Each week AFL posts an Anglicans in Action video, which gives practical suggestions, resources, and ideas for life-ministry. This week’s focus is on censorship on social media. You can see all the Anglicans in Action videos on our YouTube Channel.
As you may have noticed, social media platforms are changing the way that they display and share content. Social media is such a huge way of how we communicate with one another, and in the past years it has become a useful medium to keep up with everything happening in the pro-life movement nationally. It also has allowed our national office to keep up with life-affirming ministries across the country and vice versa. On top of that, over 2/3 of Americans use social media as their main resource for news!
However, while social media has mostly been considered a safe place to engage in freedom of speech, times are changing. War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing an outlet that fuels important conversations. The Media Research Center has undertaken an extensive study of the problem at major tech companies – Facebook, Google, and YouTube – and the results are troubling, to say the least. There is a 56-page study that you can read for yourself by visiting stopcensoringconservatives.com, but let me sum up the findings for you. At first, some of the reports of conservative censoring were acknowledged to be dramatic overreactions. Shortly after, though, it became clear that there was truth behind algorithm changes that deliberately hide conservative posts. Facebook’s trending feed has been deliberately hiding conservative content. YouTube moderators are removing videos that promote conservative political views. Google used both their search engine and video site to promote liberal ideas, while silencing those of conservatives. Twitter has been the worst of all; banning pro-life advertisements while allowing ones from pro-abortion groups. All of this information is just the tip of the iceberg; if you download the report and read it, you then can get the word out by sharing the report on your social media before it’s too late!
The action idea for this week is to tell Facebook and Twitter what we think about their new methods of censoring. We must communicate to these social media outlets that censoring the pro-life message is harmful and a form of hate speech. Facebook recently announced that they are testing the new algorithm on postings regarding the 8th amendment controversy over in Ireland. In other words, Facebook is choosing to test a censoring-algorithm on a pivotal pro-life message at a vital time of legislative war in the country. The pro-life message will most definitely be silenced, making it even more likely that abortion could be made legal in Ireland.
To tell them what you think, click on the question mark at the top-right of your Facebook homepage. A dropdown menu will appear where you can select “report a problem.” Select the “general feedback option, and then “feedback about a feature.” This will take you to the feedback form where you can select “other” and type a message like the following: “Conservative viewpoints and ideas are being censored out of my feed and I want them to appear freely on my timeline!” On Twitter, you can do the same thing by scrolling down to the right-side of the page and locating the “help us” option to click on. After you click on it, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “message @TwitterSupport.” When the direct message opens in a new tab, select “Twitter Help” and then “Tweets” as the next list appears. You’ll then be able to type out your concern like the one we recommended for Facebook.
Despite this discouraging reality, there is a way that you can override this change by manually changing your preferences on Facebook by following a few simple steps!
To make sure that you continue to see Anglicans for Life’s content in your Facebook feed follow these simple instructions:
1. Visit our Facebook page
2. Click the “following” button
3. Then, from the drop-down menu, click “see first” instead of “default”
It’s as simple as that! You’re all done! This will ensure you will always see our content and you’ll never miss a video, graphic, or article we share. Follow these same instructions with other pages you want to continuously see to ensure their posts don’t disappear from your feed, either!