What is wrong with Facebook censorship


The following is from an interview transcript


Therefore, in response to this, Zuckerberg and Facebook executives have decided to put together an organization of experts and journalists, who will decide for Facebook readers what is real news or what is fake news. And this touches on a number of highly problematic subjects for which is actually to blame American journalism for the last century and a half. But what we know right now is that Zuckerberg and company, we will call them "Facebook", are going to bring together different expert journalists, who are proficient in journalism with ties and contacts with TIME magazine, CNN, NBC and so forth; some experts directly from New-York Times, Washington Post and other liberal editions.

Therefore, it is going to be an academic, professional organization which is going to establish the criteria naturally because this is not going to be their job - these people have their day-jobs. So they are going to establish criteria which Facebook will actually use as the standard of a robotic algorithmic method that actually aggressively censors content which users are posting.

This, of course, raises some questions about not just journalism or Facebook, but actually about the relationship between public and private realms, and public and private property.

The first argument that was made in defense of their right to institute such a policy is of course that Facebook is a private organization and since then, journalism and its connection with the first amendment for freedom of the press and freedom of the speech doesn’t apply in the private realm.

This is a very interesting situation, because a new area of law is talking about the Internet. And, of course, we know that the Internet was developed by the government and it was a public investment, which taxpayers paid to develop. And likewise, they continue to build infrastructure involving government subsidies - corporations are lobbying the government for subsidies.

Of course, we know that this is a little bit different from television and radio governed by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which is a governmental institution, and the airwaves are actually owned by the public even if you would not know that from watching television. This is different from the way that Facebook exists in law, but it really touches on some really interesting history and some moral categories as well.

In our assessment, what is really going to happen is that real journalism is going to be censored. And this really gets down to the history of journalism, in which there have been numerous Supreme Court cases. We had  Red LionBroadcasting Co. v. the FCC in late 60s and Associated Press v. United States in the 40s - with the outcome of these we have arrived at present system. The U.S. has imposed on the rest of world elements of that system and that's critical two because it connects also to U.S. media hegemony and U.S. media imperialism.

Now they have a particular goal here, which is to censor information which they think works against their Atlanticists aims. They would like to eliminate that whole vector of information which has grown in popularity. It has grown significantly because it resonates with the people for emotional reasons and because it is truthful content.

According to polls, people generally don't trust the mainstream media.

And now we have this so-called mainstream media which actually has been already overtaken by the alternative media in turns of readership. But the mainstream media still has a polarity of viewers, but they don’t have the majority. They have already lost that in the last 4-5 years, so now they  are trying to fight back.

Several years ago, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State announced that the United States was losing a propaganda war. Barack Obama introduced a new organization which is going to coordinate information activities between organizations providing information to the government and the media.

So this is connected to the Atlanticists' need to clamp down on information. And so in the long run, what Facebook has proposed is dangerous for the public and their ability to access alternative views.