Mark Zuckerberg might want to get his DNA tested to see if he’s related to King George III.
Facebook marked as “hate speech” and then removed part of the Declaration of Independence posted on the social media site by a small Texas newspaper called the Liberty County Vindicator.
The good folks at the Vindicator had been posting paragraphs from the Declaration of Independence — approved 242 years ago this week — on its Facebook page, but one paragraph didn’t show up and later the paper’s editors found out why.
The post “goes against our standards on hate speech,” Facebook wrote in a message to the Vindicator.
Although the Vindicator had been posting the series of sections from the Declaration of Independence since June 24 without incident, on July 2, the post was flagged by Facebook and removed.
The supposedly offending language of the Declaration reads as follows:
“He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
“He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
While the editor of the Vindicator is unhappy with Facebook’s censorship and lack of access to a human who might be able so explain the action, the editor also concedes that as a private company Facebook can delete anything it wants to without regard to what users might want. It might not be the best business decision, but it certainly isn’t unconstitutional.
Because the relevant part of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.”
Notice: The First Amendment does not bind private entities from abridging speech all day, every day.
That isn’t the issue here, though.
The issue is that the social media mammoth actually employs mathematical algorithms designed to tag and eliminate “hate speech” and the algorithm tagged and eliminated part of the Declaration of Independence!
George III had a similar take on the means and ends of American people and of the documents they built upon as they drafted the Declaration.
In his Proclamation of 1775, George III described Americans as having committed “variably disorderly acts”; “disturbance of the publick peace”; “open and hostile rebellion”; and of having sent “traitorous correspondence.”
George III ended his proclamation by commanding all British officers, as well as loyalists, “to use their utmost endeavours to withstand and suppress such rebellion.”
The king was using those terms inaccurately.
The truth is, the 13 colonies weren’t rebelling; they were trying to restore what had been taken from them: their right to self-government.
Or, as Thomas Jefferson wrote and his colleagues supported, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
This Fourth of July, please take time not only to think about our noble forefathers and the price they paid for independence, but also to remember that we, too, must be true to the timeless principles of liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Lastly, please take time to read this little article I’ve linked to here. It will not only help you to understand the Declaration of Independence, it may also help encourage you and your family to join the struggle in our own time to restore the liberty and self-governance that cost the best blood of of the 18th Century to bequeath to us.
As of July 3, the post had been restored and Facebook said it would launch an investigation into the incorrect action as well.
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