Anti-Russia sentiment is damping a public reaction to Facebook’s censorship of Russian Today.
By Bertie Nesirky
While our eyes lay on Donald Trump’s raised palm, another event, or at least scrutiny of what it indicates, avoided the public eye.
Facebook blocked a Russian, government backed, news network, Russia Today, from posting on Facebook for 24 hours. Preventing Russia Today from presenting its inauguration coverage, or any other news, to the most visited social media platform in the world.
A privately owned, international corporation; which millions rely upon for news, selected which information we should and should not see.
The general reaction to this has been more unsettling than the act of censorship itself.
Two years ago we reeled in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings and free speech was held up as a pillar of our society. Yet, we have met this act of censorship with an alarming level of support and, more dangerously, apathy.
Anti-Russian Sentiment is shifting the focus from the act of censorship to the service which was censored. The fact that Russia Today has pro-Russian spin does not impact it’s right to be heard.
Russia Today undeniably has biases and a narrative by nature of its affiliation to the Russian government and you would be unwise to take it’s word for anything relating to Russia-US relations. Harsh critics would even call it a state run propaganda machine.
The reality is that both western and Russian media are different sides of the same coin and a free thinking individual will listen and evaluate both with a critical eye.
It is dangerous when a private company interferes with an individual’s ability to see multiple viewpoints on a story, as the truth always lies some place in between.
It’s not illegal, but it is censorship.
As a private company, no one can demand anything from Facebook, but we can give them the criticism they deserve.