Facebook censorship splits hairs on police defunding

A controversy has erupted over Facebook’s censorship of a pro-Trump ad that spotlights presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s view of defunding police.

Facebook claimed there was false information in the ad, called “On Hold,” which shows a woman calling 911 and being put on hold, Fox News reported.

The ad then shows Biden saying “yes,” with a “defund the police?” banner. Facebook labeled that as “False Information” that had been checked by “independent fact-checkers.”

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Fox said Facebook confirmed it “fact-checked” the ad, explaining ads with “false information” cannot be run.

While Biden has made statements in opposition to “defunding” police – including in an op-ed – his position now is cloudy, since he also affirmed that he “absolutely” supports redirecting funding from police to other agencies.

It was during a video interview with the progressive Now This News that Biden made the statement about redirecting funding.

See his remarks at about the 21 minute mark:

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The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Biden’s “absolutely” response “defines the intention behind the defund the police movement.”

In June, Biden wrote a USA Today op-ed in which he said, “The better answer is to give police departments the resources they need to implement meaningful reforms, and to condition other federal dollars on completing those reforms.”

At that time, he suggested a $300 million federal increase to “reinvigorate community policing in our country,” designating it for “Community Oriented Policing Services.”

The “defund” movement has raised its profile since the death of George Floyd.

Additionally, Biden said he did not support defunding the police in a June interview with Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” and noted that he doesn’t think “all cops are bad cops.”

That’s been his campaign’s message: “Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded,” Biden campaign Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates said in a statement.

But the interview with Now This News also is clear.

“But do we agree that we can re-direct some of the [police] funding?” the Now This reporter asked Biden.

The former vice president responded: “Yes, absolutely.”

One of the prominent “fact-checkers” admitted that Biden confirms his support for “reforms” but insisted that’s not the same as defunding.

“When asked about redirecting some funding, which Biden agrees to, he goes on to say: ‘And by the way, not just redirect, condition them. If they don’t eliminate chokeholds, they don’t get Byrne grants. If they don’t do the following, they don’t get any help. If they don’t do — because you know as well as I do, the vast majority of all police departments are funded by the locality, funded by the municipality, funded by the state. It’s only the federal government comes in on top of that. And so it says you want help, you have to do the following reforms, you have to make sure you have no-knock warrants eliminated. If you have them, you don’t get Byrne grants.”

Regarding Facebook’s censorship, America First Action Communications Director Kelly Sadler said: “Facebook’s decision to take down this ad shows its anti-conservative bias. America First Action has logged an appeal, but the threat of anti-conservative bias, targeting, and censorship remains ahead of Election Day in November and we must be vigilant in holding big tech, like Facebook accountable.”

Sadler described the move as more “bias” from Big Tech.

“We’re going to file an appeal, but there’s really little we can do about it. These social media giants are monopolies, and ultimately they make the decision of what runs on their platform,” she said.

That topic already has drawn the interest of Attorney General William Barr, who recently accused the companies of being engaged in censorship and acting like publishers.

“They originally held themselves out as open forums where people, where the third parties could come and express their views and they built up a tremendous network of eyeballs,” Barr said in June. “They had a lot of market power based on that presentation, and now they are acting much more like publishers because they’re censoring particular viewpoints and putting their own content in there to diminish the impact of various people’s views.”

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