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July 2, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook raised many a conservative eyebrow this week by testing a new feature giving some users unprompted warnings about potential “extremism” among their friends, family, and social media contacts.

On Thursday, dozens of users began sharing screenshots of alerts they received bearing messages such as “you may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently,” “Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,” and “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?”

The alerts contain links to a “support page” directing users to a variety of “resources,” including a group called Life After Hate, which describes its mission as “helping people leave the violent far-right to connect with humanity and lead compassionate lives.”

“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN

A search of LAH’s archives yields no statements objecting to the hate, violence, or extremism of left-wing movements such as Black Lives Matter or Antifa, but it does endorse BLM’s premise that America is “designed to have two rule books; where black and brown people can not expect equal treatment under the law.”

Many right-of-center social media users took the occasion to mock and criticize the notices, blasting them as hypocritical, obtrusive, and the latest in Big Tech’s efforts to use “extremism” as a pretext to stigmatize. 

Facebook’s new “extremism” warnings illustrate that persistent complaints about the platform’s treatment of conservative users have fallen on deaf ears, and will likely intensify calls for government intervention.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May a new law imposing strict limits on social media platforms’ ability to censor political candidates and journalistic enterprises (the law was recently blocked by a liberal judge). Nationally, Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced legislation to impose new limits on tech platforms’ immunity from liability for third-party content, Sen. Mike Lee has endorsed reforming antitrust laws to limit Big Tech’s power, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has suggested social media companies be regulated akin to “common carriers” of information such as phone companies.

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