Facebook cut media protest? “We are investigating”

Luc Williams

– So, Facebook, are we going to have fun? Some of our local portals have had posts about the protest blocked since this morning – the editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Radomszczańska” and president of the Association of Local Newspapers wrote on the X website. Andrzej Andrysiak warned that when editors of some websites wanted to publish information about the nationwide media protest, Facebook did not allow them to be placed on the publishers’ profiles.

In addition, some of them also had restrictions imposed on the visibility of the page. This means that until the platform revokes the decision, the information will not be displayed automatically to people who follow it. This is a problem, because – especially smaller publishers – are dependent on the traffic that information published on social media brings to the main pages of their titles. For example, the MojePieniny.pl service found itself in such a situation.

What is the media protest about?

The case was important because the deleted posts concerned the media’s protest over the unequal fight with large technology companies, including Google and Facebook itself. Let us recall: on Thursday, over 350 editorial offices and organizations associating journalists published on their front pages the slogan: “Politicians! Don’t kill Polish media” and an appeal to senators, who will be debating this week an amendment to the Copyright Act. Among other things, it regulates how digital platforms should settle accounts with publishers for using the content they produce. However, it is not easy to negotiate with digital giants, because they benefit from monopoly positions.

That is why publishers wanted to introduce a mechanism into Polish law that would establish arbitration between the platform and the content provider if they themselves did not reach an agreement. The amendment introducing this mechanism was proposed by Left MPs Daria Gosek-Popiołek and Dorota Olko. However, it was defeated in the Sejm. Now there is a chance for the Senate Culture Committee to introduce it.

Facebook blocked publishers’ posts

Did Facebook actually remove posts that were inconvenient to it?

– We are still investigating this matter – we hear in the press office of Meta, the owner of the platform. However, employees of the American giant assure that the information has returned to all the sites about which Andrysiak warned.

How did local publishers’ information get blocked? There are several possible hypotheses. One is Facebook’s spam filter. If posts with the same content suddenly start popping up on multiple pages, the platform can flag and mute them as unnatural behavior. This is supposed to protect users from fraudulent campaigns. Another is that the media appeal used a word that Facebook’s algorithms mute by definition, such as “kill.”

Facebook cut out Auschwitz Museum

It is precisely on this principle that in April of this year, Facebook’s content moderation system removed some posts from the Auschwitz Museum profile. According to the algorithm, they presented, among other things, “hate speech,” “harassment and harassment,” and “incitement to violence.” The official profile called this “algorithmic erasure of history.”

– This incident not only undermines the important work of our institution, but is also unacceptable and offensive to the memory of the victims of Auschwitz, which we strive to preserve – the institution’s employees stated. On behalf of the museum, the Minister of Digital Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Krzysztof Gawkowski demanded an explanation from the company. He argued that Meta has too few Polish-speaking moderators to cope with adequate content filtering on our market.

Blocking of Confederation profile and KO video

Previously, for seventeen months, Facebook had suspended the Konfederacja profile. Neither the interventions of Janusz Cieszyński, the Minister of Digital Affairs in the previous government, nor even a court ruling that ordered the profile to be restored, helped.

– We will continue the legal fight for an apology and compensation – announced the party’s treasurer Michał Wawer.

As we hear from sources close to the government, the Civic Coalition also had problems with Facebook during the election campaign. According to some KO MPs, the platform did not allow the publication of spots with Donald Tusk.

Rafał Brzoska goes to war

Interestingly, although Meta’s algorithms and moderators can handle spam or control the content on the museum’s profile, the company cannot control frauds using the image of public figures. Sławomir Mentzen, Wojciech Cejrowski and Rafał Brzoska have recently fallen victim. However, the CEO of InPost does not intend to give up and in a video published on LinkedIn announced that he will take legal action against the company. He is also gathering other wronged parties for a class action lawsuit against the platform.

“Creating ads that deceptively use public figures to defraud others is against our policies. We remove such ads when we detect them. This is not a new problem – scammers use every available platform and constantly adapt to avoid enforcement of these policies. That’s why Meta has specialized systems to detect clickbait with public figures, invests in trained verification teams, shares tips on how to avoid scams, and offers tools to report potential violations. We know that we don’t always succeed in this, and we continue to invest in improving our systems. We also cooperate with local administrations and law enforcement agencies and take legal action,” the Meta press office said in a statement sent to the DGP editorial office.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.