Virtue signalling is cheap, endangering your family's livelihood is hard.
"It's very difficult to make somebody understand something, especially if their salary depends on them not understanding it."
Facebook is, in general, an unethical company. And this has been known for a long time. If you didn't leave yet you won't leave over this either.
Therefore, please don't post like this to HN. Repetitive indignation is the opposite of curious conversation, and we seek the latter. https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...
1. No, I'm not siding with Facebook or whatever; just with the intended spirit of HN. A comment like this breaks that spirit while seeming to be on topic.
2. I don't mean to pick on you personally. It sucks to be singled out and there is zero intention of shaming here. I'm just picking on this particular comment, about something that we basically all do at times.
As much respect as I have for the moderation team on HN, this time I will respectfully disagree -- but I will improve the website by restraining myself from commenting on such hot semi-political discussions in the future.
That would be best for everyone, I believe.
EDIT: (after your edit): Rest assured, I am not taking it personally nor will I "attack" or press the matters further. I agree my comment wasn't well-spirited and was dismissive.
It's just that sometimes I get tired of what I perceive as virtue signalling.
But I agree that it's best to keep that opinion to myself and not add negativity to the forum.
Thank you for bringing this perspective. I feel I actually needed it.
You might be right. But you might be wrong. And the way you're framing it, it's either a) someone agrees with you, and has already left FB (meaning you were right), or b) someone has stayed at FB, therefore ethics is unimportant to them.
Your dichotomy leaves no space for the idea that you might be wrong, or that the people who work at FB might not agree with you that it is unethical.
Don't virtue signal if you cannot take responsibility for possible consequences (like losing your job). Sure, you might actually disagree with Facebook, your employer. OK. But no point talking about it if you won't do anything.
One telling sign of that is that few, if any, media sources that criticized Facebook's decision even bothered to publish the rationale.
Think about that. Imagine perceiving yourself as journalist and intentionally not reporting the rationale of a point of view you disagree with.
Once I heard Facebook's logic... I actually found it compelling. I think it's good we have social media companies that don't all agree with one another and act as a single entity. That would be scary.
I don't think any reasonable human being will argue with that.
The problem are a lot of other practices of Facebook, like the lack of privacy and all sleazy corporate lingo and lobbyist pressure they utilize to never actually have to be a privacy-first company.
And that's not even touching their experiment with free Facebook traffic in India, simply branded as "Internet" which, predictably, led many people to believe that Facebook is the internet. (And surprising no one, this was stopped only after a big wave of negative PR.)
- Good salary. The FAANG companies pay really well. Almost nobody else can offer you north of $200k annual salary.
You have no idea why people have stayed and/or how their minds have changed over time. Everyone has their breaking point and this could very possibly be it for some people.
Also, your quote should be attributed to Upton Sinclair.
“Citations are optional on informal forums such as the Hacker News” —— Mary Wollstonecraft
I can't generalise all of them of course. But we never had historical data of people mass-leaving big corps over such issues so I'm tempted to believe in my generalisation.
Also, people greatly overestimate how easy it is for others to actually find new jobs. Yes, there are lots of high paying tech jobs available (I have no idea how the Covid-19 pandemic may have changed things) but some people -- for a variety of reasons: health, family and otherwise -- have great difficulty doing this. Hiring is known to be broken and is the cause of _great_ anxiety for some number of us for these reasons. (It's so problematic for me that I don't even bother, at a great cost.)
I don't. I am jobless for one month now and have been semi-actively looking for a job for two-three months. I never worked so hard for free in my life! I know exactly what you mean when you say it's really hard. Many people might underestimate it... but I don't.
My point was -- still is -- those people should not virtue signal if they can't put their wallet where their mouth is. Ask yourself "am I willing to leave this cosy position because I disagree with the policy of my employer?" -- and if the answer is no then IMO you should just save your disagreement for yourself.
- pro Kavanaugh
- genocide in Myanmar
- destruction of privacy
- facebook accepting it creates extremists
* except the Myanmar thing - but that wasn't an active thing, but rather not being responsible in growth and having incorrect assumptions about state actors
1) Have little concern about the ethics.
2) Care about money.
3) Feel smart and important for working there (I'm smart, I made it).
This won't change their view on those things.
It's completely okay for one to be unwilling to endanger their livelihood. I can sympathise with everyone having that sentiment.
But don't virtue signal and just move air. If you believe in the cause, prove it. If you can't prove it, get on with your day [and don't spam the internet with stuff you won't ever factually support].
this doesn't apply almost any engineer working at facebook. Everyone was hiring before corona hit.
If they are so unqualified to find a tech job in boom season then there were plenty of jobs outside tech too.
I don't agree that most of these engineers would never be able to find another job if they quit fb. Maybe a tiny % of protestor, sure.
You fill questionnaires and do elaborate solutions of rather complex homeworks... only for somebody to judge you by the grey hair in your beard or by you being caught off-guard on only one out of 20-30 questions.
The second game is: How can we PR our way out of the nightmares we knowingly create month after month?
It amazes me every day how the corporation and all its employees are able to maintain the BS level required to believe in the "mission" of the company.
If you can imagine it, I never had an active account in my life and I am happy about it. And believe it or not, I still do exists have friends and family and a "social" life.
Freedom of speech means that the police can't raid your house for what you think or say or a judge cannot rule against you for what you think or say.
But freedom of speech doesn't mean that other people are forced to either listen to you or provide with their own private means (like content hosting or bandwidth) for you to express your ideas.
What I am talking about is the culture of defending free speech. The cultural value of defending the right of people you dislike to express ideas that you disagree with, because the value and importance of free expression goes beyond the short-term unpleasantness of ugly opinions. This is what we are losing / have lost and it is extremely dangerous for democratic society and civil liberties. It has nothing to do with the legal definition of free speech.
(Sorry, you can’t just say you’re tired of an argument and then continue with only your side of that argument.)
If you accept that you'd never let some soapbox rando yell politics in your face just for the principle of the matter, the discussion will inevitably boil down to the role social media plays in society.
I am not talking about the Constitution. I’m talking about a cultural value. Not the same thing.
Now if your argument is (as often, theirs is) that those platforms are fringe, not nearly-as-popular, I would theorize that that is because a larger majority of people have heard some of these things and have zero interest in hearing more.
But they can still say it.
And at that point, I ask, what is the cultural value of requiring people to hear things they've decided they do not wish to?
Even then, I’d still prefer a totally open system that lets me decide what I want to see/not see, because it avoids any potential censorship.
None of that prevents me from hosting my own website, or going to a public space, and saying whatever I want.
You are really missing the point though. Part of the balance is that one still cannot escape the consequences of their free expression. That's the backpressure that makes it work.
Email is a medium with which lacked that kind of backpressure and suffered by massive amounts of spam. Filtering out spam is preventing "free expression".
If you don't have backpressure, you won't get the free expression you imagine, because the noise will overwhelm everything else.
This is the paradox of tolerance. Some ideas are worth debating, some are not. We all have limited time and energy.
Edit: the irony of getting downvoted while trying to have a discussion about being able to express ideas...
The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant.
Crazy people thinking that the Earth is flat doesn't prevent you from circumnavigating it.
Crazy people believing that vaccines are a Democrat/BillG/CIA plot will prevent you from achieving herd immunity, if they are numerous enough.
Crazy people who think the Earth is flat will deny your circumnavigation project government funding, if there are enough of them.
In any organisation that is not a totalitarian autocracy, crazy people hurt the organisation's goals. The more numerous and organised, the bigger the gridlock.
Anyway, you've listed three things and one of them isn't like the others. I'll give you a hint: hate anti-vaxxers or not, there have been vaccines in the past that had extremely severe side effects. That is an absolute fact. Everything from that point on is about risk tolerances, tradeoffs and group safety vs individual freedoms, i.e. things debated for thousands of years.
Lumping people who are scared of vaccines into the same category as people who think the earth is flat is the kind of tactic that makes so many of us think ... fuck it, just let everyone say what they want. Total freedom of speech everywhere. Why, because trying to institutionally determine what's "true" is a complete waste of time. Everyone who thinks it's easy ends up causing massive collateral damage by shutting down legitimate and important debate. See how Wojcicki at YouTube has been deleting videos of epidemiologists and Nobel Prize winning scientists for "misinformation". See how she's been forcibly upranking outlets like CNN in recommendations, even though people don't want to watch it and it makes Google lose money. See how Facebook has shut down groups for people who think lockdowns are a harmful policy. See how Google is now censoring "communist bandit" globally.
This kind of childish behaviour doesn't make the tech industry look smart, it makes us look like arrogant fools.
facebook not using its right to kick violence-mongers off their platform is an implicit way of supporting them.
