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This Country’s Censorship Agreement with Facebook is Troubling

News from Germany and Menlo Park, California, hints at the censorship agenda of Facebook.

As you probably know, there have been reports of Facebook censoring the political statements of users. Facebook presents itself as a forum where people can express themselves. One worrisome possibility is that Facebook will soon start exerting its own ideological control over content now that so many people have gotten used to it. Recent news stories add to the credibility of suspicions about the censorship agenda of Facebook.

In Germany, Facebook has come under fire because it does not “do enough” to censor “hate speech.” But Reuters reports on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s goodwill visit to Germany.

Zuckerberg is on a charm offensive in Germany, where the company he co-founded has faced criticism for months from politicians and regulators over its privacy practices and a slow response to anti-immigrant postings by neo-Nazi sympathizers.

Of course, one wonders if simply telling the truth about public crimes committed by immigrants counts as neo-Nazi hate speech.

Facebook’s rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening language, but critics say it does not enforce them properly. It has hired a Bertelsmann business services unit to monitor and delete racist posts on its platform in Germany.

The German government seems to have no concept of freedom of speech and Facebook seems ready to fit into that political environment. One can understand that as a tactic for business survival, but it seems to go further than that.

Gizmodo reports, “Mark Zuckerberg Asks Racist Facebook Employees to Stop Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Slogans.”

How does Zuckerberg know that these people are racists? Or perhaps that is Gizmodo’s editorial comment.

In any case, Facebook has a public wall on which someone had written “Black Lives Matter” slogans. Others had crossed out some of the messages and written “All Lives Matter.”

That may have been rude and broken some rule of the use of the public forum. But it is not racist.

Zuckerberg’s role at Facebook includes the authority of ideological enforcer. He wrote the official dogma of Facebook in a memo promising to “investigate” the messages,

There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism. ‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t — it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.

There are many people of all races who would dispute that Zuckerberg has described the BLM phenomenon in all its glory. And all seem to be unwelcome at Facebook.

None of this is proof of the censorship agenda of Facebook, but it is certainly consistent with such an agenda.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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