Facebook's Propaganda Campaign Against Free Speech - Just Let Facebook Decide What You Can Read, See, Hear

Posted by freedomforall 3 years, 1 month ago to Politics
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"and Love the Bomb.” The title captured the absurdity of getting people to embrace the concept of weapons of mass destruction. The movie came to mind recently with the public campaign of Facebook calling for people to change her attitudes about the Internet and rethink issues like “content modification” – the new Orwellian term for censorship.

The commercials show people like “Joshan” who says that he was born in 1996 and grew up with the internet.” Joshan mocks how much computers have changed and then asks why our regulations on privacy and censorship cannot evolve as much as our technology. The ads are clearly directed at younger users who may be more willing to accept censorship than their parents who hopelessly cling to old-fashioned notions of free speech. Facebook knows that it cannot exercise more control over content unless it can get people to stop worrying and love the censor.

There was a time when this would have been viewed as chilling: a corporate giant running commercials to get people to support new regulations impacting basic values like free speech and privacy. After all, Joshan shows of his first computer was a “giant behemoth of a machine” but that was before he understood “the blending of the real world and the internet world.”

The Facebook campaign is chilling in its reference to “privacy” and “content modification” given the current controversies surrounding Big Tech. On one level, the commercial simply calls for rethinking regulatory controls after 25 years. However, the source of the campaign is a company which has been widely accused of rolling back on core values like free speech. Big Tech corporations are exercising increasing levels of control over what people write or read on the Internet. While these companies enjoy immunity from many lawsuits based on the notion of being neutral communication platforms (akin to telephone companies), they now censor ideas deemed misleading or dangerous on subjects ranging from climate denial to transgender criticism to election fraud.

Moreover, Facebook knows that there is ample support for increasing censorship and speech regulation in Congress and around the world. Free speech is under attack and losing ground — and Facebook knows it.

The rise of the corporate censor has challenged long-standing assumptions of the free speech community. Our Constitution and much of free speech writings are focused on the classic model of government censorship and state media. What we have seen in the last few years is that corporations have far greater ability to curtail speech and that you can have a type of state media without the state.

Free speech advocates are not the only ones to notice. Authoritarian figures have recognized these companies as competitors. Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced Big Tech as a threat to “Democratic institutions” – a farcical objection from one of the world’s most blood-soaked, anti-democratic figures.

Other leaders have simply sought an alliance with the companies for mutually beneficial censorship. Countries like India appear to have out-sourced censorship duties to Big Tech. Twitter admitted recently that it is actively working with the Indian government to censor criticism of its handling of the pandemic. There are widespread reports that the Indian government has misrepresented the number of deaths and the true rate of cases could be as much as 30 times higher than reported. Thousands are dying each day due to a shortage of beds, oxygen, and other essentials. Twitter is saying that it had the power to “withhold access to the content in India only” if the company determined the content to be “illegal in a particular jurisdiction.” Thus, criticism of the government in this context is illegal so Twitter has agreed to become an arm of the government in censoring information.

Sikh groups last year objected that Facebook censored Sikh posts during #SikhGenocide remembrance movements. They also objected to such censorship by Instagram and Twitter, was centered on stifling anything linked to the Khalistan and likely was done at the behest of the Indian state.

These corporations are now offering politicians what they have long desired in controlling speech and curtailing criticism. Leaders in this country have encouraged the same mutually beneficial alliance. Politicians know that the First Amendment only deals with government censorship, but who needs “Big Brother” when a slew of “Little Brothers” can do the work more efficiently and comprehensively.

When Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came before the Senate to apologize for blocking the Hunter Biden story before the election, he was met by demands from Democratic leaders for more censorship. Senator Chris Coons (D., Md.) pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.” Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) chastised the companies for shying away from censorship and told them that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded that they “commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election.”

That brings us back to Facebook’s glitzy media campaign. Polls show that younger Americans are more open to censorship after years of speech regulation in their high schools and colleges. They have grown up with media figures like CNN’s host Brian Stelter calling censorship simply a “harm reduction model.” They have read writers and editors embracing book banning and blacklisting. They have been conditioned to fear unrestrained free speech. making them natural allies in “evolving” with Big Tech companies.

