You might have noticed yesterday that Facebook placed a disclaimer on a post that I wrote, claiming it was under factual dispute, because it linked to a story in the Washington Examiner about the claim that Amazon costs the Post Office $1.46 in lost revenue for each package delivered. Note that in that post, I didn’t say that one side was right and the other side wrong, I merely stated that the claim was under dispute, and this article illustrated how both sides might consider themselves correct, depending on their point of view.
But in the brave new world of social media censorship, there is apparently only acceptable viewpoint to every issue (guess which one?), and you shouldn’t even look at sources that might dispute the favored narrative, at least not without having an algorithmic nanny scolding you over your shoulder. As Western Journal notes in the linked story (preparing to get flagged again!), Facebook’s list of “reliable sources” has disproportionately cut off traffic to more conservative sites and boosted liberal sites. Seriously, Forbes, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal are considered unreliably partisan while CNN gets a big boost in the reliability derby? Has anyone at Facebook watched CNN lately? They show Stormy Daniels more often than the Pay-Per-View adult channels in sleazy motels.
Interestingly, Facebook seems to think it’s capable of policing everyone else’s thoughts when it can’t even police itself, which became obvious again today when one of the largest Black Lives Matter pages on the site was revealed to be a fundraising scam linked to a white man in Australia. Someone from the actual BLM movement told CNN that they voiced concerns about the page to Facebook months ago, but the page wasn’t removed until a week after CNN ran a story exposing it. That's mighty fine policin', Mark.
When you add these stories to the attempts to silence conservatives on social media ranging from the entertaining Diamond & Silk and comic Steven Crowder to such serious commentators as Ben Shapiro – not to mention one of Twitter’s founders endorsing a story that promoted the idea of silencing if not outright criminalizing conservative speech – it’s obvious that the billionaire boys club of Silicon Valley has mistakenly concluded that they own the Information Superhighway.
They don’t. They just happen to own a few popular honky-tonks along the roadside. But if they start sending bouncers to every table to harass the customers and tell them what they’re allowed to talk about, then the second someone opens a competing honky-tonk that leaves people alone (and someone surely will), their customers will be out the door. If they don’t believe it, then I have one thing to say to them: “MySpace.” That’s the once-mighty site that Seth Meyers described as the sad, abandoned amusement park of the Internet.
Incidentally, over 60 years ago, the brilliant satirist Stan Freberg predicted the rise of the hectoring PC nannies with his classic comedy sketch, “Elderly Man River.” If you’ve never heard it, do yourself a favor and click the link to YouTube, before they censor it (there’s also a transcript in the notes for the hearing impaired). Of course, since it’s impossible for satirists to stay ahead of the galloping lunacy of PC culture, Freberg couldn’t have predicted that by 2018, the nagging censor also would have buzzed in to object to the word, “Man” for being heteronormative and masculinist. But it’s still remarkably prescient, even if the premise is now more chillingly true than funny.
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