#CharlieHebdo irony: Zuckerberg champions free speech while Facebook actively censors


Doesn’t BoingBoing moderate comments?


I think it’s generally a mistake to confuse freedom of speech / expression as it relates to government and legal restrictions vs. elsewhere. Everyone who runs a website knows and understands this distinction, up to and including the BoingBoing contributors and the moderators that keep the BBS from going septic.

Facebook is a corporate website. They have the right (and duty) to enforce community standards. BoingBoing is in fact exactly the same. To call this censorship is to misunderstand what censorship means.


Does BoingBoing champion free speech?

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Aside from Facebook 'moderation '(outsourced to cheap peons as a lowest cost way of ticking the checkbox), it is always worth remembering exactly how popular the Charlie Hebdo team where with the great and good of the world before they became ;conveniently silent) martyrs of free speech. So tasteless, so inflammatory, why can’t we just coddle everyone’s sacred cows and get along? Even getting firebombed wasn’t enough for more than the most tepid recognition. Ooh, a massacre!!! Now we are all Charles Hebdo!


That was the implication behind my post, yep. I’m sure no-one here minds too much when Facebook shuts down hate-group pages.

Presumably just the right sort.

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No irony here. A newspaper owner can turn down racist rant op-eds while supporting another newspaper’s right to print them.


Pretty sure this one’s more apropos:

That’s not quite the same as one newspaper criticizing another newspaper for a particular policy while implementing exactly that policy. And that is exactly what BoingBoing has done here.


Facebook aside(given that they are ghastly shitweasels, ghastly shitweaselry just isn’t that surprising), is it just me or is the comment that was removed ‘in error’ absolutely head-deskingly confused?

So ‘criticism, disagreement, or even rejection’; but not ‘insult’(good thing that nobody has ever mistaken rejection for insult, no?); because of a few examples where exercising freedom of speech will result in (please note, no official punishments), your fellow people probably arriving at an unflattering opinion of you. My brain fills to bursting at the number of points missed.

The only people who enjoy freedom of expression utterly without consequence are the poor bastards screaming to themselves in solitary. The whole point of expression is, in a sense, the consequence, the effect on others, their response, and so on. “Freedom of expression” is where you get to do expression without having specific areas that will get the legally-enforced-banhammer and/or extrajudicial violence brought down on you, it isn’t some mystical abnegation of universal norms of natural language communication.

It would, in fact, be ‘freedom of expression’ to brand black people as niggers. It would also likely give those who heard it the impression that you are a racist prick. Hailing Hitler as the messiah would, similarly, be free expression; but free expression that suggests you are both dubiously balanced(it’s a matter of historical fact that Hitler couldn’t even save himself, despite impressive German technological superiority, and was crushed by allied forces) and probably a racist prick (if you are a Hitler fan, you probably have some strong opinions, in questionable taste, about a number of groups). Still free expression, at least in places that actually have it (cough, not Europe, cough).

Does Abbasi Just. Not. Get. It; or is he cynically stringing together a couple of the most emotive free-speech-in-ghastly-taste examples he can think of to try to slide some bullshit past critical examination?


While I’m glad when people wake up to free speech issues, sad people died & genuinely, justifiably concerned about the opportunity these killings present to the security state, I am definitely not C. Hebdo/fan of/crying for martyrs, as a result of it all.

I dig why many are all that, but as far as I’m concerned free speech and free expression issues were no more important after the killings than before & much of what people will allow to occur in their midst in this atmosphere will have a lasting, detrimental effect on what the Hebdo & every other free voice on earth sought to defend and promote.

Excluding the solidarity being shown by people who knew them & their work such as their fans & the many cartoonists/writers et al who would have known them / of them, much of what it seems to be is people being gleeful to offend and provoke while nonchalantly accepting troops, not police (also police) patrolling their streets, profiling.

At least these are Parisians/French who because it happened in their midst may find some comfort in the presence despite it’s actual ominous shadings for their future. Meanwhile other western leaders far removed quickly table legislation authorizing more police powers, more restrictions on civilians & other obvious skulduggery.

I wish it hadn’t happened, but only partially because innocent people were killed for doing what they ought to be able to do.

I totally get what you mean about the bandwagon & a few reasonable people advising everyone to keep an eye on their leaders because of the aforementioned threat seem to be going unnoticed in the fervour.

Oh and I’d say there is a difference between a social media platform that wants to be (seen as) all things to all people and a (relatively speaking) tiny bbs centred around the musings of, what, how many contributors?

BB is more like a house party than a public square. FB wants to be (seen as) the public square.


[quote=“FunkDaddy, post:14, topic:49776, full:true”]BB is more like a house party than a public square. FB wants to be (seen as) the public square.

That may very well be your impression, but I challenge you to articulate meaningful and objective ways that the the two platforms differ from each other as they pertain to speech. Hint: size isn’t especially meaningful.

When platform becomes large enough, it starts to have something of the function of the “public square.” A pure legalist might say that the a true free-speech issue exists only when a government is involved in the suppression at issue. A person interested in protecting the marketplace of ideas must, I think, recognize that very large nongovernment entities can, if they control enough of the territory, become a threat to speech in a way somewhat similar to a government. No, they won’t usually throw you in jail. However, what they can do is disappear a viewpoint. If a government did that, we’d call it prior restraint, and under 1st amendment law, we’d treat it with great suspicion.

I’ll freely admit that there’s no clean line between a platform that’s the equivalent of someone’s living room and one that’s the public square. On this metaphor, Facebook is something like the situation when the biggest and most “public” space is the one big shopping center in town. It may be the owner’s right to control what’s said there, but it’s too focused on definitions to say that that’s entirely without free-speech consequences.

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Please look up the first word of the first sentence of the First Amendment. Go on, we’ll wait.

“You have the right to free speech. As long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it!” – The Clash

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You know who is moderating your speech on BB, generally.

You know why, at least generally.

You have far less invested, generally, than the typical FB user, thus the moderation will be less impactful (not a word) for most.

Hint: size is especially meaningful. If the typical FB user is banned from FB, it (sadly) could create a gaping hole in their ability to communicate. Just as not being allowed to cross a public square to reach parts of your city would hamper you more than being chucked from a party for being rowdy.

Happily, this shit ain’t apply to me, I’m next to nil in FB usage. I post here way more, but would not be terribly put out by a ban or having a comment removed, having a realistic grasp of what this is.


Nope. Sometimes it’s apparent, like when Beschizza jumps in to a conversation and smacks someone down (myself included). But generally, the moderation isn’t terribly visible here.

Nope again. I have first-hand experience with this. And note that I think BB is completely within their rights to do so, even if the rationale is careless.

That’s subjective, at best. People who do not have a FB presence (like myself) may very well haunt these forums as their main interaction with the outside world (okay, not quite like me). The relative importance of each is up to the individual, and has nothing to do with your (or my) impression. This is simply not an objective distinction.

Note the first word of the term “public square”. Facebook and BB are not under any obligation to let you cross their respective squares, because those squares are not public property. And that’s the only distinction that matters here as far as free speech is concerned.


To be fair the US 1st amendment and the whole bill of rights is supposed to be a representative sampler of individual rights abused by the Crown in the colonies. There was opposition to even encoding them because when viewed with hindsight people correctly feared that the bill of rights would become the only rights fully recognized by SCOTUS and lower courts. I think @BZMacLachlan was trying to invoke the community wide spirit behind the constitutional amendment disabling the state from enforcing laws restricting free speech.