Monday, 19 August 2019

Facebook Censorship & Hypocrisy

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It is a nearly universally accepted fact that Big Tech has a far-left bias. From censorship of conservatives and Christians, to promotion of every liberal cause that comes down the pike, companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google routinely abuse the platforms they claim are conduits for the people. Any person or organization that makes any real progress promoting conservative, Christian, traditional values against the lies of liberalism will eventually find themselves in the cross hairs of the liberal social-media elite. 

Our time has come.

Facebook claims to be a free-speech platform that only bans content that violates its Community Standards — including “hate speech.” But since Facebook gets to define “hate speech” in keeping with its own political agenda, one would expect too much for that definition to be consistent. Case in point: In mid-July, The John Birch Society (this magazine’s parent organization) posted the cover of the July 8 issue of The New American on Facebook. That issue’s cover carried the title “Immigrant Invasion” and included a real photograph of illegal aliens illegally crossing a border fence

Despite the fact that nothing in the post, the accompanying picture, or the associated article contained anything that could be construed as “hate speech,” Facebook almost immediately deemed that magazine cover as “hate speech” and not only took down the post, but also banned The John Birch Society from monetizing videos on Facebook for 30 days. Facebook videos over 10 minutes in length can be monetized by ad breaks inserted into the videos, sort of like commercial breaks on television. In a message from Facebook, the JBS was told that the removal of the post and the advertising ban were the result of that post, which the message said “goes against our Community standards on hate speech.” Furthermore, if JBS has another “violation” of this type within 90 days, “you’ll lose access to ad breaks for at least 90 days.”

So the mere use of the phrase “Immigrant Invasion” and an accurate picture of real people illegally crossing the border into the United States — both of which were true, accurate, and non-demeaning — were enough for Facebook to classify the post as “hate speech.” 

But Facebook routinely allows posts — including pictures and videos — in favor of illegal immigration, even when those posts advocate violence and lawlessness. For instance, a popular post on Facebook as of this writing is a spin-off of the planned Area 51 raid. For background, a Facebook event entitled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” has more than one million people marked as “going.” The idea behind the event is for those people to forcibly storm and illegally enter the top-secret Area 51 Air Force Facility in the early hours of September 20. 

Not only does Facebook continue to allow that event to stay up, but it has done nothing to remove posts using that event as a backdrop for calling for the violent attack and occupation of ICE detention centers and the offices of the CEOs of companies. One such popular post, found on the Black Lives Matter-related page “We Stay Woke” — a page dedicated to demanding reparations for all black Americans — says, “shoutout to the area 51 meme for helping everyone understand how a proletariat revolt works[.] you’re right, they can’t stop us all. now let’s use that energy for real places like concentration camps and ceo offices[.]” The reference to “concentration camps” is directly tied to another liberal Internet trope: comparing President Trump to Adolf Hitler, America to Nazi Germany, and ICE detention centers to Nazi concentration camps. To make that point really clear, another post on the “We Stay Woke” page shows a video taken at one of the detention centers and bears the caption, “F*** Area 51…. We should be storming these concentration camps.” And the not-very-subtly-named “Abolish ICE” page on Facebook posted a cartoon of President Trump getting an X-ray showing him with a swastika instead of a heart. 

So it appears that the “violation” for which JBS and TNA were slapped down had nothing to do with the picture or the caption on the July 8 cover story and everything to do with what Facebook considers to be the wrong side of the argument. In short, Facebook is pro-illegal immigration and will brook no opposing views. The “hate speech” label is pure hypocrisy masquerading as benevolence.

After all, Facebook’s Community Standards say the social network bans “hate speech” because “it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.” Does referring to the president as Hitler and calling for the violent overthrow of ICE detention centers and CEOs across the country not qualify as “an environment of intimidation” and “promote real-world violence”? Of course it does. Yet while the JBS post of a real picture of people illegally crossing our border and advertising an article that offers peaceful solutions to that problem gets slapped down as “hate speech,” posts calling for actual violence against ICE and others are allowed to remain on the platform. Facebook’s bias is evident; illegal immigrants deserve protection from exposure, while members of the Air Force and agents of ICE are worthy of violence. One is reminded of the old saying that if it weren’t for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

And in this case, the liberal double standard doesn’t end there. Following the same “logic” that allows the denigration of anyone or anything associated with conservatism or basic American principles, there exists on Facebook a litany of posts dehumanizing police and depicting violence against them. One popular meme appearing on pages associated with Black Lives Matter (BLM) shows a black man firing a pistol point-blank into the driver’s window of a police cruiser and carries the caption, “When this starts to happen you’ll know why....” 

Another popular picture on BLM-affiliated Facebook pages shows police officers in riot gear engulfed in flames. One Facebook user replied to the picture with a GIF of a woman crying tears of joy and saying, “That is so beautiful.” Can anyone reasonably conclude that such a post does not create “an environment of intimidation” and “promote real-world violence”?

And a cartoon that showcases a fat, white, police officer — with the facial features of a pig — can be seen eating a doughnut and failing to notice an Arab boarding an American flag-themed train while carrying a nuclear bomb. The caption reads, “Fascist Pig. In America our cops eat donuts this is a Fascist pig.” There are more levels of stupidity to that meme than this writer has space to unpack in this article, but suffice it to say that the cartoon dehumanizes all police officers while (oddly, for liberals) portraying all Arabs as terrorists. But the post has not been deemed “hate speech” and removed by Facebook as of this writing.

