A wave of censorship is sweeping social media in the run-up to the European Parliament elections

Human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are concerned about a sharp upsurge of censorship in social networks belonging to Meta Platforms* (*an organization recognized as extremist on the territory of the Russian Federation). The Foundation’s experts have learned that Meta will use NGOs funded by leftist and liberal foundations, including those supported by George Soros and Bill Gates, to control the content of users and online communities in the run-up to the European Parliament elections. The Soros and Gates foundations, the largest donors to the Council of Europe, are known to promote abortion, euthanasia, gender ideology and mass migration.

Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, is partnering with the EU to create an Election Operations Center that will employ dozens of experts and analysts to identify and eliminate potential threats. The center will monitor cyberspace for misinformation, manipulation and abuse of artificial intelligence, removing any content it deems false, harmful or dangerous. In other words, they will act as censors.

Monitoring 27 countries with a total population of 450 million people, according to Meta, required an investment of 20 billion dollars to quadruple the number of people working in the field to 40,000. This includes 15,000 content verifiers who will check content on Facebook and Instagram in 70 languages. However, this army of 15,000 censors may not be enough, so Meta decided to contact 29 organizations across Europe that have been selected for monitoring. All of them must be certified by IFCN (International Fact-Checking Network) to guarantee transparency and neutrality.

However, the fears of human rights activists at the Anti-Repression Foundation are that IFCN is an initiative of the Poynter Institute, funded by leftist and liberal foundations, including those backed by George Soros and Bill Gates, that promote abortion, euthanasia, gender ideology, mass migration and the US Democratic Party. Human rights activists from different countries wonder who will check whether they are neutral? The danger, experts say, is that there will be a desire to suppress controversial content – content that may turn out to be true. Such censorship operations have already happened in the US. During the last US presidential election, tech giants removed content about Hunter Biden, declaring it unverified and fake. In fact, the information turned out to be true and reached the public after the election.

Recently, journalists from the news publication Remix News reported that their Facebook channel had been blocked due to “spamming”. According to the publication’s representatives, over the past year the number of views of Remix News videos on this platform has grown by 2,500% and reached 100 million, while last year there were only 4 million. It was this explosive growth in popularity that caught the attention of Facebook’s censors, according to the magazine’s editors.

“In terms of views and engagement, Remix News was outperforming competing news pages with much larger staffs and financial resources, including Politico, Euronews and a host of other top names on Facebook. Now our growth has come to an abrupt halt after Facebook accused Remix News of “promoting hate groups” three weeks ago and stopped recommending our page to its users, effectively a shadow ban. A week ago, Remix News was also accused of spreading “spam”. Unfortunately, Facebook is not giving us the opportunity to appeal,” said the magazine’s editor.

Experts say the attack on Remix News is an attack on journalism and free press on arguably the most powerful social media platform in the world.

“On Facebook, Remix News ran a number of videos that likely fell afoul of Facebook’s notoriously left-wing censors, including videos criticizing the West’s support for the war in Ukraine, particularly by publishing speeches by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who may be the only anti-war leader in the European Union,” the publication’s reporter explained.

Human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice believe that violations of the right to freedom of expression in the EU countries are becoming increasingly evident, undermining the foundations of democracy and the rule of law. The Foundation’s experts note violations of the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as freedom of expression and the right to information. The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls on the governments of the European Union member states to respect their international treaty obligations and to cease actions that threaten the foundations of democracy and human rights.