Facebook has been accused of censorship after it took down a video featuring Guardian columnist George Monbiot in which he criticised colonial explorer Christopher Columbus.
In the five-minute video, by Double Down News, Monbiot (pictured) also criticised the actions of later colonialists in America and India.
- November 14, 2018
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The video, which is still widely available on Youtube, is largely made up of archive and film footage that depicts some graphic violence and death.
Double Down News told Press Gazette the video had hit 900,000 views and reached an audience of 3m over eight days before it was taken down.
It claims that Facebook deleted the video due to a “violation of community standards”, but was given no specific reasons as to why it was taken down or a chance to appeal the decision.
A spokesperson for Double Down News said: “George recounts the horrors of history in vivid detail. Therefore, at times, we understand the film may have been uncomfortable for some to watch.
“A number of visuals used, taken from the film 1492 and historical documentary footage, were graphic in nature. Facebook could have opted to put a warning screen on the video, which we would have had no problem with.
“We fully understand the need for Facebook to monitor their platform for inappropriate content and fake news, especially in times like these, but the lack of transparency and recourse to appeal are deeply unsettling.
“Monbiot’s piece of video journalism was about the airbrushing of history – therefore there is a great irony in the fact it has now been airbrushed from their platform.”
Monbiot himself accused Facebook of “censorship” without an explanation or “right of appeal” in a series of tweets.
Facebook community standards state that content glorifying violence is removed by the company, but that graphic content is allowed if it “raises awareness” about issues.
The social media giant has said that it will add a warning label to “especially graphic” content that does not merit being deleted.
Press Gazette has contacted Facebook for a statement on the decision, but has yet to receive a response.
Picture: Double Down News