FB community standards vs moral traditions

The drive for re-education, for turning moral traditions topsy-turvy, by replacing them with FB community standards, is a convoluted road.

Why should Facebook be turning moral traditions topsy-turvy?  Who appointed Facebook the arbiter of cultural, ethical and moral values?

Who appointed Facebook the arbiter of cultural, ethical and moral values?
Corporate rules will never substitute for true community standards.

The FB-reality is that the use of bad and inappropriate language of the gutter variety is good, while even to insist only slightly on maintaining established, more conservative traditions that society came to hold dear must must be regarded as being in bad taste, wherefore it is verboten.  Things become very difficult and confusing, when good becomes bad and bad becomes good, when it may be that either or both are verboten, especially when it appears that good things may at times be verboten, while bad things (things that were judged bad hundreds and even thousands of years ago) are hardly ever considered to be bad but most often good.  That causes confusion, which appears to  be a deliberate aspect of the social engineering that Facebook is eager to bring to civilization. 

It is difficult for old dogs to learn new tricks.  It is especially hard for an old dog to learn that the new trick he is to learn, that to have a moral universe that he has come to appreciate and even to love with his whole heart, is to be turned topsy-turvy.  I taught a dog or two during my life and learned, that to confront any dog with such absurd notions and inconsistencies is the most effective means of spoiling him. 

Some moral traditions apply even to dogs.  Even dogs become confused and their relationships with their owners come to a bad end, when the owners of the dogs take the few rules that apply to dogs and turn traditional rules topsy-turvy.

Don’t take me wrong!  FB did not ever tell me that I had done anything wrong (except for telling me, now and then, that something I remarked did not meet Facebook’s “community standards”), or that anything I had posted had violated proprieties other than their “community standards”. It’s just that it is hard for old dogs to learn new tricks, especially when all or most of the tricks they know are suddenly made to do a 180. This dog is 82 years old, and even the youngest dog has a tough time learning tricks for which the instructor gives instructions that flip to being diametrically opposed to all he has learned since he was born, even if a young dog doesn’t have to unlearn anything.  Such a crazy thing is not merely contrary to the nature of dogs, in general, it is even against human nature!

To be accused in the Facebook reality of being politically incorrect can have a range of consequences, some of which can be severe.  An offense may involve having pointed the finger, maybe once or maybe once too often, perhaps not at someone but at an organization, a government or society, for having done something remarkable, annoying, harmful and not merely annoying but enormously harmful to humanity, fathers and families, perhaps even to the whole environment and the globe. 

In such a case, finger-pointing may well be deemed not merely impolite but politically incorrect.  The pointed finger that raised Facebook’s ire may not even be directed at anyone or anything, other than that it pointed out an idea that may or may not be politically correct, although nevertheless wrong. It may involve nothing other than to express dissatisfaction with any aspect – no matter how trivial or inconsequential – of anything at all and no one in particular.

That sort of political incorrectness falls without a doubt into the category of thought crime, but that does not matter much.  If Facebook doesn’t like what someone stated, a judgement is made on what amounts to be a thought crime.  No finding of “guilty” will be announced, nothing more will happen than that the designated, unsuspecting offender will suddenly find that he no longer can use Facebook.  There may or may not have been a notification sent to the individual judged to be an offender.  That notification then states merely that a comment or posting violated FB community standards.

Even though several times I tried to catch on to what the FB community standards imply and demand, I never succeeded.  Anyone who ever tried to figure it out soon found that the FB community standards are hopelessly nebulous, convoluted and lacking clear directions. They would not have the chance of a snowball in Hell to measure up to the standards of evidence in a court of law.  Nevertheless, Facebook refers to them when justifying why they found someone guilty of violating them and deserving of being sent to “Facebook jail” (if Facebook should happen to tell the alleged offender, who receives his punishment before even knowing he did anything wrong).  That means that Facebook will ban them from using the services Facebook offers, for various lengths of time, ranging from a few hours to a life time. 

No court in the world could solve that dilemma, not in a year full of Sundays, but Facebook insists that its community standards are just the thing for judging how individuals must conduct themselves.  That has nothing or little to do with human nature but everything with what notions Facebook may have of what shape and form human nature is to take.  That is not anything anyone ever learned growing up.  It could and cannot be learned from one’s parents or in school.  No, the only way it can be learned is to have one’s knuckles rapped when Facebook is unhappy about an individual not doing what he should. 

Nevertheless, whether or not any of that should be done by basing Facebook’s decision on its ill-documented community standards should be left up to the individual doing it, and it should be left to the “accused” to feel whether the accusation should be ignored or to let it bother them, with the range of possible outcomes extending all the way to taking the accusers to court.

Turning moral traditions topsy-turvy is not an easy job.

Right or wrong, says who, Facebook? You must be kidding!
While Facebook is driving by the seat of its pants, the community (the jury that matters) has not yet decided.

In the past before FB (the dividing line is the birth of Facebook, 2004 AD, a.k.a. 1 FB), the range of the emotions and reactions following a perceived insult extended to where they led to duels by swords, foils, handguns and other means intended to hurt or kill the accuser who was often right and had to die on account of it.  Challenges involved rituals, the drop of a hat, the slapping with a glove of the face of the challenged, knocking a chip off the shoulder of one of the contestants (with the first of the contenders to succeed with knocking the chip off the shoulder of his opponent being the challenger, a dubious distinction in the ensuing brawl).

Those extremes became illegal.  Instead, we amended laws as well as civil and criminal court procedures, in efforts designed to economically devastate accusers, whether those were right or not.  Thereby we ensured that judges, prosecutors and other attorneys, lawyers and adjuncts of the legalistic industry are not deprived of a rich source of income that they intensely crave.  After all, they too must feed their families, pay bills and pay back loans. Having accusers and accused try to settle things out of court by hurting or killing each other was therefore a powerful incentive for the advocates of the legalistic industry do get such attempts ruled illegal, and they achieved that aim. 

The established legal standards served to uphold our moral traditions.  Violators were prosecuted, the violated compensated, and the innocent protected.  That was a great boon for the business of the law and also served society well.  With Facebook throwing its hat into the ring, things are becoming unnecessarily complicated once more.  To begin with, a lot of re-educating needs to be done.  It would save us a passel of problems if established customs were to be left intact, and established moral traditions not re-engineered.

It is alright for a mega corporation such as Facebook to have internal community standards.  For any corporation to attempt to impose its community standards on all or even only a large part of humanity causes a lot of conflict with locally established moral traditions.  Facebook cannot possibly succeed with doing in a few years what human civilization did not manage during the ten-thousand years of its existence.  It is hubris to insist that Facebook can succeed where all of human civilization failed.

Consider the next section, Facebook becomes a contender in the realm of the business of the law, being self-appointed Legislator, police, judge, jury, and jailer.

Back to index for this article series


See also:

(Visited 36 times, 1 visit(s) today)
This entry was posted in Censorship, Civil Rights. Bookmark the permalink.