The Blog Exotic.
Ideas and Things I Geek Out About.
At Heaven’s gates ye shall be judged. At Hell’s gates ye shall be fact- checked.
I read yesterday Facebook had its first decline in membership last month...ever. This doesn't surprise me. Several of my friends have completely walked away from the platform, and I for one have significantly scaled back my participation. You may have noticed both reduced posting on my author FB and photography FB. I've kept them mostly as an avenue for readers to discover this website, which has become my primary platform. My partipation on my personal FB is way down, too, but not entirely evaporated.
I think the reasons for FB's decline are many and complicated. but I'll take a stab at analyzing why. These are just my opinions, and wiser people than I probably have better reasons. You are welcome to disagree.
1. Facebook Supports Censorship.
There is nothing that pisses off an American, at least an old guy like me, more than censorship. Facebook's case for censorship appears to be built on its flimsy "Community Standards". However, there isn't really anyting community about them. They are often arbitrary. Many times, FB only censors items reported to it. In other words, if one has a thick skin, no agenda or is mature enough to close the app, then they won't report a post as offensive. Otherwise, Karens rule. Facebook's community standards and definitions of hate speech make it very easy for groups to shut down opposing political speech, or just about anything, on the flimsiest of pretenses.
Some say its okay for Facebook to censor. Free speech doesn't apply to private companies, only the government, right?. What if said company spent almost $20 million in 2020 alone lobbying congress? Facebook and other tech giants enjoy unfettered access to the US and other governments that common citizens do not enjoy. Tech giants hold the keys to the world's information, and governments desperately want access and control of that information. US and world governments are actively working with Facebook to determine what it should censor, what is "hate speech," and who gets banned. This makes Facebook, and other tech giants, effectively extensions of governments,. This censorship is what I call "tyranny by proxy" - the government co-opting or coercing private entities to enforce policies that government is otherwise banned from doing itself. In return, Facebook and other tech giants get special legislative indulgences that simultaneously let them claim to be a impartial platform, while also exercising tremendous editorial powers.
If the US government leaned on a physical newspaper to dictate what was "misinformation" or "hate speech" or told a newspaper editor who they could or could not buy their paper or advertise, the courts would shoot it down in minutes. Yet, this travesty continues unabated. Its time for the courts to catch up with modern technology, and extend the same constitutional rights people enjoy in printed press and vocally to the internet.
I believe many people see through this now, though I believe many won't publicly admit it.
Just for fun try this! Post this blog link on your Facebook and see how long it takes to get banned or fact checked.
Come back next week for Part 2: The Fact Checkers.
The opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not represent any organization or group. If you have been triggered, you may vent and rage below in the comments section.
#facebook #censorship #freedom #freeexpression #internet #freespeech