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Social Media News: Free Exchange of Ideas or Echo Chamber?


On our “About” webpage (here), Saucon Voice states that “social media and local news media are often characterized by a dominant narrative.” That dominant narrative, locally, has made itself apparent as we head into the 2023 elections next week, with countless posts being approved in various social media groups that appear to show only one side. This was, after all, the driving force behind Saucon Voice – to bring readers alternative content outside of the one-sided, self-reinforcing online echo chamber.

If one spends any time on Facebook reading the local pages for the Saucon Valley Community, one will no doubt be inundated by democrat political messages. The “HELLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA” Page, with more than 14,000 followers, had 5 political posts going back to October 21. The “Complainers of Hellertown” Page, with more than 4,000 followers, had 8 political posts. And the “Lower Saucon Township” (unofficial) Page, with more than 1,000 followers, had a whopping 13 political posts going back to October 21 – all of which were slanted to one side only.

According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 1/3 of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook. But to unsuspecting users of Facebook, many of these agenda-driven Facebook Pages can appear as unbiased news sources and avenues of information. All of us have heard the term “Fake News,” but many think of that term as a reality only on the national level. Unfortunately, as many readers of Saucon Voice know, the online landscape – even locally – is heavily censored in favor of leftist, woke, content.

To that point, in addition to our website, Saucon Voice has attempted to provide our content to community members through various Facebook Pages geared toward community content. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in every single case, Saucon Voice was censored by the Page admins. In one case, after our story regarding the Hellertown Area Library deal was approved in one of these groups, it was removed a day later and Saucon Voice was unable to further post to the Page or even comment on any existing posts.

In another example, this Lower Saucon resident’s opinion piece regarding one of the political candidates running was declined by the Page administrators with no explanation, even though the content pertained to the community. Ironically, this same Facebook Page lists on its “rules of conduct” section, “no self-promotion.” Apparently that’s “no self promotion unless the Page administrators agree with your politics,” in which case certain candidates are greenlighted to use the platform for campaigning while others are banned, or shadow-banned.

While it comes as no surprise to us at Saucon Voice, we should all find it disturbing that content related to the Saucon Valley community is suppressed simply because it expresses a contrary opinion to a small handful of online administrators who hold the power to gatekeep. They purport to maintain the patina of objectivity, yet it’s the furthest thing from the truth.

As readers scroll Facebook and view these community pages, keep in mind that anyone with an email address can start a Facebook Page and approve and decline those who wish to join and submit content. These pages are not official. And the content allowed to be displayed on them, at the end of the day, is up to the individuals who started those pages.

Saucon Voice is proud to bring an alternative point of view of the events in our community and we encourage all readers to come to their own informed conclusions.

If you like this article and our alternative perspective to the local mainstream narrative, please help us by sharing it. In particular, Facebook is actively suppressing our posts so please share there if you use it.


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