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12 Mar, 2019 09:05

Violation of what? Users puzzled by Facebook’s ban on sharing Zero Hedge links

Violation of what? Users puzzled by Facebook’s ban on sharing Zero Hedge links

Users complained that Facebook blocked their attempts to share stories published by popular anti-establishment blog Zero Hedge, citing the violation of community standards, ‘abusive’ content, and ‘errors’ among the reasons.

“Over the weekend, we were surprised to learn that some readers were prevented by Facebook when attempting to share Zero Hedge articles,” the publication wrote on Monday, calling the practice an “arbitrary act of censorship.”

According to the blog, “virtually every attempt to share or merely mention an article, including in private messages, would be actively blocked” by Facebook with the explanation that the content breached the social network's community standards.

Some users on social media reported experiencing problems while trying to share Zero Hedge’s stories on Facebook.

“Facebook has outright banned all posting of Zero Hedge links,” right-wing commentator and host Paul Joseph Watson has tweeted.

Zero Hedge said that it didn't receive any notice from the tech giant, and its attempts to reach out to Facebook “have so far remained unanswered.” The publication noted that some of its content may have been flagged by “triggered” readers. It also suggested that the Silicon Valley-based company may have decided to pull the plug on Zero Hedge as retribution for publishing stories critical of Facebook.

Bloomberg, which covered the story, said the social network didn’t immediately respond to a comment request.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has come under fire from right-wing groups and public figures who accuse it of liberal bias and censoring conservatives. Last year, Facebook effectively banned controversial radio host Alex Jones and his show InfoWars, citing “hate speech.”

In a similar fashion, the company suspended several prominent left-leaning anti-establishment pages, including groups tracking police brutality in the US.

Last month, Facebook, without any prior notice, promptly blocked four pages with millions of subscribers, run by Maffick Media, including ‘In the Now’ – for supposedly concealing the fact that they were partially funded by Russia. The pages have since been unblocked.

Launched in 2009, Zero Hedge is an anonymous anti-establishment blog. Its authors publish articles under the pen name Tyler Durden – a reference to the character from the novel ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk. The image of Durden, portrayed by Brad Pitt in the 1999 Hollywood adaptation, serves as the blog's logo on social media.

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