I very much enjoy posting, arguing, and debating people on Facebook. I enjoy that pastime as if it was a sport. Not only does it force me to encounter new perspectives, but I also hone my rhetorical skills. My main source of American News is Fox News - not because I hold to their inane ideologies, but rather to gain insight into the opposition's playbook. My practices on social media are an extension of this activity, as I get to see how regular people interpret the
The topic of choice was regarding a link that cited President Obama's comments on the all-white Oscars 2016. The gem of a person in question - whom I shall not name, link, or otherwise reveal - spouted gems such as:
"Nolan, your "education" by the demokkkrat rewriters of history has been successful. The KKK was created by liberal demokkkrats. The KKK was nurtured by liberal demokkkrats. The KKK was aided by liberal demokkkrats passing Jim Crow laws. Liberal demokkkrats fought against every civil rights action ever taken."With such a great grasp of reality and history, I responded by pointing out how that person's assessment does not coalesce with history. In fact, regardless of political party affiliation, Liberals and/or Progressives - whether Democrat or Republican - were responsible for levelling the playing field, making equality accessible, and making America the land of opportunity for all.
Did this person's hilarious and fallacious comments receive any type of censorship or ban? Nope. According to Facebook's Community Standards Guidelines, I was apparently in violation for pointing out the idiocy of the aforementioned person's incorrect conjecture. That person was able to write such drivel and complete garbage, but yet have their comment remain in tact and their account still active. Similarly, the blatantly homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, and/or anti-immigrant content I regularly encounter is somehow repeatedly allowed by Facebook because those peoples' views apparently allow them to be so hateful. Ignoring the fact that censoring something that free speech covers, how is it that the reactions to the inflammatory content are somehow more censored than the originating content itself?
I was logged out of Facebook on every one of my devices' accounts, I was logged out of Facebook Messenger, and cannot comment, post to my wall or that of my friends, nor send messages to family or friends, for 24 hours. As I am living in Canada, and the state of Ontario's cellular services market is abysmal, instant communication to my family and friends in the USA by text or call gets quite expensive. Facebook is my lifeline via messenger - both chat and voice.
I could understand having privileges to communicate with strangers, comment on public posts by others, or messaging people not on my friends list being revoked. But to suddenly cut me off from my family and friends? That is quite extreme by any measure.
Now, compounding my ban with the fact that the reason cited by Facebook's report is so obviously stupid given the context, it is quite obvious that the means of review by which someone can be banned and the magnitude of the subsequent are extremely disproportionate in scale and punitive impact.
So, aside from the activities of massive data mining, monitoring anything typed (even if it is not posted), and creating place-holder profiles for people yet to join, Facebook is apparently also into censorship bans for people expressing their opinions and trying to respond to direct attacks to their person.
(P.S. Yes, I understand that Facebook is a company and has policies by which every user has to abide by and that Facebook is the sole arbitrator of things found not in accordance with their policies. However, that does not also make those arbitrary whims somehow not completely stupid and capricious.)