Right-wing Progress Party MP Per-Willy Amundsen claims that Facebook has deleted one of his posts on former English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, who, he ventured, was the victim of “politically motivated persecution”.
Last week, former Justice Minister Amundsen called on Norway to grant Robinson, jailed for nine months, political asylum. Amundsen also accused Facebook of having a “left-wing bias” and muting Robinson's supporters. “Will they censor a Norwegian MP?” Amundsen asked.
Apparently, this is exactly what happened, as Amundsen has claimed he was censored by the social media giant.
“Friday I was called by Facebook and warned: If I don't delete my post about Tommy Robinson, they would censor it. Similarly, they also contacted the Prime Minister's office (!) And the Progress Party administration”, Amundsen wrote.
According to Amundsen, this is in effect an attack on free speech.
“In principle, this is deeply problematic, albeit it's just a minor example of how freedom of speech is threatened. Facebook is in many ways a monopolist. If they do not manage to deal with the freedom of speech themselves, the Storting [Norwegian parliament] should consider whether it makes sense to use legislation to protect legal statements on Facebook”, Amundsen wrote.
Amundsen found the perspective of Facebook's meddling scary.
“You can think what you want of Robinson. Regardless of that, it is frightening how Facebook has made a habit of deleting and censoring content”, Amundsen told the news outlet Medier24.
“Freedom of speech is not just about allowing opinions you like. Things taken for granted don't need freedom of speech. It's the controversial and contradictory standpoints that need protection, and Facebook doesn't seem to understand it”, Amundsen suggested.
According to Medier24, Facebook Norway claims to be investigating the case.
Amundsen has repeatedly slammed Norway's immigration policy, citing poor integration of immigrants. According to him, many adhere to cultural values which “fundamentally collide” with Norwegian and Western values such as democracy, freedom, freedom of speech, equality, and tolerance.
In early 2019 Amundsen sparked a huge debate in his home country by suggesting cutting child support for non-western immigrants to stop them from “producing more children”. This, he stressed, would help halt the demographic decline of ethnic Norwegians.
36-year-old Tommy Robinson (born Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) is the founder and former leader of the English Defence League. He is known for campaigning against excessive immigration, criticism of Islam and efforts to raise awareness of immigrants' involvement in the spate of sex crimes uncovered across the UK.
Robinson was recently slapped with a nine-month sentence for contempt of court after live-streaming defendants outside Leeds Crown Court during a criminal trial into a grooming gang case in Huddersfield.
Prior to his recent nine-month sentence for contempt of court, Robinson released a video asking US President Donald Trump for asylum for himself and his family.
Ever since his arrest in May 2018, Robinson's case has triggered strong reactions in both Europe and the US, with his supporters claiming he has been persecuted for his “journalism”.