Adam Ford, founder of The Babylon Bee and The Christian Daily Reporter, is calling for a push-back against internet giants Google and Facebook.
Ford sounded the alarm over concern for how “extremely liberal” giants Facebook and Google control virtually all of the information people consume on the internet, and they are inherently biased against the Christian conservative worldview. He detailed his own personal experience in seeing content and traffic throttled over expressing a Christian viewpoint.
Prior to The Bee, Ford ran the popular satire/comic blog Adam4d.com and relied heavily on Facebook for referral traffic. He had his first official run-in with the Facebook “police” in November 2015, when they pulled a comic he made on homosexuality.
Ford said he “merely explained, in four panels, that it is not “homophobia” to say “I believe homosexuality is sinful because the Bible says it is.”
“There was clearly nothing malevolent about the image,” Ford added. “It was illustrating a view held by millions in this country. But Facebook felt otherwise. They removed my comic, logged me off of their service on all of my devices, and informed me that in order to get back into my account, I’d have to read and agree to their ‘community standards.'”
Since he had quit his job to pursue publishing full-time, he had little recourse but to go along and succumb to Facebook’s demands.
Four months later, in March 2015, Ford founded The Babylon Bee. He stopped creating comics and switched over to running the new “Christian-themed satirical news site.”
The site took off, but it wasn’t long before Facebook struck again. Despite the Bee being a satirical site, it was flagged as “fake news” and warned:
Facebook is doing some damage-control after “fact-checkers” mistakenly flagged satirical Christian news site The Babylon Bee as “fake news.” Well, yes, that’s kind of the point of “satire.”
The site apparently received a strict warning from Facebook this week after the fact-checking website Snopes deemed one of its articles “false,”PJ Media reported.
In response, Ford messaged Facebook countless times to inform them of the mistake they made, and even tweeted at them, trying to get their attention.
Really, Facebook?? pic.twitter.com/HEtBc7C0Gz
— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) March 2, 2018
“Though Facebook would not reply to me earlier, once reporters started knocking on their door, they admitted their error and promised not to throttle our page’s reach,” Ford wrote.
Ford pointed out that this case was bigger than itself, and asked these questions:
“What if we were a bit smaller and had lacked the clout to make a big stink on Twitter? What if the right people hadn’t shared my screenshots and multiple news outlets hadn’t picked up the story and ran with it?”
The Babylon Bee was lucky due to their high following, but if the account had been smaller, Ford argues the social media giant would have shut them down, and no one would have known.
“These two experiences helped bring about a disturbing epiphany for me. Here’s the short version: Facebook and Google are extremely liberal and they have massive control over what information reaches billions of people every day,” Ford pointed out.
“Facebook the company is structured so Mark Zuckerberg—liberal Silicon Valley billionaire—has nearly complete control. Google the company is structured so Larry Page and Sergey Brin—liberal Silicon Valley billionaires—have nearly complete control. These are not co-ops. Facebook has hooked the world onto their service and now controls what information we see as we mindlessly scroll through our feeds all day.”
Ford points out that these two giants have complete control over what their viewers read and observe.
“Almost everybody knows this, but it isn’t until somebody starts talking about it that people consider the implications.”
Ford says the public needs to realize that the algorithms that Facebook and Google uses are not random and impartial bots, because algorithms are created by humans, and humans have bias.
“We like to lull ourselves to sleep with the notion that Facebook and Google are controlled by some mindless, unbiased algorithm that would never do us wrong. But algorithms are programmed by people, and people have biases. Even if a legitimate attempt were made at impartiality, people cannot help but operate according to their biases,” he said.
“If you set out to influence masses of people toward a certain worldview, what more perfect system could you create?” Ford asks.
“And lest you left leaners reading this conclude that Big Tech’s biases are a good thing because you agree with them: how do you know who will be at the helm of all that power 10 years from now? Twenty? Fifty?” he added.
Ford lays out a pretty frightening landscape, one when people allow themselves to be force-fed nearly all of the news and information and opinion they see only after it’s been filtered by a massive centralized system.
The stakes couldn’t be higher: what’s an oil or telephone monopoly compared to a monopoly on information? The latter is exponentially more important. We’ve somehow allowed ourselves to get to a point where information, before we are allowed to see it, is first filtered through a couple of uber-progressive tech companies. As arbiters of truth, we’ve granted Facebook and Google the power to decide what’s real news or fake news, what’s virtuous or malicious—for the love of everything, they literally decide what’s true and what’s false!
He tells readers that “It’s time to say “enough.” It’s time to push back,” and urges them to use sites aside from Facebook and Google. Instead of using Facebook and Google as middlemen to get to what you want, just type in website domain names to bring you to the website you are looking for.
“Has a website earned your trust? Visit that website directly and regularly, not just when Zuck decides to put them in your feed, not just when you enter a search and Google decides to spit them back out as a valid option. What sites have earned your trust? Go visit a few right now, and remember to visit them every day. That way you can push back against the centralization of the internet,” he adds.
Lastly, Ford warns of the dangers of a faction that is hostile towards Christianity and conservatism.
“A small group of people who are hostile toward Christianity and conservatism are in control of those magical machines in our pockets that offer answers to all of our questions. We should be disturbed by privacy abuses. We should be concerned about the long-term effects of addictive phone and social media use. But the clear and present danger of the Google and Facebook Information Duopoly should be enough for us to make changes—right now,” he concludes.
Do you agree with Ford? Do you think that internet giants like Google and Facebook have too much control over what we read and don’t read?
If you want to stay informed and receive positive, uplifting news from a Christian worldview – make sure Faithwire is a daily stop! You can stay in touch with us by signing up for our FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER.