Twitter, Facebook, And Ethics


First let’s do Twitter….

  • The image above was tweeted out by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. It really was. It was also deleted in seconds, but not before enough people and bots captured it to set the stage for her to get swamped by online mockery.

How much crap is it fair and ethical to give a public official who has this happen to her? My answer: an endless amount. Obviously Bowser didn’t do this; the incompetent she assigned to send out tweets in her name did. Too bad. If you delegate your identity, you are responsible for what goes out under your name. Should Bowser get more or less flack than, just to pick an example out of the air, Donald Trump, who sent out his own tweets and was widely mocked for every typo, poor chosen re-tweet, or dumb comment.?

Exactly the same amount.

  • This meme has been going around on Twitter…

True Story

Boy, I didn’t see that ending coming. I thought we would learn that the one hired was the interviewee who left first….which would have been me, after about 30 minutes.

Anyone who would agree to work for a manifest asshole like the employer in the story is such a pathetic weenie that he or she deserves the abuse that such a job would inevitably entail.

I sure hope it’s not a true story. And I hope only a tiny percentage of those seeing the meme are not so foolish and submissive as to think this was a test of “patience.”

These tweets have not made me regret my decision to get off of Twitter.

Now on to Facebook, which is evidently trying to make me quit that platform too…

Facebook is adding the following to its “hate speech policy”: “Do not post: Content attacking concepts, institutions, ideas, practices, or beliefs associated with protected characteristics, which are likely to contribute to imminent physical harm, intimidation or discrimination against the people associated with that protected characteristic. Facebook looks at a range of signs to determine whether there is a threat of harm in the content. These include but are not limited to: content that could incite imminent violence or intimidation; whether there is a period of heightened tension such as an election or ongoing conflict; and whether there is a recent history of violence against the targeted protected group. In some cases, we may also consider whether the speaker is a public figure or occupies a position of authority.”

More: “This provision will appear in a section of the Community Standards devoted to policies that require additional context in order to enforce (for more about this group of policies, see here, under the heading “Sharing Additional Policies Publicly”). Specialized teams will look at a range of signals, as noted in the text quoted above, to determine whether there is a threat of harm posed by the content….By way of example, burning a national flag or religious texts, caricatures of religious figures, or criticism of ideologies may be a demonstration of political or personal expression, but may also lead to potential imminent violence in certain contexts. Previously, this content would have been left up; now, with context, we have created a framework of analysis for determining when it poses an imminent risk of harm and might be taken down.”

First Amendment expert Prof. Eugene Volokh comments in The Volokh Conspiracy:

“Protected characteristics are “race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease”; so it seems like Facebook may block:

  • Criticisms of religious institutions and belief systems, if Facebook concludes they seem “likely to contribute to imminent … discrimination” against the targeted religious group.
  • Criticisms of a foreign country or government (China, the Palestinian Authority, in principle Israel), if Facebook concludes they seem “likely to contribute to imminent … discrimination” against its citizens or people who share an ethnicity with it.
  • Criticisms of pro-transgender-rights or pro-gay-rights beliefs, if if Facebook concludes they “likely to contribute to imminent … discrimination” against sexual minorities.
  • Criticisms of feminism, if Facebook concludes they seem “likely to contribute to imminent … discrimination” against women.
  • Criticisms of pro-disability-rights positions, if Facebook concludes they seem “likely to contribute to imminent … discrimination” against the disabled.

The Professor adds, “And of course the proposal contemplates that this would be applied to election campaigns, even when candidates for office are debating these very issues, and even when swaying a small percentage of the electorate can change the outcome.”

This is a Hanlon’s Razor classic: the people who run Facebook are either stunningly stupid and civically illiterate, or they are somewhere on the spectrum of evil. Right now, I’m guessing both.

13 thoughts on “Twitter, Facebook, And Ethics

  1. Jack wrote, “This is a Hanlon’s Razor classic: the people who run Facebook are either stunningly stupid and civically illiterate, or they are somewhere on the spectrum of evil. Right now, I’m guessing both.”

    They’re an enemy of the people aka evil but just too damned stupid to know it.

  2. A more appropriate title might have been: “One of these things is not like the others: Twitter, Facebook, and Ethics”

    • That video is clearly racist; therefore, Sesame Street is racist; therefore, since PBS aired it PBS is also racist; therefore, since it was broadcast on televisions, all televisions are racist; therefore, since televisions require broadcast antennas, all broadcast antennas are racist; therefore, racist workers put up the racist antennas; therefore, racist road builders built the roads to enable the racist antenna builders; therefore, racist communities knowingly allowed these known racists to perpetrate their racists activities and drove on the racist roads; therefore, racist grocery store owners sold food to the known racists; therefore, racist farmers sold their racist food to racists; therefore, the ground the racists planted their racist food in is racist; therefore, the animals that ate the crops out of the racist ground are racist; etc., etc., etc…

      Anyone non-BIPOC person that has ever had any contact with any of these things is racist and requires immediate cancellation and reeducation into the utopian fold of the WOKE.