Facebook doesn't have to support trump or to spread his hate speech. Facebook is choosing to do so.
At the same time, certain people have views that are morally abhorrent. Or, heck, even just not very interesting. It's important to NOT to shoehorn some kind of homesteading right over public attention in the name of free speech. In the past, society's way of protecting itself against this was mainly that speech was expensive, and extremists frequently lacked the money to impose themselves on others' attention. This was in some ways a horrifying way to solve the problem, since it suppressed the disadvantaged, and didn't work anyway. In any case, it's gone. Speech is no longer expensive.
What remains to see how we can regain some semblance of sanity in a world where all public communication devolves into people shouting at each other. I'm sick of living in that world. I don't particularly care whether Facebook takes down Trump's comments; they've already been heard. But I do care about notions of free speech that prevent tech companies from trying to solve the pressing social challenge of how to let people regain control over their own attention spans.
Why would it be strange to have values that go beyond what is legal?
Look at the AOC law suit. She tried silencing people on her private social media but because she is now in government she got sued immediately.
"The First Amendment" is the law that protects us from the government stopping free speech.
"Freedom of speech" is a principle that civilized cultures adopt so that people who disagree aren't shut out of the conversation.
The same guy who's every tweet is reported in every online publication within minutes? Are you sure you understand what freedom of speech means?
I'm not sure somebody's "right to say [something]" is directly equivalent to being able to tweet something on a privately owned platform.
>>> You do not have the right to either a forum (Facebook) or an audience.
>> I’d rather find a world where humans do have that right than stay in the ruins of this one.
"Right to an audience" is part of what was being discussed. That part I was disagreeing with you on.
> I’m the one who’s entitled to be able to hear them
I agree with that in principle. In practice, that winds up compelling someone (some company) to carry their speech. That part I have a hard time agreeing with.
There are plenty of platforms that would host Trump. Or PETA. Or neo-nazi groups. Or anti-abortion groups. Or radical animal rights.
They may not have as large a reach as Facebook or Twitter. But that is likely a factor of the general public's interest in what they have to say.
So "ever being seen or considered" is fallacious.
It comes down to "I have the right to be heard by as many people as _I_ want to be heard by."
It's no different to saying that ABC/CBS are required to air your views, but choose not to, and ignoring the fact that you can go on Public Access TV or a smaller market, and still claim "I'm being censored!". It's not an accurate reflection of the state of affairs.
In his book Mark Bray writes: "It’s important to note, however, that the vast majority of people who oppose limiting speech on political grounds are not free speech absolutists. They all have their exceptions to the rule, whether obscenity, incitement to violence, copyright infringement, press censorship during wartime, or restrictions for the incarcerated. If we rephrase the terms of the debate by taking these exceptions into account, we can see that many liberals support limiting the speech of working-class teens busted for drugs, but not limiting the speech of Nazis. Many are fine when the police quash the free speech of the undocumented by hunting them down, while they amplify the speech of the Klan by protecting them. They advocate curtailing ads for cigarettes but not ads for white supremacy."
In my opinion de-platforming fascists is indeed infringing on their right of free speech, but this infringement is justified as it protects the the safety and well-being of marginalized populations.
However, and where Facebook crosses a line, is that when you allow someone to post unabashedly false things to drive emotions. Saying "Trump is a weak leader" isn't wrong or false, just an opinion. Saying that Nancy Pelosi murdered a baby deer with her bare hands on the floor of the House and pushing it as absolutely true is where we currently are.
You don't have a right to push verifiably false information with no recourse. You have a right to say your opinion. Just like you can't yell fire in a movie theater, or bomb on an airplane.
As I said, our culture has become so insecure that people are begging for censorship of ideas they don’t like. It’s a dangerous road to go down.
Facebook shouldn't make such decision based on the interpretation of some emotionally biased employees.
"We have vicious dogs" - Who is this, Mr. Burns? "Release the hounds!"
"I'm wondering if we can't have some kind of MAGA-counterprotest here. MAGA-people like the black folk. They like African Americans. Maybe they can show up to counterprotest." - seriously? This is about as close to Cartman-esque chanting for a "race war".
...but more fundamentally, the question is who gets to decide? Corporations or elected officials? ...can't vote out a corporation if you make them arbiters of truth and don't like the choices they make.
If generic, or as a principle? No.
If they say "pick up weapons and shoot those who dissent"?
