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3 May, 2019 02:09

Liberal Twitter in free speech conundrum after Facebook bans Jones, Yiannopoulos and Farrakhan

Liberal Twitter in free speech conundrum after Facebook bans Jones, Yiannopoulos and Farrakhan

Liberals seem to be torn between applauding Facebook’s censorship of “wrongthink” users and sticking up for free speech, a principle the Left once championed unconditionally.

After Facebook and Instagram announced they were not only banning controversial figures like Jones, Yiannopoulos and Farrakhan, but also anyone who reposted content from Jones’ Infowars and removing any groups or events that promoted any of the blacklisted “extremists,” citing the platform’s policy on “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations,” Twitter erupted in…applause?

Facebook claims the blacklisted users violated its policy on “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations,” which covers “terrorist activity, organized hate, mass or serial murder, human trafficking, and organized violence or criminal activity” and says its policies have not changed. Some on Twitter actually claimed the censorship hadn’t gone far enough, calling for Twitter to follow Facebook’s lead and even suggesting more names for the blacklist.

Others warned that the bans wouldn’t stop with easy targets like Jones and Laura Loomer, a lesson we should have learned the last time Facebook engaged in mass ideological deplatforming in 2018.

The “but it’s a private company” argument was dutifully trotted out.

…and shot down by conservatives, for a change.

There is no First Amendment protection, because they are not the government, but absent legislation, absent something that is created by the courts or by the legislature or congress, I submit that one day we should treat these platforms as utilities,” legal analyst Lionel told RT, weighing in on the controversy. “It’s their terms of service, and we need legislation and courts to intervene.”

Much was made of the media’s categorization of Farrakhan as “far-right,” as if that would make the banning morally acceptable, with some sarcastically weighing in to congratulate Facebook on its weaponization of Farrakhan to silence criticism from the right.

And as some activists found out, even talking about the ban on Facebook leads to a  Big-Brotheresque “the people who manage this Page will review your post.

Facebook has banned Alex Jones from its platform before, an unprecedented move when it happened last year that was followed with a wave of deplatformings that included several popular progressive pages. Those who refuse to learn from history are, apparently, condemned to repeat it.

Also on rt.com Facebook and Instagram ban Infowars, Milo & Farrakhan as ‘dangerous’

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