Facebook was again accused of censoring political-minded content on its site this week when it temporarily banned users from posting reports from immigration watchdog group the Center For Immigration Studies.
The center, which leans politically to the right and often publishes information used by anti-immigration advocates, released a study this week indicating that many open job positions in the United States are filled by immigrant workers. However, when Facebook users tried to share the study on their profiles, they were told that the content was “abusive” and they could not share it.
Facebook later reversed its stance and apologized for blocking the content, but many still felt that the move constituted political censorship from the Silicon Valley company.
“The poor job market is one of the most important issues confronting the country. It is extremely troubling that Facebook would block studies that simply report government data on how immigrants and natives are faring in the U.S. job market,” said Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research. “These reports have received a good deal of attention from various media outlets and have been discussed by members of Congress. It is absurd to suggest they are ‘abusive.’”
Even though the blocked content was likely an honest mistake, the speed with which people leapt to the conclusion that Facebook was up to something fishy shows just how little trust users have in its intentions.