Then they're advocating or threatening, and that should be handled similarly.
What about that time De Blasio quoted Che Guevara "Hasta la victoria siempre"? Any problem with that? It's like quoting Hitler about victory.
The point here is that people aren't going to agree on the rules - so asking to hand this judgement process over to Corporations is lunacy.
I think comparing "ever onward to victory" to "when the looting starts, the shooting starts", i.e. "I approve of and will authorize the use of lethal force for property crimes" is a little of a stretch.
Or "vicious dogs" for people protesting at the White House. These are directly relevant.
"I will use the unlimited powers of our military" - so many problems with this statement.
This is someone making direct and focused statements of threat and intimidation, who has a history of racist and violence-encouraging statements, from "punch him in the face, I'll pay your legal bills" and on.
The challenge is that finding left-leaning populations actively, pro-actively advocating (sorry, "warning") of violent action is a lot more challenging.
> Segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace also used the phrase during the 1968 campaign.
While you might like to believe that the phrase could mean anything, it certainly doesn't. And in the context of Trumps tweet, which specifically mentions the military, it certainly means that he was threatening to have the US military fire on US civilians.
Now consider that in the context of the US threatening action against China using "tough" tactics to subdue protests in Hong Kong and you'll see the tweet for what it is. The same kind of rhetoric and threat of violence against protesters that the US condemns elsewhere in the world.
Give me a break.
Are we going to debate every tweet's historical usage?
Should we start looking at AOC's or Bernie Sanders' uses of the word "revolution" in their tweets too?
And I prefer platforms attempt the former.
Besides, Facebook has a PAC! In what way is this attempting to be apolitical? Although their donations are split, since 2012 they've given 14% more to Republicans.
I haven't seen this to be the case. My impression is they found that his speech didn't violate their normal policy. Do you have support to the contrary?
> Facebook has a PAC ...
Lol good point. Though my assumption is this is for economic reasons. So technically you're right; that's political. Though I think it's a non-trivial distinction between trying to grease the economic engine to support corporate profits and being political in the sense of pushing for other left/right/progressive/conservative values.
That seems like a very black-vs-white / with-us-or-against-us mentality.
- Western social media companies are evil; and
- Freedom of speech is bad.
You may very well get rid of Facebook and freedom of speech, but I would like to just remind to all of you folks in the West that when you only have Chinese social media companies and no freedom of speech, there will be thousands of cases MUCH worse than George Floyd and you won't even be allowed to talk about them.
It's like the sky isn't even blue anymore...
> "Corporations have been enthroned.
> An era of corruption will follow and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed."
If Zuckerberg truly wanted to be neutral they’d show unweighted posts... he doesn’t actually want that though, he’s just protecting profits (which is his primary responsibility as ceo anyway).
The only thing missing to make this reality a full cyberpunk dystopia are corporate superhuman ais, but not for the lack of trying.
Social pressure is being exerted on businesses to enact change. How does this have anything to do with fascism or totalitarianism when the government isn't even involved?
AOC (a US congresswoman) specifically suggested that legislation be written to curb free speech on Facebook.
If you disagree with the first sentence, consider a hypothetical country: everything is owned by Google. In theory, you can own land, but in practice you can't, because Google won't sell it to you. You can only rent. Everyone is communicating using devices rented from Google, software owned by Google and using servers owned by Google. Same for literally everything - food is only sold by Google, payments are only possible on Google Pay. If you break Google's ToS, you are banned from using any of its services - ie. you starve to death. Appeals are handled exactly as they are today when the issue is about a youtube channel ban or demonetization.
In this world, officially there's a government with a constitution guaranteeing multiple freedoms, along with a very efficient and fair justice system. One thing the legal system allows you to do is to enter into a contract with Google that requires you to waive all your rights.
If you don't sign the contract, you can't buy food and you starve, so logically everyone alive is under the contract.
What entity is the actual government in this scenario?
Hyperbolic? Yes. Yet, every day we are getting closer to this reality, even if the extreme outcome never happens.
If you want Trump supporters to even things out you're probably going to either: A) hire older devs from less traditional software dev backgrounds. B) Still pull from Young+STEM but filter out anyone whose social media indicates them as being left-ish.
I get the frequent recruiting emails from FB and (much less frequently) Google, but am really too afraid to pursue them.
The high ratio of downvotes to rebuttals is also telling: people want to anonymously disagree but not to disprove. (I have a comment further down thread to the same effect that got a similar reception.)
