Progressives’ damning verdict: Facebook prioritizes free speech over racism
In a minor victory for constitutionalists, professional grievance activists and race-baiters met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week and left disappointed.
The group has accused the company of making Facebook, an online platform, “unsafe” for Black Americans. They want the company to prioritize racial justice — or racism — over free speech.
“Following the conversation with Facebook’s uppermost leadership echelon, leaders from four of the organizations spearheading the boycott called the chat an unequivocal disappointment,” says TechCrunch.
Facebook has been under fire from both the left and the right for censorship policies that seem at best, ad-hoc and at worst, dictatorial, favoring certain political views over others.
“From the monetization of hate speech to discrimination in their algorithms to the proliferation of voter suppression to the silencing of Black voices, Facebook has refused to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms,” says Color of Change, one of the groups that met with Zuckerberg.
The problem, say detractors, is that Color of Change is a far-left organization that is wholly racist, that calls any Republican views “right-wing” and “white nationalist” and is avowedly working towards “progressive tax, labor and education policies.”
If it were up to Color of Change, no Republican views would be allowed on TV, radio, newspapers or social media.
Facebook, very laudably, has recently tried to take a stand for free speech, versus censorship.
“Increasingly, we’re getting called in to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable,” Zuckerberg said in February. “It kind of feels like the list of things that you’re not allowed to say socially keeps on growing … And I’m not really OK with that.”
Most Americans aren’t okay with it either.
Progressives, on the other hand, have given up the idea that free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution is meaningful in a racist environment where race is paramount. They seem to think free speech is not an important civil right.
“Facebook’s decisions to put free speech ahead of other values represent ‘significant setbacks for civil rights,’ according to an independent audit of the social network’s progress in curbing discrimination,” reports NPR.
The audit was just conducted by Laura W. Murphy, a former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive after Facebook was attacked for racism because they let advertisers choose target audiences based on race, says NPR.
The ACLU used to be the standard-bearer for free speech in the U.S., waving the American flag behind anyone’s right to say anything as guaranteed under the Constitution. But two years ago, in a secret memo released by the Wall Street Journal, the ACLU revealed that they would abandon the free speech defense.
Instead, they would focus on more “racial justice work” when it comes into conflict with free speech.
“[T]he ACLU as a private organization has a First Amendment right to act according to its own principles, organizational needs, and priorities,” says the memo.
So, in other words, in order to protect the First Amendment rights of the ACLU, the ACLU was willing to let others’ First Amendment rights be violated.
Some rights, after all, should be more equal than others.
Fortunately, so far, it seems Facebook doesn’t agree.
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