Facebook is caving once again to the mob. From CNN Business:
Facebook has launched a civil rights task force and an election monitoring center to guard against interference in the 2020 presidential campaign and census, the tech giant said Sunday.
If you remember the beating the company took after 2016 between Cambridge Analytica and Russians buying a few thousand dollars in ads, it should come as no surprise they are in defensive posture going into 2020. However, this initiative is being led by the worst possible Facebook executive. It is also not as benign as it may seem.
The initiative is so Facebook can prove it knows how to handle “disinformation” and “hate speech”. I read this as code for “conservative views” and “conservative views”. Let me explain. Former legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Laura Murphy has issued the second interim audit for the company. Murphy now works for civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax. A scroll through their recent wins is instructive as to where they fall in the political discourse. Try not to be surprised, but Murphy feels Facebook still has some work to do to combat hate and bias.
This assessment prompted COO Sheryl Sandberg to announce a new Civil Rights Task Force in a blog post on Sunday. There are three primary areas that this group will advise on.
Strengthening Facebook Policies and Enforcement Against Harmful Content
Facebook has banned white supremacist content including praise for or sharing content from those they deem to be a white supremacist. Meanwhile, Antifa planned the recent attack on journalist Any Ngo using their Facebook page Rose City Antifa, which is still live. They even posted a report to confirm Andy had been “milkshaked”. Never mind he was actually beaten senseless. They are also posting support for similar protest in D.C. where other groups have promised to bring acid filled balloons. This despite Sandberg’s assertion in her post:
We also recently updated our policies so Facebook isn’t used to organize events that intimidate or harass people based on their race, religion, or other parts of their identity. We now ban posts from people who intend to bring weapons anywhere to intimidate or harass others, or who encourage people to do the same. Civil rights leaders first flagged this trend to us, and it’s exactly the type of content our policies are meant to protect against.
They have also designated “hate agents” that are under scrutiny. One was Candace Owens of Prager University. I guess saying Democrat policies have destroyed the black family and that black Americans need to stop seeing themselves as victims, two of the commentator’s common themes are somehow hateful. Don’t tell Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder and Jason Riley.
The platform has partnered with civil rights groups who are now complaining about the way Facebook is enforcing their new rules. Mostly because some of their content is being removed by automated means. So the company is designating a specially trained team to deal with “hate speech”, which they have never effectively defined or evenly applied. They say they are working with representatives across the political spectrum. One really has to wonder if they a re putting Candace Owens on a watch list. This should go well. Here’s one indication:
Facebook will “very soon” consider closing a loophole that currently permits hate speech to remain on the platform if it claims to be humor, said Neil Potts, Facebook’s director of public policy.
Wonder how much longer Steven Crowder will be able to live stream there. Though I am sure foul mouths Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert will be just fine.
Fighting Discrimination in Facebook Ads
In March, Facebook announced a settlement with NFHA, ACLU, CWA to reduce discrimination in employment, credit and housing ads. Oddly, advertisers were using similar demographic data as they would use for television and radio ads, but Facebook has severely limited the data they can see on the social media platform and is limiting it further. Age, gender and zip code will be eliminated from advertisers choices for selecting a target market. So these companies will be serving ads pretty much blindly. Not sure why they would choose to use the platform in this case.
Protecting the 2020 Census and Elections Against Intimidation
I can’t imagine being intimidated from voting or participating in the census by a Facebook post, I guess I must be exceptional in this regard. The post says they are treating the census like an election and trying to prevent disinformation about it. Last I knew someone knocked on your door and asked a list of questions.
They will also police posts that encourage people not to vote. I don’t really see how this is even a thing, but okay. It is this quote that seems to give you tilt:
We plan on making further changes to build a culture that explicitly protects and promotes civil rights on Facebook.
Pretty sure one of those civil rights is free speech. Or at least ACLU used to think so. Not so much anymore.
At the Aspen Ideas festival, CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested outsourcing Facebook’s content moderation to an external board to enhance accountability. I am not sure how much more accountability he is looking for when any lefty watchdog group can pretty much pressure the company to restrict the rules about what is permitted content. He stated that right now this is a Facebook project but he could see others in the industry utilizing the structure.
With the recent news about Pinterest, Google and YouTube, none of this really comes as any surprise. The fact that it appears these companies are also collaborating to remove content that reflects poorly on them, such as the videos by Project Veritas, is also telling. Everyone should expect the Overton window to continue to get smaller on the legacy platforms in advance of the 2020 election.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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