Today begins a three-part series in which I examine how social media like Facebook and search engines like Google seek to not only silence you if you’re not part of the Borg, but actually force-feed you their narrative.
The problem is not just that Facebook censors content, although it does; it’s a multifaceted issue, brought about partly by the fact that many misunderstand what the First Amendment protects, and what Facebook’s obligations are to the public. Add in Facebook’s leftist leadership, and their known propensity for stifling conservative and libertarian thought, and the result is a perfect storm, in which misunderstandings about freedom of speech are juxtaposed with Facebook’s leftist agenda.
The First Amendment’s provisions – freedom of religion, speech, assembly, petition, and the press – all have one thing in common; they are referring to a government-citizen relationship. The amendment does not, as many believe, create a free-for-all where anyone can say anything without consequence. In our personal lives, the things we say and do have repercussions; we all censor ourselves on a daily basis at our jobs and in our relationships; we do this not because we have to, but because we choose to, because it’s the responsible thing to do. The difference between individuals and Facebook, however, is that in our personal lives, we make that choice based on our own morals, our own beliefs, or the situation at hand. On Facebook, a faceless, nameless algorithm — or a human who disagrees with your viewpoints — makes the decision for you, based upon their morals, politics, and personal mood.