Nick Clegg, Meta’s (that is, Facebook’s) president of global affairs, announced that Donald Trump’s Instagram and Facebook accounts would be reinstated after more than two years of being unethically banned from both platforms, while Twitter, as we now know, was doing likewise for partisan and ideological reasons. Trump was still President of the United States when Facebook censored him, and this late capitulation to what Meta must see as a slow shift in public perception doesn’t mitigate or erase that misconduct at all. We can’t trust these people, and they are very powerful. They helped, eagerly helped, advance a party’s anti-democratic agenda, and will undoubtedly try to find ways to do so again. But they can’t be effective propagandists if not enough people trust them. That’s why Clegg said,
“The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot boxBut that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a clear risk of real world harm — a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse — we act.”
And who is Nick Clegg, or any Big Tech honcho, or anyone, frankly, to decide what mere words create a “risk of real world harm”—and is that “real world harm,” or “real world harm”? The guy can’t even avoid being ambiguous while explaining his company’s standards, and that’s no accident. Suppressing speech and political expression thrives in ambiguity. Any speech that doesn’t cross the line into criminal fraud or incitement as defined in statutes does not cause either “real world harm,” or “real world harm.” The suppression of speech by biased, often ignorant, corrupt intermediaries does cause harm. But if the prevailing metaphorical winds shift again, Clegg and Meta/Facebook will censor Trump again, or any other perceived threat to the divine progressive agenda. Count on it.
Trump, as is his way, was inarticulate and provocative in his response on Truth Social, saying that deplatforming should “never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving retribution!” What the heck does “not deserving retribution” mean? Trump doesn’t understand freedom of expression any better than Clegg does.
Then there is Rep. Adam Schiff, whose periodic reminders of his presence at the highest levels of our government are like those disgusting photos of microscopic organisms hiding on your skin and scalp.
“I think Facebook’s decision to reinstate Donald Trump is inexplicable,” Schiff said in an interview with MSNBC (of course MSNBC). “It represents, in my view, a total caving in and copping out. The only motive I can see is profit motive here.He’s continued to give aid and comfort to those who committed acts of insurrection. He’s continuing to spread the big lie.”
- “Caving in to what, the crucial right to free speech in the United States? Schiff, we have learned from the Twitter files, doesn’t like that right. Schiff and the Democratic National Committee pushed Twitter to remove an obviously parody image of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign after it was retweeted by former Trump. Twitter refused.
- There were no “acts of insurrection.” The idiots who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 had seen government officials and authorities suspend the Rule of Law and bend to the will of the George Floyd rioters, and foolishly believed they might do the same in response to their tantrum.
- What “aid and comfort”? These are terms of law, and they don’t apply. Schiff is a Harvard Law grad. Either he knows this is nonsense, or Harvard Law profs should join the witness protection program.
- Adam Schiff, like so many of his colleagues who trafficked in falsehoods in their four-year efforts to make it impossible for an elected President to function, is ethically estopped from using the term “Bid Lie.”
7 thoughts on “Facebook Suddenly Rediscovers The Democratic Principle Of Free Speech, And (Of Course), Rep. Schiff Objects”
Who the hell is Nick Clegg to lecture us about free speech? He’s a Brit political hack. Brits don’t give a rat’s ass about free speech. Go away, Nick. Why did Zuckerberg hire this guy? Because he has a cool name? There were no qualified Americans?
I’m sure Trump will be banned again as soon has he says a single thing. His reinstatement is a charade.
McCarthy did a nice job explaining why he removed Schiff from the intelligence committee. In short, he said a guy who lies to the public and misleads them on what information there is about national affairs shouldn’t be privy to rarified intelligence.
Can I just say the real ‘Big Lie’ about the election is that there was “No Evidence!” of fraud. Yes, it may be insufficient evidence to prove fraud or identify specific fradulent votes, but there sure as hell were a lot of red flags on the election, and for the most part any attempt to investigate has been resisted as much as possible. Continuing to claim a simple and obvious falsehood like that instead of honestly engaging only encourages the people who believe that Trump actually won. Schiff of course has pushed that particular big lie.
Like it or not, a sudden shift with one count late a night is evidence of fraud. Vote counting is one of the things where you can’t afford to have events like the following from Michigan. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/technology/biden-michigan-votes.html
Making it impossible for observers to actually observe the count process also creates a rebuttable presumption that the observers are trying to hide something. Such the PA supreme court deciding a 50 foot separation is just fine, keeping republican observers out and celebrating when one gets removed, covering up windows, etc.
“this late capitulation to what Meta must see as a slow shift in public perception”
That’s not what’s happening here. Pay careful attention to the timing. The midterms are safely behind us. Trump has been melting down recently, attacking other Republicans unprovoked and releasing bizarre statements on his Truth Social platform.
The only reason they’re letting him back on to these platforms is because they figure (correctly, I’d say) that he can do more damage to the Republican party’s electoral chances in 2024 than any Democrat can. Ron DeSantis appears to be a formidable force, and given his popularity in Florida, would probably trounce any of the likely Democratic candidates at this point. Trump may be the only person who can do significant damage to him, with the bonuses of inflicting damage on his own campaign, and providing a welcome news-cycle distraction from the daily failures of Democrat governance. They want Trump back because he’s their only hope. He’s an electoral doomsday device, and they are so desperate to hold onto power, they’re willing to risk setting it off.
It also doesn’t hurt that having Trump on your platform guarantees a lot more eyeballs for you to fling advertising at, either, at a time when these social media companies are suffering big drops to their revenue.
The key point is that Meta isn’t doing this because it’s right, though it is.
Well, of course. Has “Meta” ever done anything because it’s the right thing to do? Any resemblance to ethical decision making from that company is purely coincidental.
Congressman Schiff recently posted a video claiming that denying him a seat on the House Intel Committee was petty Republican payback for his having ‘investigated’ Trump.
Where did he post this video? TikTok, of course. Where else would the former Intel Committee chair… oh, never mind.