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Less than an hour ago, I deleted a post from this Twitter account. It’s my daily, automated paper, and because this account is meant to be fun and/or silly, I use every filter at my disposal to make sure nothing too serious appears in that paper. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work, and today’s paper included articles I simply didn’t want appearing on this stream. That said . . . .
I have to share this bullshit. I just got this message from Facebook.
This is clearly a joke, I can’t imagine why they would even hide the post, let alone give me a 24-hour ban (UPDATE: 3 days now, including my birthday). Ironically, I received this ban on the day I received my first vaccine shot.
Let me remind you of the problem with Facebook, et al. In the old days, the ordinary citizen’s standard means of political discourse was to stand in the middle of town square, get on a soap box, and bitch. Such acts would result in counterarguments from the crowd, but even more importantly the bystanders got to listen and form opinions somewhere in the middle of the lunatics. Because town square is public property, the Free Speech clause protected such discourse. Now the ordinary citizen’s standard is to use social media, and it’s what everyone relies upon for such discourse. The problem is that social media platforms are private property, and even clear jokes can be censored legally. Speech is going to be chilled at a time when we need reasonable discussion — and a sense of humor — the most. Our only recourse will be antitrust law, and Twitter has certainly flirted with that in the Parler case (see the section entitled This Isn’t the End of the World, but It’s No Small Matter), but it’s going to be a long time before that dust settles and the common person’s everyday speech will once again be free.
UPDATE!!!! Facebook has decided to extend my suspension to three days, which means I won’t be able to thank anyone for all the birthday wishes I’m sure to receive on Monday. If you’re reading this, thanks in advance. Also, my MeWe profile is at https://mewe.com/i/robertbodine1. Just sayin’. No reason.
Side note: I tried to use the back door that used to work but apparently no longer does. I posted to Instagram, which shares to Facebook automatically. Unfortunately, my post violated community standards over there. I’m going to try again but with a picture of a kitten. We’ll see what happens.
Facebook should be ashamed of itself, but it isn’t.
Follow me on Twitter @gsllc
7 thoughts on “@Facebook Screws up . . . Again! #Facebook #censorship”
I don’t know you. You say you meant “COVID-19 is a hoax” to be a joke, okay. But you have to be aware that there are people saying that who are deadly seriously about it (and that’s not hyperbole). If I saw you, or anyone, post “COVID-19 is a hoax”, I would have no idea that you were repeating a ridiculous conspiracy theory as a “joke”. So, does Facebook’s algorithm for auto-blocking people suck? Yes. Do people post hateful, harmful things and get away with it, while other people post harmless things and get banned? Yes. But I do not think this is an example of that.
Except that there’s context here, and the entire context is small enough to appreciate in a quick viewing. I referenced “Big Vaccine.” And the image itself is sarcastically critical of people who act like their “hoax” opinions are medical authority. I fully expected *those* people to be offended, so yeah, this is an example of that. It’s ludicrous. But even if you’re still not convinced, why not just delete the post? Why a three day suspension? It’s crazy.
I want to add that part of the reason anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers will be offended by what I wrote is that I mischaracterized their view. They don’t argue that COVID-19 is a hoax, and that everyone is immune to it. That’s hyperbole that takes a jab at them in the interests of a joke. That makes it next to impossible to take me seriously.
BUT, even assuming for the moment that I believe that COVID-19 is a hoax perpetuated by “Big Vaccine,” so what? I’m not a media outlet, or even a propaganda machine posing as one. I’m just a guy with an opinion, and it takes a pathetic sort of insecurity to be afraid of one person’s opinion. None of my legal or social arguments is affected one bit by that assumption. The general trend of people’s unwillingness to listen to opinions from outside their echo chamber is far more damaging than the opinion of one person could ever be.
Another consequence of my three-day Facebook suspension: Because it spans my birthday, I can’t manage my charitable fundraiser in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Good job, Facebook. You’re saving the world from humor.
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