In one of the most blatant moves against the First Amendment witnessed in our lifetimes, Facebook yesterday removed 800 politically-charged pages and profiles.
The timing of the move was easily discernible; with less than one month left until the midterm elections, Facebook is attempting to protect the electorate from opinions and investigations that go against what we are seeing from the mainstream media. We must remind ourselves that Facebook’s purge wasn’t entirely down political lines, (some left-leaning publishers got the boot, too), meaning that this isn’t a partisan fight. Rather, this is a fight against the very nature of the First Amendment.
So, what makes this different than allowing Russian “bots” to infiltrate our social media? Isn’t the omission of information precisely as disingenuous as the addition of information? What ever happened to equality in this country? Is my view of the political world somehow less valuable than Chris Cuomo’s? Or Don Lemon’s?
If the nation isn’t allowed to speak their minds during this crucial time in our nation’s history, hasn’t Facebook meddled in our ability to effectively elect our next leaders?
Isn’t “independence” what this nation was found on? Why aren’t these independent thinkers and journalists allowed to speak?
Facebook’s purge of We The People, (all of us, remember), is almost certainly an effort to sway the midterm elections…so why are we allowing it? This is still election meddling, just not under the banner of the Kremlin. Instead, this is informational interference that we cannot and must not capitulate to.
This purge, which appears to have been coordinated with Twitter as well, came just hours after a resignation letter from a Google engineer went viral, in which the departing employe bemoaned his concerns over the company’s stance on “free expression”.
The bottom line here is: Facebook removed all of the “Russian bots”, only to fill the vacancy left by the Kremlin’s computing power themselves. If Facebook cares about freedom, they will stand down in this endeavor.
A word to the wise, however: I wouldn’t hold your breath.