Facebook Bans Politicalite, Wages Censorship War on Populist Platforms

The populist media outlet Politicalite has been banned from Facebook, for publishing an article reporting the launch of a legitimate electoral campaign ahead of the European elections in May.

Politicalite has come under repeated attack from the social media platform in recent weeks, seeing its reach on the website drop considerably. But last week Facebook sent a message to Editor-In-Chief Jordan James informing him that his website’s page had been unpublished.

This means that Politicalite’s 40,000 followers will no longer receive updates from the alternative news outlet.

The ban followed James’s posting of a livestream of the launch of a legitimate democratic bid by an independent candidate in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections in the North West of England.

The well-known activist and Luton City supporter told livestream viewers: “Like many of you, I wasn’t born in a powerful or wealthy family. My mother was an Irish immigrant, and my father a plumber. They taught me that hard work and sacrifice lead to success. They taught me to stand up for myself, for others, and my beliefs.

“I have never voted, I never believe it would make a change, none of the politicians in our country could relate to me or even seem to care. I know what it feels like to be left behind.

“We are ruled by people who know we exist but they still don’t care. It doesn’t have to be this way, fairness is possible.”

The candidate, who cannot be named due to an ongoing censorship campaign against him, has pledged to donate his MEP salary to victims of child sexual exploitation if elected.

Politicalite’s Facebook ban came just a day after Breitbart reported an ongoing censorship campaign against the site by Facebook and Google, saying it was “under attack by a combination of algorithm changes and unfair suspensions by the big tech Masters of the Universe.”

Facebook has previously suspended the page, while last December, Google withdrew ads from the site in a bid to damage its ability to fund itself.

In addition, Facebook has recently introduced a new policy called ‘click-gap’ which aims to reduce the reach of all alternative media outlets, favouring mainstream media instead.

In a blog post, Facebook explained the policy as “look[ing] for domains with a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph. This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.”

In other words, new sites which haven’t yet had time to build up their citations outside of Facebook will be unfairly penalised, making it impossible for them to break into the media market.

“Facebook’s new newsfeed changes related to so-called ‘fake news’ are totally killing us on FB – we’ve seen our reach, traffic and likes drop significantly in the past week,” said James.