Tuesday 28 November 2023

Freedom of Speech: Facebook vs X (Twitter)

As of late, I've seen a number of posts on Facebook and Twitter of Nazi rallies in the United States, usually captioned with something like, "This is America?"

I've heard it said that t**** has given permission to so many on the Far Right to come out of the closet and say what they knew was socially unacceptable: sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. This is my moment, and I'm going to speak my mind, to Hell with your weak social justice bullsh*t. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" (nod to the character Howard Beale of the 1976 film Network)

Never have so many knowing so little said so much.

Unfortunately, people open their mouths and let fly with whatever crosses their mind, regardless of whether it's correct and makes sense. Stupid is as stupid says. I hear complaints about Cancel Culture but ofttimes when I investigate the complainer, I find they never should have said what they said. (see link in References below)

On Facebook, a friend posted a video of a Nazi rally in Florida. I commented with the following meme:

Facebook removed my comment, saying I was promoting a hate group, blocking some of my functions until January 17, 2024, and threatening further action if I again violated their Community Standards. I asked for a review. Shortly thereafter, I got a response that their ruling remained in effect, and my comment would not be allowed.

First off, I know this was not the doing of a human being. Facebook has crossed the three billion mark in the number of users, and there is no way they have the manpower to be supervising that many accounts. All of this is the result of automated routines scanning accounts for questionable material. Secondly, this is not the first time Facebook has taken exception to one of my postings. They may have image recognition and be able to detect a Nazi flag but do not have the interpretative ability to distinguish between the promotion of Nazism and the criticism of it.

A curious difference
Elon Musk has said that Twitter, now X, would be a bastion of free speech. He's gotten himself into trouble for opening the flood gates as an unsupervised Twitter has turned into a free-for-all to say whatever the heck you want. Right? Wrong? As I've said elsewhere, it's not so much what people say, it's that other people are listening, and I mean listening without any critical thinking. Freedom of speech means you can say that two plus two equals five but the problem is that a significant portion of the population never do the math, heck, they don't even know math, and blindly repeat five, oblivious to the right answer. Now, we end up in this strange situation where if something is repeated often enough, it becomes true. Well, not in the eyes of science as the old saying is: The truth doesn't give a f*ck about your opinion. But a significant portion of the population represents a political force, and that force could drive our bus right off the cliff, themselves included. The answer ain't five!

My point is that while Facebook censored my meme, I know that Twitter would not. Zuckerberg holds me accountable while Musk lets me speak my mind. Who's right? Which is the correct approach? Collectively, we are trying to hold social media responsible to supervise the content published on their platform because we can't control ourselves. I looked at some of the videos of Nazi rallies and noted people were parading wearing masks to hide their identity. Obviously, they know that what they're doing is not right. Or they're not yet ready to own it and be responsible for it, facing the consequences of their stance. Musk and Twitter or X have been bleeding advertisers who've decided they don't want to be seen in the same company as who they've decided are deplorable. Elon may allow Nazi flags but companies who risk being seen in their company have said no.

Final Word
Freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility. Before opening/ your mouth, have you verified that what you're going to say is true, factual, and logical? It seems odd that we must require our social media to police us because we have no self-control.

Do I think censorship is going to work? If everybody was on the same page and agreed that two plus two equals four which, by the way, is true and factual, why would we need social media to supervise us? Unfortunately, I have no idea when we all will end up on the same page. It certainly is not going to happen in my lifetime.

So, here we are Zuckerberg or Musk, Facebook jail or X freedom. Who's right? If we measure success by ad revenue, Elon may want to reconsider, but I leave his $44 billion experiment to him. It seems that being "right" in the eyes of the world may not be all that easy.


my blog: Cancel Culutre, Supposedly - Oct 20, 2021
I hear people complaining about being so-called cancelled. Woe is me! Of course, Godwin's Law takes over and now, it's the "Gestapo of Political Correctness" subjugating the masses to make them conform to what those G.D. libtards feel is socially acceptable.

Fine. Then I go look at the complainant and see what's been suppressed. I find racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, along with lies, misinformation, distortion of the facts, conspiracy theories and outright stupidity, coupled with an attitude of anti-education, anti-science, anti-expertise, anti-government, and anti-authority goddamnit, nobody's gonna tell me what to do! Fifty years ago, a nut would stand on a soapbox at a street corner with a megaphone. The potential audience was limited. Today, that same person can get their message out to millions.

We’re back to a fundamental question: We all want freedom, but should anyone be free to falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater?


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