A Project Veritas video was released this morning exposing several Facebook employees who have looked to specifically censor conservative & pro-Trump speech in aim to de-platform conservatives from the site. This, however, is unsurprising as it is confirmation of being line with what many have believed to be the actions several big tech companies for quite some time. That belief is they look to censor and oppress opposition speech in order to achieve political gains.
Like I said, this isn’t a surprise that there are employees within Facebook who have contempt for the President and his supporters. But this doesn’t give them the power to subvert our democracy and First Amendment rights in order to have a potential deep effect on our elections. When Twitter began censoring Trump’s account last month, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout because CEO Mark Zuckerberg was not taking “adequate” action against the President’s posts.
But, I believe that we need to de-stigmatize the idea of staying out of politics. Being non-political cannot continue to be political.
And Facebook has claimed to strive to be a neutral platform for information leading up to this election. Zuckerberg looks to ultimately stay out of these “fact-checking” conversations as a company. As discussed on the All-In Podcast with Chamath Palihapitya and Jason Calacanis, these dichotomy’s in action could play in part to Facebook having become more of an outlet for middle-America while Twitter has been more utilized by coastal elitists. This plays into the differing crises that arise on the websites and how the companies have chosen to respond to them.
This could also be a result of Facebook wanting to leverage the law as is so there are no changes proposed to create more regulations that they need to follow in their strive to be the largest digital platform in the world.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly how the demographics of these sites do play out and where their daily active users mostly reside, but it still seems like valid points coming from people who are deeply ingrained into the tech world.
But, either way this Project Veritas video just confirms that even though these companies claim to be neutral, it is not always the case internally. Facebook has a history of condemning conservative voices at the highest levels of their company. Big Tech continues to spill evidence that they are censoring speech they disagree with. Firms that claim they want to change the world “for the better” refuse to acknowledge that no one can be pro-freedom without being pro-freedom of speech.
As the famous saying goes: “I may disapprove of shat you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
Obviously speech will have consequences, and things like hate speech or inciting violence can’t be tolerated. We should work towards accepting each other’s differing opinions while finding solutions to better our society. It cannot continue for people who claim a moral high-ground to be the Thought Police in our daily lives.
Fight speech with more speech. Use facts and logic to sway opinions in order to really create good change in the world. It’s time to bring back civility in our discourse and believing in our core pillars of democracy to create a more perfect union.
Freedom will prevail, but it’s up to us to pave that path.