Quick Facebook Ban Update…

Facebook continues to reject any links to Ethics Alarms posts, although one occasionally and randomly slips through apparently. I have never received any explanation for this, though some posts do get the “community standards” excuse. If Ethics Alarms violates “community standards,” it is only because the blog refuses to enable knee-jerk “resistance” plots and narratives, or engage in the Left’s mass denial that the mainstream media has become a propaganda organ and cannot be trusted.

Efforts to contact Facebook and acquire any information or response have been futile. The consequences of this action by Facebook are tangible. Posts before this action would be routinely shared on Facebook between 20 and thousands of times. It has hurt blog traffic, and conceivably my business, ProEthics, which benefits from my visibility.

Today I was made aware of the Trump Administration’s Tech Bias Sharing Tool, which is collecting accounts of censorship and other content-based abuse by social media and the large tech companies. I just posted the whole story, as only I can.

Let’s see if anything happens.

25 thoughts on “Quick Facebook Ban Update…

  1. I hope you get to post your links to Facebook again. I only discovered this blog recently through blind chance, and I’m glad I have. I know I’m not an expert on First Amendment law, but from my understanding of it, Facebook is just about a public forum that happens to be in the digital realm, because it is so prevalent in the every day lives of so many people, along with the fact that there is no comparable alternate. Though that analysis is probably flawed and I’m sure that there are good arguments against this view.

    • Andrew
      1st amendment applies only to government. Social media on the other hand can choose what it is willing to publish because it is private.

      There is some law dealing with being merely a platform as opposed to a publisher gives the liable protections but understanding all of that is above my paygrade.

      • I think it was in Ken Pope’s podcast Make No Law that brings this up. There was emphasis that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not considered public forums. The case discussed did state that any Twitter post made by a state actor in a public capacity is a digital public forum, and therefore they cannot block anybody from viewing them. However, due to the nature of social media platforms, I would say that they should be designated public forums. But I can see that going against Freedom of Association. It’s a fine line, I believe. Personally, I fall on the designated public forum side.

        • Whoa – actually – this is interesting. If government uses FB to create a public forum, and FB limits who can participate and what the participants can say in that public forum created on FB – either Gov shouldn’t be on FB or they should ensure that FB isn’t censoring their forum.

          • I think it came from Twitter and Facebook banning/deleting Trump’s posts. They have to be careful that they don’t cross into the realm of publishers because they become subject to libel laws and possible censorship problems.

      • This is the problem. The social media platforms got themselves listed as service providers, so they can’t be held responsible for anything posted on the site. ISP’s have this protection because they just provide the service, they are supposed to provide the service without discriminating against people, and they shouldn’t be held responsible when some customer decides to download pirated movies or songs. Social media asked for and got the same waiver because they claimed they were just providers of space for the content creators, they didn’t have anything to do with the content.

        However, once the social media platforms got their liability waiver, they decided to determine content. Well, that’s trying to have it both ways. Either you are involved in the content (and therefore liable) or you don’t determine content and you aren’t.

        A classic example of this is student newspapers. The content of student newspapers is determined by the students. The editorial decisions are made by students only. Faculty advisors just advise, they don’t forbid or make final decisions on content. Because of this, the students alone are liable for their content. This makes student newspapers virtually immune to lawsuits because you can only sue the students (who have negative net worth and virtually no income). If the school starts to forbid articles or make editorial decisions, however, the school suddenly becomes liable for everything published in the newspaper. This is the line the social media platforms have crossed and their ‘get out of jail free card’ needs to be revoked. They reneged on their part of the bargain and that makes their behavior completely unethical. All the ‘but they are private companies’ garbage is just excusing their conduct. They made a deal and the deal was that they kept their hands off determining content in return for immunity from liability.

  2. I don’t expect private interests to sacrfice their points of view so alternate points of view can be heard.

    It would make more sense to get Congress to approve funding for the equivalent of a public access channel for the Internet along the lines of CSpan but specifically for Bloggers. Allow any and every point of view and make it a true marketplace of ideas.. Individual bloggers would manage their little piece of the word just as they do now. The only difference is that there is no private interest playing gatekeeper.

    This is something I would be happy to support with tax dollars even though I know I will be giving a platform to ideas that are antithetical to my own.

    Perhaps it is time we move beyond funding NPR (old technology) and develop a user friendly platform (new technology) to gain greater efficiency in the distribution of ideas.

    NPR and Public Television were specifically created to offset the power of private media to provide the public with news and information that could not get commercial traction. It is time we applied the same attitudes for Internet technology as we did for broadcast media.

    • Excellent idea, Chris. I would whole-heartedly support such an effort. It’d be interesting to see how many Facebookers switch to such a site. Incidentally, I’m spelling ‘dragin_dragon right, now.

  3. Seeing as how:

    1. The government and the White House in particular have very little say in how private platforms moderate content;

    2. This new tool, for some reason, is being hosted on a .com rather than a .gov domain; and

    3. It’s collecting individualized information on complainants.

    I rather suspect this whole thing is at best a PR stunt, but more likely an attempt to compile a “sucker list” for the purpose of targeted campaign fundraising.

    • All indicators are that it is compiling info on people. When I clicked on the link it routed me to page wanting my info and not a landing page that explained it purpose.

      Not going any farther onto the site I have no idea if Trump is involved or not but given his accumen in promotion I expect I would have heard him talk it up during a rollout.

    • It is telling that they have to use a .com and not a .gov site. It is probably better that way, however. They probably couldn’t have prevented government employees from sabotaging or stealing the info from a .gov site.

