Facebook, Enemy of Free Speech

Facebook, Enemy of Free Speech

This summer, our “White House Siege” raised the hackles of the far right, provoking a rabid reaction on social media. But not long after it launched, Facebook censored the campaign's main hashtag, hobbling our efforts to resuscitate American democracy. Despite our inquiries, the social-media platform has never clarified why it did this.

Our adherence to peaceful protest being reaffirmed in briefing after tactical briefing, it could hardly have been because our campaign violated Facebook's "community standards." None of our WHS-themed posts came close to being "violent and graphic content" — they stood for the exact opposite — let alone any other form of "objectionable content" the platform forbids.

So, what explains Facebook's actions? We can't be sure, but it's not far-fetched to speculate that the WHS was wrongly and ham-fistedly suppressed for the same reason as so much else on the platform. Facebook knows it has a big problem on its hands, with both misinformation and hate-speech flourishing on its watch. But in the absence of regulation, and with too much of it circulating too rapidly to assess properly, Facebook has resorted to knee-jerk, catch-all, and politically motivated censorship.

During these pandemic-plagued times, digital communications have become more crucial than ever to both the discussion of ideas and the organization of dissent. To resist corporations’ policing of internet-based speech, we need to take immediate action — before the digital realm becomes a place where only certain opinions, and certain ideologies, are permitted.

Fight for free speech. Resist the tyranny of Big Tech. Join the Mental Liberation Front to take back your mental space by force.

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