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

Only, they don’t. There’s at least three major hard-right groups in the UK who never, ever get shut down. However, I personally know people who have had groups shut down for left-wing (and non-violent) views, raising aid for medical charities for Palestinian kids, etc, etc.

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Issues of freedom of speech exist in countries that don’t have the first amendment. Issues of freedom of speech can exist on ships in international waters. We can reasonably discuss how much freedom of speech existed in paleolithic hunting bands.

Freedom of speech is more than a legal issue, even if it’s first a legal issue. If you think the discussion begins and ends with the question of whether someone can haul you off to the pokey for insulting the mayor, you’re going to miss real repression.

I’m a lawyer and I don’t care for people trying make laws say what they don’t. On the other hand, anyone who thinks that everything has a legal answer is going to make a hash of things.


They don’t shut down hate groups, however, not often enough, anyway. A LOT of hate speech gets okay’d by Facebooks algorithms and even the humans.

Also, as it happens, users of Facebook are allowed to voice their concerns about Facebook privacy settings and other features or problems. Voicing concerns and advocating for change that better suits its users is also not a violation of free speech. Indeed, it’s kind of what living in the USA is all about.

I’m so tired of people shrugging and say “WHATEVER! They are a private company and can do whatever they want!”

And we’re the users of their service. We have every right to speak out about we might not like. Will it change things? Maybe not. And people are allowed to leave if they aren’t happy. And the users HAVE been able to force Facebook to change a few things here and there, so it’s not like we’re always talking to a blank wall. Usually, but not always.

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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.

As someone who was once suspended for a month, I agree.

Music must become part of our core education, from kindergarten right through to high school. There’s no other way society is going to keep up with all the good band names.

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Expanding on what @FunkDaddy said above, I think size is of issue here to some degree, but a far more salient attribute is expressed editorial voice and perspective. BoingBoing is a publication with authors, writing articles from a clear perspective who have clearly stated editorial attitudes and opinions. It has a personality, and it generates ideas and opinions. The bbs is an environment connected to that swirl of specific personalities that is curated to have a strict set of community standards that those publishers will support, and to some degree the quality and nature of comments reflects on them.

Facebook is not a publication that publishes or even curates ideas, it doesn’t have an editorial voice or perspective. It is a platform for the discussion, attitudes and experience of others only, and as such, far more resembles the public square. This is a meaningful distinction. It’s a lot different for a video game magazine to refuse to print a letter about hating cats (because it’s totally off topic for them) or even Cat Fancy to refuse to publish it (because it offends the sensibilities of their publication, and their members) than it would be for “publicsquare.com” to refuse to publish. It isn’t that either one is more legally incorrect than the other, but it certainly rings more against the purported goals of one than the other.


It’s not that I don’t see the potential for repression outside the strict confines of the First Amendment (which is itself specific to the US). It’s simply that I do not believe there is a viable solution that doesn’t itself interfere with the property rights (however intangible that property) and free speech rights of others. Requiring a single website (Facebook) to allow unmoderated free speech would require either an abrupt and radical shift in how we currently interpret the First Amendment, or an entirely new law that somehow designated Facebook as a “common carrier”-like entity. Aside from the fact that Facebook would instantly become a cesspool of spam and hate (probably destroying it in the process), it would also create a slippery slope where other “big” websites (whatever that means) are also designated in this new “common carrier”-like manner, which would similarly destroy them.

Which I just do not see happening any time in the near future.

[quote=“BZMacLachlan, post:24, topic:49776”]I’m a lawyer and I don’t care for people trying make laws say what they don’t. On the other hand, anyone who thinks that everything has a legal answer is going to make a hash of things.

Both statements are true. And neither are germane to the issue at hand.

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You don’t have a choice. They are a private company and they can’t be forced to publish content that they don’t want to, any more than you can be forced to say things that you do not wish to say. Free speech applies to Facebook’s right to NOT publish something just as much as it applies to your right to speak your mind in the public square.

