FB censorship in the guise of help no one asked for is still censorship. FB may claim it is not, but it is one of the worst sort. It is insidious. FB censorship and censorship by Google, so as to direct and control what information we should get access to and even what we are to think or be concerned about, is a reality that should be of great concern to lovers of freedom of expression and of freedom of choice. There are growing concerns about that.
Decades, about 80 years ago, prescient, those concerns were expressed in this:
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable—what then?”
― George Orwell, 1984
I am getting the strong impression that FB does not like me. On first glance, one wonders why, on second glance, it appears obvious why not.
FB does not like the truth. It likes only its own truth or, rather, what FB’s thinks its version of the truth ought to be.
FB’s self-appointed mission appears to be twofold: a. Protecting all others against the truth being told, and b. Re-educating the ones telling it.
The way FB goes about doing the protecting and the re-educating involves doing both on a massive scale. It essentially involves every FB client on the planet. It is no longer necessary to do it to individuals by giving each transgressor the undivided attention of the Party, but to have FB assume the role of the Party and treat all FB clients like Winston Smith was being treated in ‘1984’, not by torture, but through making it impossible for all FB clients on the Planet to do anything other but toe the Party line.
With FB, there is no need to give individuals the treatment or to send them to re-education camps, to have them make it their nature to toe the Party line or even to love FB for making them do so. FB conditions each and every one of its clients not to transgress by deviating from the desired path, by making it impossible to deviate. The process is automated. Refinements are constantly being incorporated into FB’s censorship algorithms. FB apparently uses contractors to do the work of designing and refining the censorship algorithms.
Case in point:
- Yesterday (2018 03 01) I posted a few comments, with links to objective, reputable sources of information on US gun violence (e. g.: John Lott and Thomas Sowell), to a discussion thread of a FB group. It only took minutes for FB to do something – repeatedly and in a short time – it had rarely ever done to me. FB marked those comments as ‘Spam’. Which means that no one can see them, unless I choose to undo what FB did. I did undo it, but if I were to neglect to do so (that can easily happen), the comments would be gone, regardless of how much interest they would spark.
[Today, 2018 03 02, FB went so far as to mark as ‘Spam’ and to prevent from being displayed at her FB Status a comment I had sent to one of my granddaughters (mother of one of my great-grandsons), and FB did not even indicate to me they had done so – I found out by accident, marked the comment as ‘not spam’, got an acknowledgment, but nothing happened to make the comment visible once more. I re-created the comment once more and posted it again. The modified version of it has not yet been marked spam, but I don’t know whether my granddaughter has seen it or can. (She did write to me this morning – 2018 03 04 – and let me know that she had seen and read it; thank God, FB let her do it this time, but was that because of the goodness of their heart, because it was the right thing to do, or was it merely because their censorship algorithm could not catch it on account of whosover wrote it not comprehending the rules of English grammar so well….?]
- After we came back from a visit to our doctor, yesterday, I checked my FB notifications and found that FB not only decides which of my comments in other groups are spam, but FB also decides that I am receiving too much information from other FB groups.
How in the World can FB decide what is relevant to my interests or not? The claim that FB can is presumptuous but not irrational. It is virtually certain that it is a pretense, namely censorship in the guise of unsolicited help.
Just as with comments that FB marked ‘Spam’, anyone receiving a notification about notification clutter from FB (and notice well that in the list of notifications it is not identified who the originator of that message is, unless you are in the habit of paying a lot of attention to icons in the last line of such notifications) better make certain to click on it, and specify that the changes FB made must be undone (although no one can be certain that they will actually be undone — good luck to anyone who thinks he can ascertain that FB will do what it should be doing and do it correctly, to boot).
If the recipient misses that notification and does not click on “Undo Changes,” no or few notifications from many of the groups he decided to receive notifications from will be received by him anymore. In essence, the FB member will lose much or most of the contact he had with a lot of other FB users. That is bad, especially given the fact that I never complained and have no reason to complain about notification clutter.
