Facebook Bans Several Pages for Hate Speech

Facebook Bans Several Pages for Hate Speech
On Thursday, social media giant Facebook announced a number of accounts that would be permanently banned from their platform for violating their rules regarding hate speech. The timing and motivation for banning so many high-profile accounts in one swoop was not immediately explained. 
From CNN:

“Facebook announced Thursday afternoon that it had designated some high-profile people, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who’s notorious for using anti-Semitic language, and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as ‘dangerous’ and said it will be purging them from its platforms.

Jones and his media outlet InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook (FB) in August 2018, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. On Thursday, Jones and InfoWars will be barred from Instagram as well.

Other people banned on Thursday included Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, and fringe right-wing media personalities Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joseph Watson.

‘We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,’ a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN Business. ‘The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.’

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business the company goes through a lengthy process and takes into consideration a number of factors before determining an individual to be ‘dangerous.’”

Facebook has not yet been clear about what specific posts or affiliations led to the swoop of high-profile banishments.

Dozens of Conservative Sites ‘Blacklisted’ by Liberal Journalism Institute
While Facebook was cracking down on their speech “code”, an employee of the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center created a website for The Poynter Institute for Media Studies indexing dozens of news websites he labeled as unreliable, fake, conspiracy, or biased. Most of the websites were right-leaning. The website initially called for advertisers to “blacklist” the listed sites, though after many of the included organizations launched complaints that request was removed. From the 
Washington Free Beacon:

“The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a Florida-based nonprofit journalism school, released the list on Wednesday and declared dozens of mainstream conservative sites such as the Washington Free Beacon, Daily Caller, Daily Signal, CNS News, and Breitbart as ‘unreliable’ while listing few liberal sites,” Newsbusters reports. 

The study notes it trimmed the list ‘by removing several sites whose stories, though highly politicized, were mostly not fake: alternet.orgcato.orgheritage.orgnationalreview.comthedailybeast.com, the intercept.comthinkprogress.org, and weeklystandard.com.’

A majority of the removed sites lean left. Of the removed conservative sites, the Heritage Foundation, a think tank – and not in itself a news site — was taken off the list. However, the Daily Signal, which is hosted by the Heritage Foundation, is included on the list. Another conservative site that was removed from the list, the Weekly Standard, was shuttered in December.”

Baltimore Mayor Finally Resigns
Her long-awaited resignation came via a letter read by her attorney. The Mayor herself hasn’t been seen since she took a leave of absence a month ago. From 
National Review:

“Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh resigned Thursday amid a mushrooming corruption scandal. Pugh’s resignation is effective immediately, her attorney Steve Silverman said at a press conference that she herself did not attend.

‘Dear citizens of Baltimore, I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 50th mayor. It has been an honor and privilege,’ Pugh said in a statement read by Silverman. ‘I’m sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor. Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward.’

Pugh, 69, came under fire for selling $500,000 in copies of her ‘Healthy Holly’ children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while serving on its board. She also sold 20,000 copies of the books to Kaiser Permanente for $114,000 from 2015 to 2018, and 10,000 copies to Associated Black Charities for nearly $80,000 from 2011 and 2016. She has since resigned her position as a UMMS board member, canceled that deal, and returned the last $100,000 payment from it to UMMS, according to the Baltimore Sun.”

Friday Entertainment Center
Why I Respect Alyssa Milano’s Liberal Activism 
(From Erika Anderson on Medium)

Peter Mayhew Dies: “Star Wars” Chewbacca Actor was 74 (Deadline)

Arya Stark was the Wrong Choice for Winterfell Hero (From John Martin for The Federalist)
(I happen to disagree but John wrote a great argument for his side)

“Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 4: New Photos Show A Smug Cersei And Aftermath of War (Deadline)

Petition Demands Captain Marvel Be Played by Gay Woman of Color – Not Brie Larson (Bounding into Comics)

Opening This Weekend: “Long Shot” with Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. Early reviews are strong. (Movies & Shakers)

BRIGHT is brought to you by The Federalist.
Today’s BRIGHT Editor

Ellie Bufkin is the co-host of the weekly movie podcast, Flix It and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Originally from northern Virginia, Ellie worked in the wine industry as a journalist and sommelier- having lived in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Having been a fanatic for movies and TV shows since childhood, she currently reviews movies and writes about many aspects of popular culture for The Federalist. She is an avid home cook, cocktail enthusiast, and still quite happy to make wine recommendations. Ellie currently divides her time between Charleston, SC and Washington, D.C. You can follow her on Twitter @ellie_bufkin on Instagram @exsommellie.

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