Media Research Center: Facebook Has Interfered in U.S. Elections 39 Times Since 2008

FILE- In this April 10, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

A recent study conducted by the Media Research Center (MRC) has uncovered 39 instances of Facebook interfering with U.S. elections since 2008, raising concerns about the platform’s influence on the democratic process.

According to a recent study by MRC Free Speech America, Facebook has been caught interfering in U.S. elections 39 times since 2008. The platform’s election-interfering censorship began in 2012, reached its peak in 2020, and has started to fade somewhat in the early stages of the 2024 electoral cycle.

Former US President Donald Trump during a Super Tuesday election night watch party at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Trump notched a series of Republican presidential primary victories on Tuesday as he barrels closer toward his party’s nomination. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Zuckerberg Meta Selfie

Mark Zuckerberg Meta Selfie (Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg has made several pro-free speech statements, including his famous 2019 speech at Georgetown University, where he said, “We can either continue to stand for free expression understanding its messiness but believing that the long journey towards greater progress requires confronting ideas that challenge us. Or we can decide that the cost is simply too great.” He has also called politically-motivated censorship “dangerous” and stated that Facebook and other social media platforms should not act as the “arbiter of truth.”

However, Facebook’s actions have often contradicted these statements. In 2012, the platform suspended a Veteran PAC for a meme drawing attention to the attack on Benghazi. In 2016, Facebook censored then-Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders and “conservative topics” and news. The censorship escalated in 2018, with Facebook removing ads for several candidates for Congress and state legislatures.

The 2020 election saw an explosion of censorship on Facebook, with the platform censoring posts and ads from then-sitting President Donald Trump at least four times and taking down seven political ads paid for by the political right. The most notable incident was the censorship of the New York Post’s bombshell Hunter Biden report and the subsequent indefinite suspension of President Trump’s accounts in early 2021.

In 2022, Facebook continued to censor multiple gubernatorial candidates and candidates for U.S. Congress, including Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA), Virginia GOP congressional candidate Jarome Bell, and Missouri GOP U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens.

Most recently, Breitbart News reported that Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has planned for you to not see posts from Donald Trump, whose engagement on Facebook is down by 60 percent.

Read more at the Media Research Center here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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