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Frontpage.org Wishes to Alert the Public of the Apparent Censorship of Information by Facebook Regarding the Upcoming Referendum on Abortion in Ireland

Frontpage.org urges Facebook not to limit the freedom of the press
Contact: Alberto de la Cruz, Frontpage.org,
DUBLIN, Ireland, May 14, 2018 /Christian Newswire/ -- Frontpage.org wishes to alert the public of the apparent censorship of information that Facebook has been undertaking since their May 8th announcement that they would be monitoring the upcoming Irish national referendum on abortion.

View screen shots of Facebooks refusal to accept news from Frontpage.org

In their May 8, public statement Facebook stated, "We are an open platform for people to express ideas and views on both sides of a debate. Our goal is simple: to help ensure a free, fair and transparent vote on this important issue." Notwithstanding this statement, we wish to inform the public that our recently launched FrontPage.org, Ireland edition, has been in our view, impeded from disseminating news articles and commentary on Facebook regarding the referendum.

Facebook, which initially approved articles being sent by our news organization, after the said May 8th, announcement, suddenly blocked previously approved articles on this topic and blocked our efforts to freely provide news and opinion journalism pieces, both to the Irish public and our growing readership in over 20 nations. Facebook's actions, which contradict its public position, include:

  1. Facebook rejected several articles from being distributed on their platform that had been aggregated by Frontpage.org and sourced from Irish media sources regarding the referendum. This happened after Facebook had originally approved the distribution of the article several days before.
    Facebook has banned an article aggregated from the Irish Times titled: "Photo shows extent of Fianna Fáil party backing for No vote," found on FrontPage.org here.

    They have also banned an article aggregated from Breaking News Ireland titled: "Nurse and midwife group call for 'No' vote to avoid 'horror show'; Together For Yes start bank holiday canvas blitz," found on FrontPage.org here.
  2. Facebook has also been blocking original opinion pieces from reputed Irish journalists regarding their own personal views on the referendum. This includes, for instance, two articles by Mr. Bruce Arnold, (here also), currently with the Independent.ie. The initial promotion of these opinion pieces written for Frontpage.org was approved by Facebook, but as of May 8th the promotions were disapproved by the Facebook Ads Team. It seems clear to us that Facebook is censoring Irish journalists, and the free press from sharing their views with the public on its global platform.
  3. It is particularly troubling that Facebook also suspended distribution of a letter signed by over 100 legal professionals regarding their position on the referendum. This was reported as news in several Irish papers, but the original letter had not been published in its totality before Frontpage.org decided to allow its readers to review the unedited thoughts of these professionals on a historic issue.

It is also our view that Facebook should not be in the business of banning Irish lawyers, Irish journalists and Irish news from being shared with its citizens on its platform. Frontpage.org would like an explanation for their actions.

Frontpage.org is also calling on Mr. Zuckerberg and Facebook, to rectify the situation immediately. We vigorously object to Facebook's seeming suppression of Irish journalists, the thoughts of legal professionals, and Ireland's own media sources because they may not follow a particular ideological bias. From their recent actions it is hard to conclude anything other than a potential bias exists amongst the Facebook employees in Dublin and that they are banning news organizations such as Frontpage.org from sharing legitimate important information on the upcoming referendum.
Frontpage.org will seek to restore its abilities to share news about this and other important issues around the world, protect the civil liberties and free expression rights of journalists as well as that of the legal professionals in Ireland. We are calling on Mr. Zuckerberg to honor his promises and respect the free speech and freedom of the press in Ireland, and beyond.

Our lawyers have demanded Facebook do so immediately. We cannot continue to allow anyone to suppress Irish journalists, the thoughts of legal professionals, and dissemination of other articles on a controversial topic that are already published in well-known Irish media sources. We are not aware of any Irish law that contravenes the distribution of news or editorial content in this country.

Frontpage.org will continue to offer a platform that may in time constitute a different voice in Ireland and a better way to global news.

For further information:
Contact details:
Email: office@frontpage.org

Frontpage.org is an international news organization providing news, commentary, and editorial content from around the world. Frontpage.org is read in over 20 nations. Frontpage.org Irish edition, provides daily news (covering World news, European news, and Irish news). It also provides opinions and commentary from Irish and international journalists and writers involving politics, economics, and culture.