“Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.”
The introductory quote, Censorship is free speech, is from the article indicated here:
Shall We Defend Our Common History?
Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion
At Imprimis, the free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College.
The article relates to the oppression of free speech at universities. It speaks for itself, rather well. Here is the opening:
The recent news that the University of Notre Dame, responding to complaints by some students, would “shroud” its twelve 134-year-old murals depicting Christopher Columbus was disappointing. It was not surprising, however, to anyone who has been paying attention to the widespread attack on America’s past wherever social justice warriors congregate.
Notre Dame, a Congregation of Holy Cross institution, may not be particularly friendly to its Catholic heritage. But its president, the Rev. John Jenkins, demonstrated how jesuitical (if not, quite, Jesuit) he could be. Queried about the censorship, he said, apparently without irony, that his decision to cover the murals was not intended to conceal anything, but rather to tell “the full story” of Columbus’s activities.
Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.
I had not ever encountered the term elide and looked it up in Webster’s:
Curiously, I often elided something, especially when I wanted to make it obvious that I had done so (such as in a revision in a blog posting, when I had wanted to make it clear that I had done so, as in striking out a word or a few, to show that something was changed, what it was and what it was changed to), but I had not known that there was such a nice expression for doing that.
Nevertheless, when something was elided, it may or may not be so obvious that censorship was employed. That brings me to the point of this blog posting.
Marcus Clintonius brought the article to everyone’s attention, and I am grateful that he did. The article is critical of censorship, but Marcus had employed Facebook to point out a very incisive commentary that is very critical of censorship and calls for it to stop. Facebook is notorious for its censorship, especially for censoring almost everything that is not politically correct.
Facebook does not call it censorship. It mostly censors without saying that it does or did so, although sometimes Facebook will state that something was deleted because it violated community standards (whatever those may be or signify). Sometimes the offender gets banned from Facebook, apparently in the hope that it will teach him a lesson. How come Facebook lets Marcus Clintonius bring Roger Kimball’s commentary to anyone’s attention? Here is the thing.
I had not known what the article was all about. I had only seen Marcus Clintonius’ posting on Facebook, essentially an image. The image was linked.* I wanted to find out what it was all about and clicked on it. I could be wrong, but that helped me to gain an impression of how Facebook deals with criticism of censorship, in spite of permitting access to the source of it. (* Sorry to say that the link will not work from this page. If you use copy-and-paste commands and use it in the location field of a new browser window, it will work as intended.)
It seemed to take forever to get a response to my click. It took so long that I clicked again, which took longer, but I waited, and eventually my browser displayed the article. It made me curious what had taken so long.
The link to the article, https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/shall-defend-common-history/, is very simple. If I click on it or enter it into the location field of a browser and hit <Enter>, it requires no more than a second to display the article, and, perhaps, there is the rub. If you try this at home and clicked on the preceding link already, make sure to clear your browser cache first, before you try Facebook’s URL for the article. That will give you the full impact of the long delay, between clicking on the link and having the results displayed Here it the link:
Facebook stretched a link that is only 59 characters long to the ludicrous length of 894 characters.
Even though it takes not as long now for me to access the article at the end of that tapeworm of a link as it did the first time, it still took about 14 seconds the last time I did.
How many algorithms does that link represent? What are they all for? Whatever that link is for, with respect to what Facebook is after, think of the work it took to construct those algorithms, to tie them all together, to tailor them just to the URL for a single article, and what amount of processing time it takes when all such links are being accessed.
Not all of Facebook’s links are that long, but Facebook permits no one to publish links in their original, pristine state, that is, just the straight URL for the article it points to. They all have something attached, to stretch them out, designed to make them do far more than simply access information at the other end of any given link.
What does Facebook do with such links? What is the purpose of entangling links in so many algorithms? Is it for nefarious or entirely benign or perhaps even beneficial reasons that Facebook strains the Internet? I suspect that it is not or not only for the greater good. Without a doubt, Facebook is hogging Internet resources. It is not telling, and what it tells cannot be determined by anyone individual. Let’s hope that Facebook is not nurturing a malignant cancer.
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