Read between the lines: I'm saying that there are a lot of people selecting themselves out of the candidate pool for the large SV tech companies based on the perception of SV corporate culture being promulgated through the media and forums like this one, further reinforcing the group think in those organizations.
That should make you happy.
And there are far more stories like that which didn't get into the press.
The right leaning people at tech companies certainly exist. They don't tend to spend all day insisting their coworkers are fired for having left wing views. That's why these firms seem left-leaning - it's those people who kick up all the fuss and make all the demands.
Ok, maybe it's because I'm older (but not a boomer), but I don't think that's an awful work environment.
I use dinner party rules on social media and at the workplace. That means I avoid talking about politics, religion, etc. It's not because I'm afraid of being outed for my views or anything, it's because I look at work as work, and not a place to socialize or broadcast my views.
If so, that seems like the same dynamic, just with a different hegemony. It's a horrible pattern for a workplace regardless of which view is the orthodoxy.
That won't protect you. When your employer is actively signalling and funding support for particular groups or political positions, failure to join in is taken as a political action, and you might get attacked by co-workers for being anti-group or anti-position.
Maybe I'm lucky, in my 25+ years of working, I haven't had to deal with that level of unprofessional behaviour (but I've also generally avoided working with startups and "interactive" agencies for the past 10+ years).
FWIW, I see those chiding posts in my FB feed, and I don't put any stock in them. Most of the people in my feeds post them in lieu of being genuinely active, as though the act of posting is an act in itself. That's their right and choice, and it's my right and choice to ignore them.
Hiring based on political beliefs, or in this case, presumed political beliefs, sounds like a dangerous road to go down.
And I am saying this as a young, STEM-educated person who skews left.
You don’t think this is happening already? I’m not sure what companies you’ve looked at but most big tech firms have left wing political cultures on an official level, with “culture“ departments and events promoting and sharing various culturally left-wing talking points everyone is supposed to be on board with. Try saying “I actually don’t think america is a deeply racist country in 2020, there’s a huge amount of opportunity here which is evidenced by the number of people (ostensible victims of racism from India, mexico, etc) who line up to come here. Oh and by the way I think natal women are entitled to privacy from men in their bathrooms (like 95% of Americans believe)” during a lunch interview and see how fast you get the “thanks for your time we’ll be in touch.” Or just say “I voted for the current president” if you prefer something shorter.
Alternately, talk about supporting BLM, BDS, and how terrible America is as a country—no one will bat an eye.
For the record I hold views from both of the above “columns” but I know which ones I’m allowed to share at work (the left leaning “progressive” ones) and which ones I need to keep to myself, namely, everything else.
EDIT: downvoters: please set me straight here and let me know what part of my comment is inaccurate or untrue.
That's a surprising conclusion... I always thought they skewed libertarian.
Here's a link: http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/
Software Engineers: 79 Democrats for every 21 Republicans. Similar story for engineering overall (The most "conservative" engineering profession being chemical engineering)
IT: 71 Democrats for every 29 Republicans.
You can blame it on SV but the truth is our industry's age skews young: We are 38 years old on average compared to the workforce average of 43. Source: https://www.visier.com/clarity/four-common-tech-ageism-myths...
Young voters and college-educated tend to vote more Democratic: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/08/us/politics/e...
You could argue the fact that the profession is predominantly male might mitigate some of this but the problem there is that the gender gap closes once you look at genders on a college-education basis: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/08/the-2018-mi...
What I'm trying to say is that if we assume political affiliation does not correlate with skill (it doesn't AFAIK), and you hire based on merit, and you hire nation-wide, your software development team will skew left. And if your hiring focuses on major urban hubs it will skew even more left.
If you want to introduce artificial "balance" you are going to have to do affirmative action for political beliefs. This is challenging, as it's trivial for any individual to lie / reinvent themselves as a desirable political hire. If I wanted a job bad enough, and I knew they preferred hiring a certain political persuasion, I absolutely would pretend to be whatever they wanted me to be.
Are we arguing that some users are just too important to adhere to the site's terms and conditions?
10 Facebook does something to draw ire
20 Employee drama
30 The company leadership offers some platitudes to buy time
40 GOTO 10
We really need mainstream decentralized applications more than ever. Thoughts of people should not be censored. Who the hell should be the truth police? You? People that have the same beliefs as you?
