Friday, 03 May 2019

War on Free Speech: Facebook Bans People It Considers “Dangerous”

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On Thursday, Facebook announced that it will institute a ban against certain personalities it considers “dangerous.” The bans will also affect the Instagram platform, which Facebook owns. Among those caught up in the purge are controversial talk-show host Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Jones had already been banned by Facebook and several other social media platforms last year, but maintained an Instagram account, which has now been taken down. 

Also being banned are right-wing personalities Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Paul Joseph Watson, and right-wing politician Paul Nehlen, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2016 and 2018 in Wisconsin’s 1st District.

“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate regardless of ideology,” Facebook said in a statement. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”

Facebook will also remove accounts, fan pages, and groups associated with these individuals in the coming days. That included the Infowars pages associated with Jones.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Jones called Facebook’s actions “authoritarian,” saying he learned about the banning by seeing a headline on the Drudge Report.

“It’s a bizarre political stunt and they’re trying to hide their censorship of conservatives by mixing in Louis Farrakhan,” Jones said.

Jones added, “I’m not really worried about me. I’m worried about how authoritarian this is… I guess free speech in America is dangerous. It’s comical.”

Watson, who despite his association with Jones and Infowars, still maintains his own separate YouTube channel (for now)  also believes that the Farrakhan banning is just a convenient way of covering the tracks of the ban of conservative voices in social media.

“They obviously banned Farrakhan at the same time to give them the excuse that this wasn’t political. It was totally political. This was nothing less than election meddling. Everyone Facebook has banned [except Farrakhan] was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected. This is punishment, this is a political purge, this has nothing to do with hate or violating terms of service.”

Facebook signaled that extreme actions like these were coming in a March 27 press release where the company announced it was “standing against hate.”

“Our policies have long prohibited hateful treatment of people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity or religion.” the statement read.

“But over the past three months our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.”

Who are these “members of civil society” that Facebook has consulted with? We know, for instance, that Facebook considers the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — an organization which is currently fighting charges of racism and sexism within its own ranks  — as one such arbiter of “hate” in society.

“We strongly believe that Facebook has a responsibility to enforce its ban comprehensively on both social-media platforms, and to make sure that these figures do not return in any form as they have in the past,” wrote Keegan Hankes, a researcher for the SPLC’s “Intelligence” Project. “The SPLC will continue to monitor how Facebook is enforcing its policies related to extremist content.”

Another member of that “civil society” that Facebook consulted was the George Soros-funded far-left smear group Media Matters. “The timing is never accidental,” said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters. “The reality is, people are getting killed. There are mass shootings and mass murders that are clearly being connected to ideas like white genocide, which are fueling radicalization.”

So, Jones, Watson, Yiannopoulos, Loomer, and Farrakahn are responsible for all violence everywhere? Ok, then.

If the bans yesterday were in response to dangerous people associated with violent acts, why does Facebook still host several Antifa groups on its platforms? Haven’t those groups committed multiple violent acts in the past few years?  Aren’t such groups actively planning more violence in the future?

Being a private company, Facebook is entitled to host whom they want and ban whom they want. But in the 21st-century world, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have changed the way the world communicates. And in America, the actions of Facebook and the others are decidedly un-American in that they are denying First Amendment rights to everyone. How long will it be until Facebook and Twitter decide that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, The John Birch Society, and The New American are “dangerous” too?

Leftists throughout the world are happy to move incrementally toward their authoritarian goals. Actions such as these bans are just such steps toward a world where speech is controlled by governments and corporations instead of by the people themselves.

Photo: AP Images

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