I receive only few notifications each day (2018 03 01 there were 75). In the unlikely event that I should ever experience any notification clutter and become sufficiently bothered by it, I will be quite capable to do what needs to be done about it, thank you very much, without feeling the need to have FB make decisions for me. After all, being almost 82, I am sufficiently old and smart enough to be able to make such decisions. I do not need FB to make them for me. Possibly hundreds of millions of people all over the world feel that way.
FB censorship and censorship by Google is a reality that should be of great concern to lovers of freedom of expression and of freedom of choice. It made me glad to see that Tucker Carlson (an American conservative political commentator for Fox News) and Mark Steyn (a Canadian author and political commentator) joined to discuss the social-media cartel’s increasing control of the Internet, and of ideas. (More on that in an earlier commentary of mine, Censorship, FB joined Google in collaboration, Jan. 16, 2018)
Not all is lost. The problem of FB censorship will in short order go away. I bet that right at this time there is a number of young, wild geniuses, adept at figuring out how it can be done, who are hard at work in their parents’ homes to come up with better ways of letting people get in touch. They will have all the more incentive to get that done, the more the censorship of the Internet intensifies. They are the people who are the leaders, movers and shakers of the Internet-samizdat. At least one of them, quite likely more, will come to outperform and outrank Mark Zuckerberg.
Note — 2018 03 02: The preceding commentary did not start the war that FB is waging against me (and against hundreds of millions of FB users). The commentary is a reaction to the war that FB began a long time ago against it clients.
FB is not a democracy. It is a medium for information exchange that is being used in the same ways as any monopoly that cornered the market for the services or goods it offers behaves. The richer it grows, the more powerful it becomes, the more dictatorial it will be.
Henry Ford said of the Model T, “you can have it in any color you want, as long as it is black.” The problem is that we are not talking about the colors of cars. We are talking about the quality, accuracy and meaning of information exchanged that people use to communicate with and to influence one another. We are talking about FB deciding not that we can have no color other than black for our cars.
FB censorship is about FB deciding what we need to think, how to think and what not to think, FB deciding what we may and may not pass on to others, and in what form we may pass on to others even only those thoughts that FB permits us to exchange with others! That is very bad. That is a combination of censorship and indoctrination that surpasses by far anything that George Orwell imagined ‘the Party’ could do to anyone who failed to perform and toe the party line. FB does not only do all that, but it also involves changing large parts of history by making it impossible to communicate with anyone about them and not even to be able to point them out, describe or quote them!
FB is not merely autocratic, it is becoming more and more dictatorial and becoming outright tyrannical. No one has much influence over either the goal, the objectives or the methods that FB applies in bringing its social engineering efforts to fruition. That social-engineering effort is not merely an experiment for which a prototype is being constructed that experiments on the minds of a few dozen people. It is a full-fledged social re-engineering project of massive size and proportions that involves hundreds of millions of people, every single FB client in the world. No man, woman, individual, organization, no single entity, regardless of its shape, size or intentions must be permitted to have that sort of power to change the nature and destiny of mankind, let alone be allowed to do it without any supervision by anyone, without any controls whatsoever!
It is a horror of indoctrination and mind control that surpasses anything George Orwell could ever have imagined.
Still, as mentioned at the end of the commentary, good, healthy, vigorous competition will fix problems posed by dictatorships through competition (or through resistance). That does not take a lot of money in the form of seed capital, it takes dedication and the power of the masses. I am convinced that the issue of FB censorship will be forced out of the way by what the people want.
It will be interesting to see what will evolve to that end, and evolve it will. I just hope that I will be granted the time to watch it happen.
This blog is closed for comments (other than by me). That is not because we hate people who browse and read it, but because I am only one and have no one to help me, and my wife is not into moderating. That does not mean that none of anyone’s comments can be expressed (some will be posted here, with desired credits to the originators). As long as FB reigns-in its greed for the power to socially engineer society and to mold it into the shape it wants, permitting people to write to me, that is, as long as FB does not censor me, get in touch with Dads & Things @ FB. If FB should ban me, anyone can still get in touch with me through e-mail. Look up the contact details for that at the dads&things or at fathersforlife.org.
In the meantime, I will keep on posting updates on the issue of Internet censorship in the section on censorship. You are welcome to comment, and I would love to read your opinions and suggestions (just make sure to stick to the house rules).