This is just ridiculous. I don't like Facebook but great decision by Mark. Same as they decided to not remove political ads.
I can't speak for everyone, but I just want the company not to carve out exceptions for their rules against violent speech depending on who said it.
If you believe that Facebook doesn't have the right to remove any violent speech regardless of who says it, obviously that's another story. I think online communities have the same rights to create and enforce rules that offline communities to, because I've seen what happens when they don't.
But people want exceptions for when such violence feel good, and do not want it when it feel bad. Its similar to how some research (data however is disputed) that in warrior cultures, warriors who has killed in battle have more offspring than non-killers. There are good books on the subject of the love-hate relation humans have with violence.
Sticks and stones.
If you really want fair and impartial content policies that apply equally to everyone, shouldn't it be concerning that we can't all call Zuckerberg on the phone?
Except Facebook is a private platform. That people use it does not make it a public platform. That would be like arguing that Six Flags over Georgia can't remove you from their park because you started protesting in it. Yes, there are people there, but no, just because they're there and it's a popular place doesn't mean they can't remove you if they want to (so long as they're not breaking another law by doing it).
But in the context of this post, you (and the Facebook employees) are actually arguing exactly the same thing: that Six Flags should be required to ban people who, for example, wear Republican candidate T-shirts to the park.
That is a strawman.
They are advocating that Six Flags should ban people who draw swastikas on the carts, even when those people are in office, or seek election.
> They are advocating that Six Flags should ban people who tell people around them "Hey if you try to burn or rob that snack stand, that security guard might shoot you!"
AFAIK this is more aligned with the presidents comments that everyone is in a hissy about. Would you consider that a bannable offense at Six Flags?
(I have no idea what or where “Six Flags” is. I’m not American.)
That's not at all what I'm arguing. I'm arguing that Facebook and Six Flags are private entities, and private entities are generally allowed to ban whomever they want from their platform/property (assuming they're not breaking the law by doing so). I'm not arguing whether they _should_.
More to the point: Yes, if Six Flags over Georgia wanted to ban people who are wearing Republican Candidate T-Shirt from the park they can do so.
100% exactly. They aren’t under a requirement - but absolutely should. And the people that dislike Trump the most should be demanding for free speech for everyone regardless of how “wrong” they are because it’s the mechanism that protects the Democracy long term.
Instead, I see a lot of people that want to just make the bad man who said the mean things go away, and look to our SiliconValley Overlords to make that happen.
Facebook not giving unpleasant extremities a platform on which to peddle their beliefs? Bad.
Now, if you think the religious baker should be forced to make a cake? I disagree, but I at least applaud you for the consistency of your convictions. Note: "they should go to another baker" isn't any more applicable than "they should go to another web host/platform".
If however you do believe that Facebook should "have to respect free speech" of a political variety, but the bakery should have a religious exemption, I'll ask:
Why, when freedom of association (politics), political beliefs, and religious beliefs are all held on the same pedestal in the Constitution, why are you singling out only some?
And in either case, why do you feel an Executive Order by way of Presidential tantrum is an appropriate way to manage what is certainly a Constitutional legal principle, if not worthy of an Amendment?
I agree they have rights as a private business, but things change when they're a defacto monopoly and they start messing with the 1st amendment at their leisure. Anti-discrimination laws fit the same mold as this topic (i.e. impact what private businesses can do), are you against them being in place? The frustrating thing from my perspective is that the SECOND something impacts a liberal, they are flimsy-floppy with their beliefs....I'm sure I'll be referring back to this conversation in a few months when the tables are turned and I hear a Karen complaining about it impacting them.
In some places Facebook is an official channel of communication between people and governments and other public institutions like Universities. Their use of Facebook, or other social media platforms, in this way makes it more like a utility than a private platform.
If you really must, you could make the analogy of a billboard. Lets say Hustler puts up a billboard in the city with some of their famous content, I bet it will have to be taken down pretty quickly, regardless of the content policy the billboard company has.
By that logic, a university posting a flyer on a coffee shop corkboard makes that corkboard a public forum and the coffee shop must allow anybody to post anything on it.
They're places where people hang out and socialize or network.
Some have really strict bouncers whereas others will let just about anyone in as long as they're spending money and not shitting the place up too badly.
There are some that are so big and so popular that it almost doesn't matter if you prefer hanging out in another less popular one because no matter how you try, you'll never convince most of your friends to hang out at your favorite dive since everyone is at the big place.
