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#Facebook claims it has removed accounts operated by the website BL that are linked to The Epoch Media Group. They are wrong in making such a connection.

By @StephenEpoch (Thread 👇) theepochtimes.com/facebook-errs-…
#Facebook did not contact Epoch Media Group before stating there is a relationship between Epoch Media Group and the BL.

In a statement published on its website, @Facebook says:
The @EpochTimes and The BL media companies are unaffiliated. The BL was founded by a former employee, and employs some of our former employees.

However, that some of our former employees work for BL is not evidence of any connection between the two organizations.
The BL is a publication of Epoch Times Vietnam. As can be seen in archived pages of The Epoch Times website, Epoch Times Vietnam was no longer listed as part of Epoch Media Group in October 2018.
In addition, as @RepJimBanks points out in a recent letter, actions by @Facebook to punish The Epoch Media Group would not be in the best interests of the United States.

In July #Facebook banned the Epoch Media Group from advertising on Facebook.
In a Nov. 15 letter to @Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, @RepJimBanks writes of #Facebook’s decision, “Facebook has realized a Chinese Communist Party goal outside China’s homeland.” scribd.com/document/43516…
Later in the same letter, @RepJimBanks writes, “By prohibiting The Epoch Times from advertising you have indirectly aided the Chinese Communist Party in their worldwide soft power competition with the United States.” scribd.com/document/43516…
@RepJimBanks .@RepJimBanks notes that @Facebook’s spokesperson “omitted any justification for the initial ban [on advertising].” Banks then asks the question, “[W]hich Facebook advertising policies did The Epoch Times violate before you closed their main account?”
Epoch Media Group calls upon @Facebook to withdraw its claim that Epoch Media Group has been involved in coordinated action with BL and to withdraw its claim that BL has been working on behalf of Epoch Media Group.
Epoch Media Group also calls upon @Facebook to lift its unjustified ban on Epoch Media Group advertising.

By @StephenEpoch Gregory
Publisher, U.S. English-language editions

/END/ theepochtimes.com/facebook-errs-…
@Facebook @StephenEpoch Executive Summary | Epoch Media Group Objects to Facebook’s False Claim it Is Linked to the BL

By @StephenEpoch (Thread👇)
There has been extensive reporting about @Facebook’s takedown of The BL Facebook pages for alleged inauthentic activity.

The BL and its activities have been portrayed as being part of Epoch Media Group (EMG) and by extension @EpochTimes. This is categorically false.
EMG has never been affiliated with BL and does not engage in or support the behavior BL is alleged to be involved in. At the time of writing, EMG properties are not affected by @Facebook’s actions on BL pages.
The situation is complicated by the fact that BL is connected with the independent company Đại Kỷ Nguyên (Vietnamese Epoch Times, or VET), with which EMG was forced to cut ties in Oct 2018.

We offer the details below, for interested parties to assess for themselves.
It’s very unfortunate that @Facebook representatives have not communicated with EMG staff.

As we’ve spent years developing large Facebook properties, we’re keen to have a good relationship with Facebook.
Epoch Media Group Has No Relationship With The BL

@Facebook issued a statement exposing deceptive social media practices by BL, but then drew a false conclusion, claiming that BL’s activities were “linked to” EMG. about.fb.com/news/2019/12/r…
EMG is an independent news organization, which includes @EpochTimes and @news_ntd. It has never had any affiliation with BL.

It had no knowledge of the activities for which @Facebook has punished BL by deleting its pages, and EMG has no authority over BL.
As reported by @Snopes, BL has stated and reiterated that there is no affiliation between it and EMG. (Read here: snopes.com/news/2019/10/1…)

To this point, the removal of pages by @Facebook has not affected EMG’s pages.
#Facebook acted with too much haste in publicly charging EMG with involvement in BL’s practices without ever contacting EMG to ask about any possible relationship with BL.

The role played by Đại Kỷ Nguyên and its CEO, Trung Vu, does make the situation confusing.
The language used by @Facebook is irresponsibly unclear. By saying that EMG is “linked” to BL’s activity, #Facebook suggests that EMG is responsible for BL’s activities or has coordinated with BL, without Facebook’s statement providing any evidence that this is so.
To clear our good name, we need to address the leading pieces of evidence used in other reports, not the @Facebook statement, to justify the charge that EMG is somehow “linked” to BL.
Epoch Media Group Cut Ties With VET (Which Is Connected With The BL) Over a Year Ago

This separation was made public in 2018 when VET was no longer listed as an edition on the @EpochTimes website, as can be seen in an archived webpage from October 2018. web.archive.org/web/2018100210…
A Dec 2019 report by @Graphika_NYC and the Digital Forensics Lab commissioned by @Facebook to examine the case of BL assumes that connections between VET and BL involve EMG. The report is apparently not aware that VET and EMG had separated. graphika.com/uploads/Graphi…
Similarly, @Snopes assumes that the hosting of BL on a VET server involves EMG, even though it had been informed by EMG of the break between EMG and BL in email responses to the first version of its report.
In a divorce, it is not unusual for there to be loose ends that are not taken care of.

A @Facebook spokesperson told @WSJ “that executives of The BL were active administrators on Epoch Media Group-controlled pages.”
Upon learning of @Facebook’s statement, EMG conducted its own internal investigation and determined that several people had not had their credentials revoked due to an administrative oversight. EMG is not aware of these individuals altering any EMG Facebook pages.
In August 2018, EMG revoked the @Facebook credentials of VET staff. EMG is unaware of their possible affiliation with BL.

Similarly, while @Snopes points out that Trung used an NTD email account when he incorporated BL in Wyoming in January 2019 (superseding the original 2016…
…incorporation in California), his possessing this account was an administrative oversight. It should have been deleted when EMG cut ties with him.
If there were a connection between BL and EMG, one would expect the two to share editorial content.

In December, VET published videos taken from Hong Kong @EpochTimes. Hong Kong Epoch Times filed a complaint with YouTube, which then suspended VET’s and BL’s channels.
We are disappointed by @Facebook’s actions. Without giving EMG a chance to respond, #Facebook published a loose charge that EMG is “linked” to BL’s alleged deceptive practices, giving the impression that EMG was somehow responsible for those practices.
Several media outlets around the world have reported that EMG was involved, amplifying @Facebook’s false claim.

#Facebook has all along failed to provide a representative with whom EMG, a heavy Facebook user, could discuss issues that routinely come up.
Just last month, in a Nov. 15, 2019, letter to @Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, @RepJimBanks raised concerns about #Communist #China’s actions against EMG and about #Facebook’s banning of @EpochTimes from advertising its content and products.

Read: scribd.com/document/43516…
We call upon @Facebook to set the record straight and issue another statement explaining that EMG is not “linked” to BL, did not coordinate with BL, and is not responsible for BL’s actions.

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