Facebook Algorithm Zaps Sarah Palin Post

In this June 29, 2010 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks to the crowd at the P.U.R.E. Ministries in Duluth, Ga. Palin has put her money where her mouth is, contributing at least $87,500 to candidates she's endorsed in the last few months. AP

The guessing game continues as to why Facebook's automated systems deleted a controversial post from Sarah Palin.

The company is not commenting in detail about the circumstances surrounding the incident in which a July 20 post by Palin disappeared from the site. Palin's post, which expressed her opposition to plans to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site reappeared Thursday but it's still not clear what - or who - was responsible.

Sarah Palin
AP

Facebook indicated that the culprit was an automated system, but declined to get more specific than that. Citing security issues, Facebook would not go into details about how its systems work.

An official note issued by Facebook said that Palin's post did not violate the services content standards "but was removed by an automated system We're always working to improve our processes and we apologize for any inconvenience this caused."

Period. End quote.

Since bowing out as governor of Alaska after her unsuccessful 2008 bid for vice president as John McCain's running mate, Palin has regularly used social media like Facebook - as well as Twitter - as a soapbox to comment on issues du jour without needing to go through the filter of the press - which she routinely dismisses as "the lamestream media."

As such, she's managed to draw a significant amount of attention for herself with controversial posts like the one in question.

No one is disputing that America stands for - and should stand for - religious tolerance. It is a foundation of our republic. This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense. To build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks. ...I agree with the sister of one of the 9/11 victims (and a New York resident) who said: "This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists. I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened."

Many Americans, myself included, feel it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground. This is nothing close to "religious intolerance," it's just common decency.


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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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