Facebook: all in favor of freedom of speech! (Except criticism of Islam and amnesty.) The watchdog Gatestone Institute notes:
It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor — at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history — should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.
Last month, Facebook launched what it called an “Initiative for civil courage online,” the aim of which, it claims, is to remove “hate speech” from Facebook — specifically by removing comments that “promote xenophobia.” Facebook is working with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann, which aims to identify and then erase “racist” posts from the site.
Of course we right-wingers had it coming! How dare we post opinions critical of mass immigration? Or of Islam in general? That’s just xenophobic. And racist. As Zuckerberg’s chief assistant, Sheryl Sandberg, put it:
Hate speech has no place in our society — not even on the internet.
And that’s exactly what patriotism is, of course: hate speech. In the past we thought of it as simply loving one’s own culture and country, but thanks to the likes of Ms. Sandberg we know better now: patriotism is undisguised racism. (Except if your patriotism is directed at any Islamic or African country, in which case it’s perfectly fine)
The sinister thing about what Facebook is doing is that it is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might consider racist — along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is “racist.”
And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, this idea of “racist” speech appears to include anything critical of the EU’s current catastrophic immigration policy.
Facebook: all your political opinions belong to us.