What is fascinating about Joshan and his equally eager colleagues Chava and Adam is that they tie changes in technology to possible changes in core principles like reconsidering “content modification.” They were all born in 1996 — the sweet spot for censors between the Millennials and Generation Z members. Those generations, and particularly Gen Z, are the most likely to come stop fearing the censor and love “content modification.” Joshan and his technologically woke friends simply want us (and regulations) to “change” with our computers. After all, it may not be our content that needs to be “modified” but ourselves in our attitudes and assumptions. Just do not be surprised if that upgrade to You 2.0 requires the removal of the free speech bug that is inhibiting your “blending of the real world and the internet world.”
SOURCE URL: https://jonathanturley.org/2021/05/03/learning-to-love-content-modification-facebooks-new-campaign-should-have-free-speech-advocates-nervous/

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  • Posted by $ BobCat 3 years, 1 month ago
    When Mankind can no longer think for himself, is he still Human?
    I always was taught that, aside from opposable thumbs, the trait that distinguished Homo Sapiens from the other mammalian species was the capacity to think, to reason, and to rationalize.
    Of course in today’s world, no wonder there is so much confusion within our species, Homo Sapiens don’t even know if they are male, female, bi-sapiens, trans-sapien, closet-sapien, or chameleon-sapien.
    I think the Homo Saps just got tired of thinking ....
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    • Posted by mccannon01 3 years, 1 month ago
      "I think the Homo Saps just got tired of thinking .... " Hmmm, you got me thinking here, BobCat. It seems this kind of thinking, or lack of it, is a phenomenon of first world civilization. That is, thinking is the edge that gives man the ability to survive and flourish above the rest of the indigenous species on the planet, but with the great nanny states and the older generations paving the way to a sedentary lifestyle for the next generations coming up, there is no longer a need for them to think to survive. Survival, even at a comfort level well above traditional poverty, is assured for them. Therefore, thinking (or at least the right kind of thinking) for them is beginning to atrophy. They will never understand the consequences of their actions until they wake up and start thinking again. That awakening may be a catastrophe of some kind - probably of their own thoughtless making.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 1 month ago
        Mankind survived and flourished because the male of the species learned how to judge risk rationally. Progress didn't happen because he learned how to do what was safe. That is a female point of view. Although females can overcome their aversion to risk, it is not 'natural'. The nanny state is the result of (a) power seeking looters who have taken advantage of (b) the majority of women voters. As you noted, the next step is to 'educate' everyone that freedom is unimportant and 'safe' space is the ultimate goal.
        Universal suffrage is the problem, not the solution. Letting the inmates run the asylum (democracy) is a miserable way to govern.
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        • Posted by VetteGuy 3 years, 1 month ago
          Our society has definitely developed an aversion to risk. From bicycle helmets, all the way to being unable to put a person on the moon again (like we were able to do 50+ years ago!). Our fear of risk is standing in the way of much advancement.
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      • Posted by $ BobCat 3 years, 1 month ago
        Agree. We survive because we can think, and/or we think so we can survive. Either way, today man kind is too comfortable and survival does not involve thinking in today’s culture, so the old saying “Use It Ot Loose It” applies.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 1 month ago
    I've lived technology since I was six. My father and father-in-law were computer scientists before the term was even invented. I was hacking DOS autoexec.bat and config.sys files just so I could play MechWarrior on a 386 - because if you let it boot all the way into Windows 3.1 you couldn't get the memory back.

    What these moron millenials will never understand is just how privileged they are. And how conditioned. They've been conditioned to accept the permanent beta software paradigm that says that software doesn't need to have any QA done on it before it ships because we'll let the users figure it out and tell us when things break!

    Let me meet a millennial who will willingly put their phone down and talk to a real human being face to face rather than simply text them - even if sitting next to them in the car. How many millenials can actually spell accurately (without relying on spellcheck) or create grammatically-correct sentences using the proper punctuation? Not many. And how many of them think that they deserve everything handed to them on a silver platter?

    I sometimes wish for an EMP to wipe out modern society - just so these whiny brats get a taste of real life for once.
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    • Posted by $ rainman0720 3 years, 1 month ago
      I like the EMP option; my biggest concern would be who would rebuild things? If it's left up to Big Tech working in cahoots with the government, we for all time.

      Big Tech and Big Brother will ensure nobody in the future will ever know there were things such as:

      free speech

      news programs that actually presented facts and let the public decide

      constructive discussions between people with differing viewpoints

      governmental agencies that actually cared more about protecting the people of this nation than what diversity boxes get checked (you want to make yourself sick, check out the new CIA recruiting video)

      all kinds of private sector jobs where people were hired on their abilities, not on the basis of whatever boxes they check on the diversity chart

      a play whose audition request said "Whites need not apply" would be viewed with the same outrage and indignation as "White Only" and "Colored Only" drinking fountains

      I know there are probably a lot more that could be on this list; those are what I could come up with right now.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 1 month ago
        I have actually posited this scenario and here's what I think would happen:
        1) Everyone panics for the first few days. Because communications are out and even some power generation, there is general looting of all stores.
        2) Reality starts to hit home that things are going to be bad for a while - potentially a long while. How? Since there's nothing in the stores and nothing running to replenish the stores, people start to really panic after 72 hours.
        3) General rioting and violence begin - first in the big cities where the lack of resources (power, food, water, etc.) are felt first. Some try to flee, others are caught up in the general mayhem as society dissolves. Gangs take over and start stealing and hoarding resources. "Escape from LA" becomes reality.
        4) As society breaks down, so does policing, which eventually stops altogether. This is when the population begins to die due to starvation and murder. It is especially hard in the big cities, who see their populations cut in half after only two months.
        5) Rebuilding starts at about 4-6 months with those who have made it either through preparation or by force. Those who have lived by force attempt to expand their dominions. Those who prepared either band together to fight or are picked off one by one. Those who have managed to seize military stockpiles have the upper hand.
        6) War begins between the rebuilders. Some make truces and begin allocating controlled territories. Others simply get wiped out.
        7) A new world begins.
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        • Posted by mccannon01 3 years, 1 month ago
          You could add a lot to number 4, especially sickness exacerbated by the dead bodies and total lack of sanitary functions. The medical system (treatment and pharmaceuticals) will break down completely. An infected broken toe could result in a death sentence for a population that has no idea how to treat it.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 1 month ago
            Absolutely. This whole COVID panic and the overuse of hand-sanitizer has created both superbugs and chronic susceptibility in the population. Those who have been reliant on disinfecting wipes become the majority casualties due to weakened immune systems.

            What many people don't know is that many medieval siege engines weren't created to try to breach the defenses, but simply to lob dead bodies over the walls into the populace. A lucky hit would contaminate the water supply. Actually attacking a castle was tantamount to suicide, as even with vastly superior numbers the attackers were significantly disadvantaged in a frontal assault. Most battles were fought in the field and most defensive positions were either bypassed or cut off and starved into submission.

            For those interested in prepping, you can turn a five-gallon bucket into a serviceable toilet with plastic bags for refuse. Some kits include a seat and some of that blue stuff they put in port-a-potty's and camping latrines, along with the sanitary bags.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 1 month ago
      You'll deserve a lot of 👍 for this, blarman.
      Most people deserve some blame though.
      We have been distracted and to an extent spoiled by the advantages that rational thought, hard work, liberty, and free markets bequeathed to our civilization. Even those of us who have worked hard can appreciate the how liberty and the rule of law, however limited, provided the opportunity to excel (with little fear of reprisal) and be rewarded for our production.
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 1 month ago
    Time for the free market to compete with facebook and put it out of business.
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 3 years, 1 month ago
      I'm trying MeWe. I was never on Facebook, but my wife is, to stay connected with friends and relatives. So far, MeWe (or any other alternative) does not have the user numbers to be a replacement for that 'connectivity'. I would like to see that change, but it will take time. Anyone remember 'MySpace'?
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      • Posted by 3 years, 1 month ago
        It will take more time because people are addicted to F%^&book. It sucks their lives away from them. There are plenty of ways to stay connected to relatives and friends that don't require giving up all your privacy and being constantly subjected to leftist propaganda. People using F^&*book are sacrificing their liberty for nothing. Most don't even realize what they are giving away. Sheep, brainwashed by leftist 'education', ready for the slaughterhouse.
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        • Posted by bobsprinkle 3 years, 1 month ago
          It seems we have a similar point of view on "Facehook". It seemed at first to be a convenient forum to talk to others. Most of my online input came in comments sections of articles. After looking at Facehook for a while, I noticed that so many were showing their cutesy little pet or their delicious evening meals. They assumed I actually gave a crap. This assumption bled into their political views. At first there was some value as a forum for debate. After that the "values" of the little twit Zuckerberg took over. Also my girlfriend would spend the entire evening with her face plastered on her phone screen and was enthralled with the latest fashions being displayed by others. I make a determined effort to ignore all things facebook.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 1 month ago
    The will to avoid critical thinking as a too painful exercise is not new. Mass movements, usually led by a charismatic figurehead, have attracted followers who want the world reduced to simple terms, with critics silenced, often permanently.

    The difference today is the lack of a charismatic leader, apparently replaced by a theme of consensus and universal approval fed by social media. If "everyone" thinks getting a COVID vaccination, or wearing a mask is good (Facebook tells us this is so), then anyone who disagrees should be silenced.
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  • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 1 month ago
    Risk. 30 years ago the City here decided it was not safe to ride a bicycle without a proper helmet. It became compulsory to wear a helmet. Sadly, I sold my bike.

    Defenders of rules, and that rule, always say, no one actually stops riding a bike because of safety rules. Doesn't matter what you say, the rules keep coming.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 1 month ago
      If I rode, I'd keep riding with no helmet.
      Every day I am happier that Australia made it too difficult for me to immigrate.
      Not that I am any happier here since the fedgov is completely corrupt and many deserve to hang for treason.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 3 years, 1 month ago
    We should've fixed the indemnification law when Trump was still in:
    - Section 230 protection if you don't censor (except clearly illegal information)
    - If you censor, you are liable for all content
    you must clearly state the legal selection on any page of the site.

    Now they have protections on top of First Amendment Rights.
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