And there is the pulse of the matter: “Hate speech” is a standard of shifting sands. If that same Arab had been portrayed boarding that same train with that same nuclear bomb and a caption denouncing the liberal policy of allowing Arabs from terrorist-friendly nations to enter the United States as “refugees,” it would likely have been tagged as “hate speech” before it had been up an hour. If it had shown President Obama appearing as a monkey and eating a banana, it may have only lasted minutes. But since it is used to attack white police, it gets a pass. 

The fact that the “pig” cop in that cartoon is white is not likely an accident, either. Because Facebook’s definition of “hate speech” — according to its guidelines — is anything that is “a direct attack on people based on what [Facebook] call[s] protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.” The definition goes on to add, “We also provide some protections for immigration status.”

So a poor, black, Somali, Muslim homosexual with AIDS who is illegally in the United States would be “protected,” while a middle-class, white, American Christian heterosexual in good health is fair game. This idiocy shares a common root with the idea that something is only racist if it is an affront to a minority. Allow this writer to clear the air: Racism is racism regardless of the color of either the victim or the perpetrator, and hate is hate, even if the person doing the hating is a poor, sick, homeless, black lesbian, and the object of the hate is a healthy, rich, white, bank president. Period. 

But examples of racism against whites are commonplace on Facebook. The depiction of police as pigs reminded this writer of an article he wrote in September 2017 about a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who produced a video depicting the murder of a white police officer wearing a pig mask. In the video — which is little more than a thinly veiled commercial for the student’s clothing line — all of the black students who murder the cop with sledge hammers and behead him are shown wearing sweatshirts and hoodies bearing violent anti-white slogans. That clothing line — Insert Apparel — has an active Facebook page as of this writing. 

Advertised on that page are shirts bearing such slogans as, “F*** White Supremacy,” which — taken all by itself — may not be that objectionable, other than the coarse language. But given that other shirts advertised seem to support the idea of black supremacy, the message becomes clear; supremacy is fine, depending on the color of the person who is considered supreme. In the twisted minds of the liberal elites who run Facebook, black pride is a virtue and white pride is an evil. 

This is further evidenced by the fact that by clicking a link to the website of Insert Apparel, one can purchase a shirt bearing the slogan “All White People Are Racist.” So apparently it is not just white pride that is an evil, but whiteness itself. But far from removing his posts or demonetizing his page, Facebook clearly has no qualms allowing the owner of Insert Apparel to sell his products and link to his website from their allegedly anti-hate speech platform. 

That idea is seen clearly in a post by the news site Vox. On April 16, Vox shared on its Facebook page a video originally posted by “explaining” the idea of “systemic racism.” According to the video, all white people benefit from racism, and all minorities suffer at the hands of all white people. Making broad claims, the video never backs up its assertions. It merely slings mud at anyone with light skin in the hopes that some of it will stick. As of this writing, the video — which has 7.3 million views, 10,000 likes, and one thousand comments — is still up. So, a news site can post racist garbage accusing an entire group of people of being racist based on nothing but the color of their skin and that’s fine, but JBS is guilty of “hate speech” for posting a magazine cover depicting the provable assertion that the United States is being invaded by illegal immigrants. 

Not to be outdone by Vox, on August 2, 2018, the liberal news site Slate posted an article on its Facebook page entitled “Why White Liberals Are So Unwilling to Recognize Their Own Racism.” The article — like the “systemic racism” video posted by Vox — claims that all white people are racist, though most of them are just too intoxicated with white privilege to know it. For instance, the article asserts that the definition of racism as “individual acts of intentional meanness across race” is flawed because it “exempts virtually all white people from the system that we’re all in and that we’ve all been shaped by.”  The example used to prove that assertion? “The inability to answer with any depth whatsoever the question of what it means to be white.”  

So white pride — which is based on the ability to answer in-depth the question of what it means to be white — is racist, yet not answering that question with any depth is also proof of racism? That is circular reasoning on a whole new level. It means that merely being white makes one a racist, regardless of whether one professes or condemns “white pride.” As the article puts it, “All white people have internalized a racist worldview.” To further drive that point home, the article states in clear terms that whiteness and racism are one and the same, and that the question for white people to ask themselves is, “How do I be a little less white, a little less racist quite frankly, less defensive, less arrogant, less certain, less complacent, less passive?”

The obvious conclusion is that it is something approaching a sin to be white. The only virtue a white person can have, according to Slate, is one of white shame. 

But yet again, Facebook allowed the post to stay up and does not appear to have taken any action to sanction Slate for accusing an entire race of being racist. And just to put in the for-what-it’s-worth column, making a negative blanket statement about an entire race is itself racist. 

So JBS and TNA have been accused of “hate speech” for making an accurate statement that was backed up by pages of evidence, because the facts show that illegal immigration is a real problem, but those who attack whites, conservatives, Christians, and members of other non-protected groups, including calls for violence and lawlessness, are allowed to run amok. 

Facebook is pandering to the liberal mind-set, and while the social media giant may not like it, The New American will never bow to that pressure. The slogan that appears on every cover of this magazine — That Freedom Shall Not Perish — is more than just a slogan, it is a guiding principle that we will never abandon.

Photo: AP Images

This article originally appeared in the August 19, 2019 print edition of The New American. The New American publishes a print magazine twice a month, covering issues such as politics, money, foreign policy, environment, culture, and technology. To subscribe, click here.

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