Media Matters, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, and NARAL react to Facebook’s permanent ban of LifeSiteNews

This week Facebook permanently banned right-wing site LifeSiteNews’ page after it repeatedly violated the platform’s COVID-19 and vaccine policies

Media Matters for America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and NARAL Pro-Choice America issued the following statement on the decision:  

“Facebook’s decision to ban LifeSiteNews from its platform was a step in the right direction in its efforts to thwart the spread of misinformation -- however, this should have happened years ago.

Despite Facebook’s community standards and hate speech policy that supposedly protect LGBTQ people and others against the flagrant spread of misinformation, LifeSiteNews has relied on Facebook to push its noxious anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice extremism to an audience of millions. 

It took pressure to get Facebook to remove LifeSiteNews’ page, including calling attention to the flagrant COVID-19 and vaccine disinformation on LifeSiteNews' page, compiling more than 100 posts that proved LifeSiteNews’ repeated violation of Facebook’s related policies, and outreach from GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, NARAL, and Media Matters to get Facebook to finally act. 

Simply put, years of hate speech and disinformation weren’t enough to push Facebook to make a decision that was long overdue.

There’s no telling how many people were harmed in the more than a year in which LifeSiteNews spread COVID-19 misinformation before it was removed. What’s more, LifeSiteNews still has three pages that remain on the platform -- which Facebook must be committed to removing.

The burden of addressing disinformation, hate speech, and extremism should fall squarely with Facebook at the point of posting, not from watchdog organizations and pressure from advocacy groups after content has already been live and caused harm.”