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Liberals seem to be torn between applauding Facebook’s censorship of “wrongthink” users and sticking up for free speech, a principle the Left once championed unconditionally.
After Facebook and Instagram announced they were not only banning controversial figures like Jones, Yiannopoulos and Farrakhan, but also anyone who reposted content from Jones’ Infowars and removing any groups or events that promoted any of the blacklisted “extremists,” citing the platform’s policy on “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations,” Twitter erupted in…applause?
Facebook claims the blacklisted users violated its policy on “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations,” which covers “terrorist activity, organized hate, mass or serial murder, human trafficking, and organized violence or criminal activity” and says its policies have not changed. Some on Twitter actually claimed the censorship hadn’t gone far enough, calling for Twitter to follow Facebook’s lead and even suggesting more names for the blacklist.
“There is no First Amendment protection, because they are not the government, but absent legislation, absent something that is created by the courts or by the legislature or congress, I submit that one day we should treat these platforms as utilities,” legal analyst Lionel told RT, weighing in on the controversy. “It’s their terms of service, and we need legislation and courts to intervene.”
Much was made of the media’s categorization of Farrakhan as “far-right,” as if that would make the banning morally acceptable, with some sarcastically weighing in to congratulate Facebook on its weaponization of Farrakhan to silence criticism from the right.