  3. My generation (millennials) doesn’t believe in free speech. We are kind of like a secular version of the inquisition. Everyone has to have the exact right opinion on every single tiny issue or you’re considered a problem, and there’s no room for intellectual disagreement. —sooner8728

    These are the people running twitter and all these other nasty organizations like the NYT and Washington Post and CNN.

  4. Apropos of almost nothing, the first section reminded me of Alice Cooper’s audition for Frank Zappa, which took place 12 hours earlier than “scheduled”:

    One night after an unsuccessful gig at the Cheetah Club in Venice, California in 1968 where the Alice Cooper band emptied the entire room of patrons after playing just ten minutes, they were approached and enlisted by music manager Shep Gordon, who ironically saw the band’s negative impact that night as a force that could be turned in a more productive direction. Shep arranged an audition for the band with composer and renowned record producer, Frank Zappa, who was looking to sign bizarre music acts to his new record label, Straight Records. For the audition Zappa told them to come to his house “at 7 o’clock.” The band mistakenly assumed he meant 7 o’clock in the morning. Being woken up by a band willing to play that particular brand of psychedelic rock at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough to sign them to a three-album deal.


    • Ah, yes. Frank, the Constant Contrarian.

      His other record companies were called Bizzare Records, Barking Pumpkin, and Zappa Records. His studio was called The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen.


  5. I closed a recent blog piece with the following:
    “BigTech’s censorious asshattery would be problematic enough if the decisions were made by someone smarter than moose scat. Curmie doesn’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.”
    And that was before the latest idiocy.

  6. Re: No. 1; Twitter and the Endless Patience Test:

    I saw that yesterday and read comments ridiculing it as submissive encouraging subjugation. I was surprised by the number of responses to the mockery accusing the Mockers of being Trumpian and White Supremacists.


    • Because being accused of either being Trumpian or White Supremacist is the surest way to get blacklisted in the current American cultural climate.

      Kind of like “Wiiiiitch!” in old Salem.

  7. A lot of the protected characteristics exist in opposition to one another. Transgender rights conflict with women’s rights. Religious beliefs conflict with gay and transgender rights, and women’s rights in some cases. The “content that could incite imminent violence or intimidation” portion of the policy is going to be twisted into pretzels to protect things the left wants protected, and censor what they want censored.

    I predict adherents of some religions will be allowed to say as many inflammatory things as they please, and others will be barred from talking at all. Transgender and homosexual rights trump religion and women’s rights. Criticism of left wing governments will be banned, and right wing governments will be crucified.

    This policy has been in effect for a long time, but unspoken. Now it is out in the open.

    What these policies mean:
    1. Women have no right to have rights any longer. No more women’s sports. No more women’s private spaces. Look at the “transgender”dicks, show them to little girls, indecent exposure is no longer a crime. Let men into women’s prisons to rape as they will. Let “transgender” ducks into women’s locker rooms to look around, sexually harass the women all they want, rape all they. Rape is fine as long as transgendered people are happy. No more discussion.
    2. Christianity is wrong, and should be destroyed. Judaism is wrong and should be destroyed as soon as Christianity has been eliminated. Muslim religious beliefs are all excellent and should never be criticized, ever, for any reason. No more discussion.
    3. Practices like foot binding and female genital mutilation are to be celebrated, not criticized. No more discussion.
    4. Borders are wrong and laws banning unrestricted immigration should be eliminated. No more discussion.
    5. Communism is the best form of government, and should never be criticized for any reason. Democracy is whatever the elites say it is, and criticism of the leftist elites opinions, laws or policies is wrong. No more discussion.

    Things have gotten so absurd that it would not surprise me if the left decided that we need to blind, deafen, and cripple everyone in the name of equity so that the blind, deaf and crippled won’t be at a disadvantage anymore. Facebook would then ban discussion of the new policy.

  8. How do we know those last two applicants stayed in the office all day?

    For all anyone knows, they shoved off to the nearest sports bar, got shitfaced drunk, and then showed up at the office at 5:55 P.M. on a whim (just before closing time) to see if the interviewer had returned.

  9. I’ve been considering deleting my Facebook more everyday, especially with the new community standards that have come out. I don’t know if Trump’s lawsuit is going anywhere, but I hope it does shock big tech out of its stupor.

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