13 thoughts on “Facebook”

  1. That was a very very interesting article.

    And while the warning and acknowledgement that Facebook and other social media companies are private businesses and should remain so, the tremendous transnational power and wealth of these pioneer corporations are now wielded by a tiny number of extremist social justice warriors. And that much power in those hands spells tremendous danger in the short term as our society adjusts to the new realities of social media.

    Will private alternatives to Facebook Youtube Twitter arise fast enough to mitigate the harm the new tech-Reds are so eager to inflict?

  2. The trouble with hate speech policies begins with the fact that there are no principles that can be fairly and consistently applied to distinguish what speech is hateful from what speech is not.

    That is a feature not a bug. Ambiguity and inconsistency allow technocrats to persecute the right people.

    The author says that no one is entitled to be on FaceBook but this isn’t exactly true as we do have laws against discrimination and there is contract law that people who are banned could use should someone be rich enough to take FB on in court. Social media policies are largely untested in the courts.

    Would the courts allow FB to ban someone from their service while also allowing FB to profit from creating a profile for them that is controlled by the company? How would the courts view recording conversations of people who don’t have FB accounts?

    FB might use their TOS as a defense but courts have ruled some agreements, or parts of them, are unenforceable or even illegal.

  3. I disagree. Facebook (and Twitter) are treated like common carriers…they are not liable for the material they republish.

    However, with that legal advantage, comes the requirement they carry all the material that people publish. If they engage in viewpoint discrimination, as they do, they should be liable for any and all use that is unlawful or harmful.

    The analogy is if the power company decides that your free speech on a computer is wrong, so they cut your power off…or your free speech results in the phone company saying no phones for you.

    1. Exactly this.

      As I recall, the DCMA Safe Harbor defense requires that an internet service can pick exactly one of:

      1) Pass through all posts without editing and claim Safe Harbor
      or
      2) Edit content and be liable for content posted

      It seems to me that the platforms which are, shall we say, problematic are behaving like 2 and claiming 1.

      As is often the case, we don’t need new laws, we just need to follow the ones we have.

      1. As is often the case, we don’t need new laws, we just need to follow the ones we have.

        If only more people thought this way on a regular basis…

      1. Curious, is it not?

        I have a fairly simple test for such issues: I invert them 180 degrees and look at them. If it’s wrong from that perspective, it’s just wrong.

        But then, I have an internal moral compass, which offers me ethical consistency

      1. If you’re not in the loop, Gab is now using a payment processor originally created to service the firearms industry, which is facing similar problems with being deplatformed. But as a web developer I couldn’t find documentation of the processor’s API, which makes me uncomfortable using the service.

  4. The censorship should not happen. I mean, you could make some sort of classification system where people could opt out of a certain category but imposing it down from above does not seem like a good idea to me.

    A couple years back when Reddit started censoring the most vocal elements in the discussion community a lot of people moved to Voat.
    https://voat.co/

    It started out mostly with people who are basically trolls, but eventually people who were not trolls moved there as well because it’s not like you were forced to go actually read their channels to begin with. A lot of people did not like the censorship period.

  5. The DMCA only applies to the U.S. The rest of the world, most emphatically, does not go along.

    This will probably either kill off Facebook or force them to withdraw back to the U.S. They will find it impossible to satisfy the conflicting requirements of all of the countries they do business in without bankrupting themselves.

    I’m betting that they won’t be able to find a way to police all of the “objectionable” content cheaply enough to both stay on the right side of all of the laws and make money. With 2 billion accounts, any requirement for human intervention explodes. A similar situation is in China, I wonder when the cost of the “Great Firewall” will become unsustainable.

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