No. On Facebook, you are the product.

On your own website, yes. In the public square, yes. But you have no inherent right to speak out about what you don’t like on Facebook’s platform, for that would interfere with Facebook’s rights. Facebook might very well choose to allow such speech, but that is strictly voluntary.


Who said anything about force? I never said anything about force. Don’t put words into my mouth, or use blatant straw men to support your opinions.

On Facebook, you are the product.

Semantics. They’d be nothing if it weren’t for their users, and they know it.

They’ve made some changes that users have demanded.

Okay, I’ll bite. You expressed that you were tired of people who shrug and say “whatever” about FB’s moderation. What’s your proposed solution?

Just as McDonald’s would be nothing if they ran out of hamburgers. The hamburgers are important, sure. They just don’t have much say in the matter.

Supporting free speech doesn’t mean you have to provide a platform for all speech.

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Yeah, you do, unless you choose not to. The moderation is by contributors, editors & Falcor. That’s an extremely small number.

People who can’t figure out why are common, but again it is really easy. You just remember what you typed and recall the few rules or just that they can.

It wasn’t intended to be specifically objective because it doesn’t need to be. You thought you made the rules? FB can and does impact its users far more and more frequently than BB by any measure. Your exception… and the rule is meaningful.

I can do no more than refer you to @BZMacLachlan articulate thoughts on the matter above. But I’ll add that “the only distinction” never, ever is. That the first amendment isn’t the only thing to do with (free) speech by a longshot, and I didn’t bring it up, and neither did you in your initial reply to me, so in case you didn’t realize it, I’ll tell you. I’ve heard of it. You waggling it about as though I hadn’t when I wasn’t discussing it makes you look like an asshole.

edit - Also, it’s important to remember this when waggling that doc, this is the internet, where we are talking about the internet.

What does he mean?

What could he mean?

I mean that 95.6% of the population of the planet are not obliged to recognize your doc. I’m among that number.

Solution? To complaining? About complaining? WTH? Who even asks?

But srsly, without answering for @marilove, the extremely obvious answer is that the user stop using FB, or STFU, or keep complaining. Put down your copy of the bill of rights, it’s easy, all you have to do is remember that it isn’t divine. Yer kinda sea lioning your point, which wasn’t germane to ALL of the discussion.

Here’s an interesting article about Facebook…


You expressed that you were tired of people who shrug and say “whatever” about FB’s moderation. What’s your proposed solution?

Uh, what? First of all I never said “tired of people who shrug and say “whatever” about FB’s moderation.” Like, that’s not what I fucking said. At all. You just made that up in your head. What the fuck?

Your pointless, irrelevant arguments about semantics and your blatant inability to actually read what is being written rather than making shit up really leave me no desire to have any discussion or debate with you. Have a fantastic fucking day!

Also @zieroh , this is a really dumb, shallow and ridiculous analogy.

I recently read an article that McDonald’s is trying TOO hard to meet assumed customers’ needs and wants by adding too many healthy fairs and options and shit. Their numbers aren’t looking that great, especially compared to a smaller, less-healthy minded fast food joint like Sonic. They really should stick to their burgers.

But look! It’s almost as if companies do try to fit in with what is popular with their customers, even if they aren’t really correct about the assumption. And it’s also as if making assumptions often ends up poorly! Good thing Sonic actually seems to understand what the consumer wants (and it’s not like people don’t make it obvious with their buying habits). (This could really end up to be a fantastic discussion, but I have no desire to have it with you. So good day.)
Try again. You’re not as good at this as you think you are. :smile:

Not only @zieroh was he sea lioning the point, he was arguing a made up point that I never even stated and his McDonald’s analogy was so pathetic and uninformed that I literally laughed out loud. It’s almost as if he relies on assumptions and half truths and bullshit to support his poorly thought out opinions about shit he doesn’t really understand!

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