Facebook Threatens to Unpublish Parody Page for Misinformation

By Joshua Waddles

13 May, 2021

Facebook swears up and down they have real people monitoring all content-violation reports, yet user after user reports decisions that seem like the work of an algorithm.

One of those users is Matt Saincome, co-founder of several organizations including The Hard Times, a parody news site similar to The Onion. Taking his problem to Twitter on 13 May, Saincome tweeted a screen capture of the warning he received from Facebook stating that one of his posts had been removed. Distribution for all posts published by the page had been reduced and the page was at risk of being unpublished. Saincome pleaded for help from anyone who might have friends or family working within Facebook’s moderation companies.

Facebook has dealt with no small amount of scrutiny regarding its content-moderation efforts, even forcing the co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify before congress. Facebook employs third-party companies to moderate its content globally and journalistic investigations have uncovered allegations within at least one of these companies, Cognizant. According to an investigation by The Verge, several employees were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder from repeatedly viewing violent content reported by Facebook users and often smoked marihuana during breaks to numb themselves.

Siancome said he appealed Facebooks’ decision a month ago but has not yet received any reply.

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