This is literally the definition of the word public.
Are you suggesting Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp doesn’t have a monopoly on what each is?
Netflix isn’t a necessary public good or service - why can’t Comcast throttle it? Is it because I don’t get to say what you do or don’t use Netflix for? Then why does someone else get to determine what political speech I do or don’t get to see? They’re both over the Internet aren’t they?
It’s far more nuanced than “they’re a private company”. Even at base level let’s say FINE, you should still want them to follow the spirit of free speech especially if not required to do so.
Facebook / Twitter deleting posts = they are private companies, it's fine.
Or in other words, don't use lazy metaphors for lazy thinking. Facebook and Twitter are nothing like Six Flags.
When companies start getting hijacked by hipster activists, entering political arena and stepping on policy maker toes they are going to get smacked down - and rightfully so - the last thing we need is some anonymous nobody from twitter deciding what to fact check and how to frame it on what's presented as a public communication channel for the elected official.
If twitter was heavily right wing and they did this to Obama the same people cheering them on now would be up in arms - this is just partisan BS.
In a very literal sense. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-minneapolis-police-protest...
Social networks stamping information is more like your ISP throttling traffic from Netflix because it doesn't like the fact that you aren't using their streaming service - it's funny that the "it's a private service" crowd are probably the same people that want net neutrality laws against that. In my view they should both just be dumb pipes with filters to prevent illegal use, the rest just puts too much power in the wrong place because of the monopolistic nature of social networks.
Fact is, I give no credence to tweeted nonsense anyway. Might as well say "Who should be allowed to censor pictures the President takes at the midway during the Cedar Country Fair?!"
Lets not pretend there's some God-given right to spout hate over a public recreational text channel. That's its some fundamental democratic right, or that the President ought to be participating, at all.
Try to put yourself in his shoes, you would absolutely use an effective tool that the people you didn’t trust to deliver your message had no control over.
And the lady doth protest too much when it comes to the media talking about Trump Tweets. They love it, free programming for an hour or two.
This is a strange inversion. I would guess that most of the disgruntled FB employees want a transparent review system with rules that are applied consistently, with exactly zero intervention from Mark Zuckerberg.
People are unhappy that Facebook moderates speech because it’s moderating it they way they don’t like.
So, they only like free speech if they agree with it, otherwise they don’t.
Also, and most important, the world isn't black and white. So just because you find facebooks handling much worse then twitter doesn't mean they are happy with twitters handling, it might just not have jet overstepped their bottom line as much as facebook did.
And given that what belongs to free speech and what not isn't always clear it's really important to not see it as black and white. Not just are there different definitions of free speech (by common sense vs. by law vs. by common sense in a different country etc.). But even in this areas boundaries are not clear. The most purest form of free speech would be non constraints at all in any circumstances. But you will find it hard to find anyone supporting it (after they think about what it means). People just don't think is generally ok to use free speech to e.g. drive someone into comiting suicide.
So the real question is at which point is it free speech and at which is it "evil"/"bad"/"a crime" to a degree that it's unacceptable. And given that likely there is a lot of thinks in the gray area how to handle them the best is also not an easy question. But this is exactly where the difference between Facebook and Twitter matter, in the handling of thinks which are "bad" but not necessary so bad that most would agree it's unacceptable. Like it's a not a crime but very close to one.
“It’s a private company” when they want to use it and “Internet is a right” when they don’t.
Otherwise, thoughts don’t occur in a vacuum, they’re informed by the information that people receive. If you’re trying to be an information platform and a thought sharing platform, then there’s a huge vector for misinformation. I can understand a difference of opinion and nuance but acting like there’s no problem here is just head in the sand at this point.
A family member honestly proposed to
me the other day that “hate-speech” should be banned. As well intentioned as that person is: I asked her, who do you want to decide which speech is hateful? The president you don’t like? The Supreme Court that he’s appointed many members to?
Neutral laws that protect everyone’s rights are that way for a reason. So when YOU are in the minority, you don’t find yourself in a compromised position.
So when someone in a position of trust spreads unsubstantiated claims, there needs to be some form of fact checking. Normally this comes from the media/news/etc... but since we're increasingly unable to trust that source, and also that we're using that source less in our daily lives. Who does it fall on?
I'll put it in another way most of us here can understand.
Imagine this is the late 90s, or the early 00's... Twitter is just another forum. You have one member of that forum posting with the intent of upsetting the user base... what should the forum mods do?
