Is the Gov’t Outsourcing “Censorship” Duties to FB & Google?

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This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Google mobile phone icon, in Philadelphia. The Australian government said on Friday, July 31, 2020 it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with Australian media businesses fair pay for news content. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

We’re going to talk a bit about the organizations Facebook and Google, which as you must know, are two of the most powerful, influential and in our view, possibly dangerous groups that the world has ever produced. Imagine texting a message and having it blocked because an agent hired by your provider has determined that it is racist, homophobic, anti-feminist, too political, or just “improper.” But that’s the way Facebook and Google now work with messages transmitted by their members. Countless members of Facebook have been punished and temporarily or even permanently barred for the contents of their communications. Joe Biden has gotten into the act by sending multiple letters to Facebook attacking the company for policies that allow politicians, Trump specifically, to freely make “false” claims on its site. If he becomes president, will he follow through with legislation banning what he considers “false” messages on any and all platforms?

The dangerous reality of a society in which the expression of a certain opinion is turned into a “crime” has already been seen across Europe. Dutch citizens were reportedly visited by police and warned about posting anti-mass immigration sentiments on social posts. It can happen here. The sinister thing about what Facebook is now doing is that it is now removing speech that many may consider racist, along with speech that only some worker at Facebook decides is “racist.” Censorship is growing within these huge messaging platforms. What, if in the near future, “racist” speech appears to include anything critical of a black, brown or person of color, religion, politician, sports figure or any other media star? And that decision is made by a corporation controlling the messaging? Censorship?

 

Mark Zuckerberg, in recent Congressional hearings stated that his company aims to allow as much free expression as possible unless it causes imminent risk of specific harms or damage. “We believe in values – democracy, competition, inclusion and free expression.” But he hires censors to go through our messages and are the judges and juries to determine if they are harmful to society. This doesn’t sound right.

 

Rather than initiating and participating in violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings, anger, fear hate or frustrations. Put it down in words, rather than in hurtful physical actions. If the right to speak out about ones’ displeasures is banned, only violence is left. Free speech is at stake here. Every single dictatorship in recent memory Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Castro’s Cuba, were all replete with hate-speech laws that were intended to limit free speech that the state disapproved of.

Extremism still grew and flourished. We cannot tolerate such a situation here in America. We stand for the freedom of expression, the right to speak out. Let society either accept, condemn or ignore what you say. But you have the right to voice your opinion without being censored, banished or punished. And corporations should not have the right to determine what is hate, racist or xenophobic speech. We’re treading in dangerous waters.

 

 

 

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