      I think #1 is wrong. These social media sites are providing a service. To deny service on something like opinions should be stopped. Look at the possibility that Mastercard can deny you service if you are a Republican. Chase bank will. The NY government will make sure you are not allowed to have a business if you have political views they don’t like. Why is this legal?

      Again, could I buy an apartment building and then refuse to rent to blacks under the excuse that I just won’t rent to Democrats? What if I do that at a restaurant? A bank? Are you really telling me that would be legal? What if Masterpiece Cake Shop just said they don’t do business with Democrats? Would there have been a lawsuit?

  4. Jack writes: “Facebook continues to reject any links to Ethics Alarms posts, although one occasionally and randomly slips through apparently.”

    Trying to understand Our Present better, I continue to read the ‘forbidden’ authors and intellectuals. Lately, I have been reading the title Key Thinkers of the Radical Right: Behind the New Threat to Liberal Democracy. It is composed of essays by various authors on the significant and influential theorists that the New Right has been influenced by.

    It has ever been my contention that these thinkers need to be better understood, so to be able to understand the rising Right in America & Europe (as well as in Latin America but this does not get much coverage). Like it or not, accept it or not, understand it or not: these thinkers and idea-bringers have had — are having — a significant influence on The Present. It must be remembered that it was HRC who made the entire world aware of the advent of a New Right with her comments about ‘the Alt-Right’. She did so in an environment in which all the various players would have good reason to misunderstand and to misrepresent the thinkers standing behind this ‘Alt-Right’. Alt-Right as a term no longer functions. But the ideas and the thinkers that formulate the ideas, do. They are part-and-parcel of Occidental_european traditions, like them or hate them.

    [In the study just mentioned the ‘radical thinkers’ are: Oswald Spengler, Ernst Jünger, Carl Schmitt, Julius Evola, Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, Paul Gottfried, Patrick Buchanan, Jared Taylor, Alexander Dugin, Bat Yeor, Mencius Moldbug, Greg Johnson, Richard Spencer, Jack Donovan and Daniel Friberg.]

    Moldbug (Curtis Yarvin is his legal name) introduces a novel idea. He seeks to define and to explain ‘elite liberal domination’ of mainstream news sources and academia (and thus refers to a cultural hegemony) by describing the present progressive social and political order as an ‘intellectual political machine’ that dictates acceptable and unacceptable thought.

    To arrive at this idea, he worked with ideas formulated by Antonio Gramsci and Gaetano Mosca, who were Marxists, in relation to the notion that ‘elites’ manufacture the circumstances — the cultures in a wide sense — that justify their dominant position in them. But, Moldbug’s assertion is that in our culture, and definitely in Liberal-Progressive America, so-called progressive hegemony is de-centered, self-regulating, even elegant, and yet thoroughly pernicious. It “has no center, no master planners,” but reproduces an intellectual elite class whose control over “mass opinion creates power. Power diverts funds to the manufacturers of opinion, who manufacture more,” perpetuating progressive control.

    Now, Moldbug has a term to refer to this ‘system’ and to The Present. He refers to it as The Cathedral. The term evokes a giant, imposing structure into which one enters, or through which one is produced, that determines the very terms of perception. Myself, I have used the term ‘metaphysics’ of our present in a similar way. And he understands it to be a “feed-back loop”. He argues that elites have established American-styled Universalism, a form of secularized post-Protestantism, as the implicit State Religion.

    I think this idea and the ideas related to it are worth consideration. It seems to me possible to say, with the above as a preamble, that the intellectual Cathedral, to the degree that it is ‘intellectual’, desires to exclude any ideas that do not support its liberal contentions. As everyone who reads the (electronic) papers is aware, powerful elites and their media systems are looking for ways to exclude opinions which they determine are ‘dangerous’. They feel justified in this because, I gather, what they hope to preserve is, to them, more important than some things that must be sacrificed in order to preserve it.

    What is alarming — and this from my own perspective and position within, at the very least, more radical right-oriented theory — is that Jack’s position is really American Centrist. That is, located within American jurisprudence that defends Constitutional principles. And if I have used the term ‘centrist’ in critiques of centrism I am not using it here in that sense. Perhaps I might say that the former American Cathedral has been — is being — supplanted by a far more aggressive version: the New American Progressive Cathedral.

    It is in relation to that, and against that, that I wish to develop counter-theory.

    The efforts now going on to constrain opinion, to limit the exchange of opinion, and to block it out, is just beginning it seems to me.

    • Correction: Gaetano Mosca was not a Marxist, but rather a democracy-critical elitist. [“He opposed the racist elitism preached by the Nazi Party in Germany, condemned Marxism, which in his view expressed the hatred within Karl Marx, and mistrusted democracy, seeing the greatest threat to liberal institutions in “the extension of the suffrage to the most uncultured strata of the population.”] I knew something of Gramsci but nothing of Mosca till I read up.

  5. Odd. Recently, I’ve tried posting links to your blog every few days or weeks and had none of them rejected. Earlier today, I tested linking your “Saturday Ethics Notables. 5/18/2019: More Social Media Partisan Censorship, A-Rod’s Potty And Ian’s Potty Mouth…” post and got the dreaded “Your content couldn’t be posted….community standards…” rejection (appealed it, don’t see a response). Just now, I linked THIS post with no rejection.

    No idea what the controlling factor might be. Since I don’t accept friend requests, perhaps my Facebook “footprint” isn’t large enough to get noticed by their algorithms (doesn’t help you get any traffic, either). Maybe it’s tied to whatever keeps my Facebook photo from appearing here on my comments. Maybe I occupy another dimension; who knows.

  6. Just re-tried linking the ““Saturday Ethics Notables. 5/18/2019: ….” post and it was NOT rejected this time. Curiouser and curiouser….

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