The only difference this time is the decision these employees want do not line well with FBs long term goals to reap off of its users.
If 230 disappears, I don't see how any websites would allow user comments. I really don't see how we'd have any websites where user content is the service's value (Pinterest, recipe sharing sites, LinkedIn, Reddit).
Edited: removed repeated sentence
There are a number of ways to go about moderation. The change would be minimal, or none, for sites that already apply a good faith strict moderation effort and horrid for sites that supply the minimal moderation required by criminal law.
If it's one of the first two, your comment will be queued and reviewed by one of the many editors that YC will pay for to review each individual comment to ensure it does not incur liability on their part for publication.
I agree with you. We should not police free speech. That doesn't mean we should allow falsehood to sail rampant in broadcast media. Any broadcast media should be held accountable if its spreading blatant lies to disinform and uproar conspiracy theories.
Free speech shouldn't mean irresponsible speech.
I think you have it backwards. He has explicitly decided to not delete a post, rather than leaving this decision to a more majoritarian and just mechanism.
"Facebook employees critical of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to remove an inflammatory comment from U.S. President Donald Trump took their dissent public over the weekend on Twitter,"
see? he decided. That should not be his job.
Absolutely it should be his job. He is responsible for the direction of Facebook, and is probably reading the winds of change that have been blown up by Twitter. With the possibility of Section 230 repeal in the offing, Facebook needs to decide now whether they will be a publisher or platform.
> Thoughts of people should not be censored.
Also, I was formulating a thought to counter this, but then I realised that this it true in any case I could think of. Censorship gives people an excuse to ignore the situation, in this case: a dense violent idiot is President of the US, rather than really do something. Trump gets away with basically anything constantly and that is the real issue, not whether his comments get deleted at some point in time. If you censor all the idiotic and offensive things he says, then how can people realise things need to change?
You should not get offended by what he says. You should get offended by the fact that a person who says these kinds of things is President of your country.
Thoughts of people are censored by themselves constantly because of the potential harm they cause, if you cant muzzle yourself and you call for violence expect others to do it for you.
People have died when Trump has tweeted, and he has shown no remorse or guilt, in fact he takes no responsibility.
So, who the heck would want him on their platform? Why would you spend your server time and money on a child-brained fascist?
I bet they haven’t commented on leaving up comments up by people they agree with which could be inflammatory.
So people are happy Twitter can manipulate messages, but unhappy Facebook is not manipulating messages because it goes counter to their PoV!
To use your example, is it the movie theater's responsibility to ensure that you don't yell fire in their theater?
Trump isn't a normal person, his words have power. Providing him with a platform to spew whatever he wants is completely irresponsible
This is a myth. The standard that we use for the 1st Amendment in regards to speech is imminent lawless action. Look it up. Trump's tweet doesn't come anywhere near that standard.
Today the power is for their progressive friends, tomorrow it could be for regressive tyrants. Likely those are the very same people.
Just look to history. How many leftist uprising have worked out well?
As I have remarked previously, freedom of speech is important for precisely the same reason that it is dangerous — it can change things.
Like most non-Americans, I’m not even close to the USA legal position on free speech. I absolutely do not accept the right to make one group hate another by words alone. What I don’t know is how to achieve that simultaneously with preventing the kind of censorship that leads to nations walking blindfolded into dictatorships.
It fits your guidelines.
If the post is “the only good X is a dead X”, I don’t care who is saying it, they shouldn’t be allowed to.
You can say hateful things about a group without wishing them dead.
The post that started this entire discussion wasn’t the POTUS merely saying games should be boycotted if people were not fired for taking the knee — neither FB nor Twitter stopped him from doing that — it was him using the words “the shooting starts”.
every time they record an ad impression because of you or send a message that reinforces their network effect, you enable these people. It's not worth it.
 At a minimum, the WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions need to be rolled back.
There are few FB employees that did speak out on Twitter with not agreeing but to what end. They will still continue to work in support of all this.
I don't think it's such a big problem though, if you dislike hate and violence just mute these people from your feeds/life. The bigger issue as I see it is FB working directly in support of Trump by supporting his ads and dropping Biden's ads.
I think the next leg of the downturn will start once people actually figure out that the economy has been completed hollowed out all the money printing. At that point, of all the tech giants, Facebook is the most likely to collapse because their only moat is to collect even more of your data or acquire companies who do the same. