My Reaction To Mark Zuckerberg Quoting An American President About Free Speech.

Mockarena, Co-Founder

So you’ve probably heard about how Jack Dorsey of Twitter has officially disallowed political advertising on the Twitter platform effective later this month.  Ted Cruz had a lot to say about that.

Between AOC’s recent grilling of Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill, and the above defense of Zuck by Cruz, I’ve sensed a slight warming towards him by folks.  I mean, AOC was downright ridiculous to him. And that gained him some sympathy.

Today I noticed that Zuckerberg posted on his own FB page a quote from the movie An American President (the one with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening).  Check this out:

Obviously, that’s in response to Jack Dorsey’s move to ban political advertising on Twitter, and it’s ostensibly a defense of Zuck’s decision to keep right on running political ads.

But I’m gonna tell you why it’s a giant, steaming, huge pile of monkeycrap, by offering you the most recent of a long list of examples of how Zuck doesn’t even come close to practicing what he preaches.  Zuck wants us to believe that HE is all about free speech?  BULL.

Yesterday, for the zillionth time, I saw that our FB page’s content is being blocked from reaching the small fraction of our followers that it continues to reach because of a new “policy violation.”  BEHOLD:

The link that Facebook is claiming is “partly false” goes to an article that Ashley wrote over a month ago.  You can read that right here. In it, she cites a column from Breitbart, and it is that column that Science Feedback rated as “misleading” which caused OUR Facebook page to have a policy violation and reduced distribution.  Meanwhile, Breitbart has been added to Facebook’s list of “high quality news sources.” 

So, we use a source that Facebook itself touts as a high quality news source, and then WE get dinged for Breitbart having misleading content?  Whizzah whuzzah?

Here’s what’s even more absurd.  WE ARE NOT A NEWS SITE, which should be pretty obvious given that our political ideology is baked RIGHT INTO OUR NAME.  We are an opinion/commentary site, and typically, our posts include a source that we are opining or commenting about.  So what Zuckerberg is doing when he reduces our distribution and hits us with these ridiculous “policy violations” is determining that our opinions aren’t worthy of being seen by the very people who WANT to see them – the people who chose to follow/like our page.

Zuck pretending to be all, “YAY FOR FREE SPEECH” while actively trying to suppress the speech of a small potatoes site like ours is pretty rich.  And it’s why his words about free speech ring so hollow.

In an earlier FB post, Zuckerberg also wrote:

I believe strongly — and I believe that history supports — that free expression has been important for driving progress and building more inclusive societies around the world, that at times of social tension there has often been urge to pull back on free expression, and that we will be best served over the long term by resisting this urge and defending free expression.

AGREED, MARK.  So how about you freaking walk that talk?

He went on to say:

Voice and expression have been important for progress throughout history. They’ve been important in the fight for democracy worldwide. And I believe that voice and free expression are an important part of the path forward today, and that’s why our company will continue standing for these principles.

Mmm hmm.

I am becoming more and more convinced, as we continue to get these utterly absurd and nonsensical “policy violations” that our page will, in fact, be unpublished.  We’re coming up on an election year, and it’s a legit concern.

Remember back in the day when your FB newsfeed was simply a rundown of chronological  postings from people/pages you chose to follow?  You could scroll back as far as you wanted, knowing you might miss stuff here and there, but the point is, there were no mysterious algorithms set up to show or hide content from you based on arbitrary criteria that FB chose.  Now?  You see what Zuck wants you to see.  Period.

So much for that whole, “defending free expression” thing.

Insert all eyerolls here. Literally all of them.

 

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