’s censorship from a pair of articles I recently published.  

Two recently published articles about California Governor Gavin Newsom received very different treatment after both articles were temporarily blocked, but then approved, by Facebook.

Both articles happened to be about Governor Newsom and were published and shared to Facebook within a short period of each other. Both were also immediately flagged and blocked, and caused me to be locked out of my personal account. As has happened countless time before, I again found myslef blocked from sharing other news articles, which makes this a perfect example.

The first article, “Governor declares State of Emergency in 3 counties – Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration” covered exactly what it sounds like. A disaster declaration that came directly from the Governor.  

The second article, “OP/ED: High-Speed Rail gets millions while California burns & forestry projects get defunded” was a scathing opinion piece from California 1st Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), that questioned Newsom’s spending and called for the governor to re-think his budgeting priorities.  

A few hours after the first block, my Facebook account was released and I was informed that the post did not go against the platform’s so-called “Community Standards.” The article was then fully and easily searchable and all the pages I had shared the story to could once again see the post.  

While my account was also released after the second article’s publication – but a full, two days later – I was once again advised that the post did not go against Facebook’s “Community Standards” and I would no longer be blocked.  

However, in stark contrast to the first article, which immediately became searchable and viewable to all the Facebook’s pages I had shared it to, the second article was almost nowhere to be found. Other than the main RCNS and SCNS pages I had shared the second published article to, the post could no longer be located on any of the other pages where it had been shared.  

SEE OTHER RECENT RCNS AND SCNS HEADLINE NEWS:

Temecula Valley Lexus breaks ground on luxury dealership

Three hikers rescued after cold night lost on Mount Shasta

Knife-wielding Redding woman sought after Anderson stabbing

Shocking videos of second murder in two days rock Hemet residents

Students present online learning ideas during HUSD Student Advisory Council

So basically, an article outlining the Governor’s response to area wildfires was quickly approved and allowed, while an OP/ED piece about the governor’s spending priorities was all but completely removed from Facebook, even though they admitted neither article went against their Community Standards.  

How very interesting.  

Now I just wonder if this article once published and posted to Facebook will be blocked and removed as, once again, violating their “Community Standards.”  


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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