Free Speech Isn’t Facebook’s Job … My instinct as a First Amendment teacher is to be outraged at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft for knuckling under to European Commission pressure to ban hate speech on their platforms. But after sleeping on it, I think it’s fine. Here’s why: These social media giants are private actors, not the state. –Bloomberg
We disagree with Bloomberg. Facebook is not a private sector actor. If it were up to us, Facebook would be shut down.
It was funded by the CIA which has surely participated in its success around the world.
It’s not really a company. It’s a facility of American imperialism.
By carefully tracking who knows whom, Facebook can generate groups of related individuals. These groups can be useful to the FBI, CIA and other intelligence outfits.
And Facebook does plenty of other kinds of spying. That’s the reason it’s always getting caught collecting customer data.
That’s the reason it encourages liberal – statist – reporting on its sites.
It’s primarily a vast spying operation.
That’s not how this Bloomberg editorial sees it. The Bloomberg editorial takes these big companies at face value. But these companies would not exist without state power and authoritarian judicial decisions.
They are puffed up by “corporation personhood,” intellectual property rights and monopoly fiat money.
Without these three “legs of the stool” there would be no multinationals. The problems of corporate bigness would not exist.
Marry the CIA and its vast panoply of violent influence peddling to state judicial power and here is the unholy spawn: social networks.
How can anyone maintain they are in any way products of the “marketplace.”
[Social media giants] can’t be trusted to protect free speech, nor is it their obligation, whether in Europe or the U.S. Those of us who care about preserving free speech need to keep that in mind, while maintaining other venues for free speech that aren’t controlled by private companies.
The editorial goes on to mention “The Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online,” recently posted by the European Commission.
It is a voluntary code but one that the article explains has placed pressure on big Internet vendors like Facebook and Google.
In fact, this entire hate-speech campaign in Europe is reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. Juveniles convicted of committing “hate speech crimes” will undergo a rehabilitation program that supposedly will make them more tolerant.
It’s a horrible evolution of censorship in every sense of the word. And the code has received a lot of attention because the big Internet vendors will have to use their own judgment about what constitutes “hate speech.”
The editorial tells us that “independent nongovernmental organizations” shall partner with the big firms to figure out what to remove.
But the companies themselves will have the final say.
The editorial doesn’t find this objectionable because private companies manage customer activities all the time.
The editorial also tells us that big companies have presented themselves as “neutral platforms,” responsible to shareholders not customers.
The editorial’s “upshot” is that “we need to keep an eye on free speech by assuring that there are vehicles for self-expression that aren’t completely controlled by private actors.”
But a company like Facebook is not responsible to its shareholders. If CEO Mark Zuckerberg were to stop collecting information for the CIA, he would be shoved rudely out the door or worse.
When it comes to US security interests, Facebook, Google and all the rest are primarily civilian arms of US intelligence agencies. Their “shareholders” take a back seat.
These companies will NOT exercise their own judgment when it comes to determining what is and is not hate speech.
The European Union will explain that in detail through third parties. And the EU’s concerns will be negotiated with American intel agencies and supervising London bankers.
The same hate speech censorship occurring in Europe is coming to America as well.
To point fingers at Facebook, Google, etc. is to misapprehend the powerful influences that run the West and the world.
Conclusion: If you want to make a difference when it comes to “freedom of speech” you are better off investigating and confronting the City of London than Google. The City, of course, is far more powerful. Much easier to pretend that large social networks are of real importance and part of the “private sector.” They are not.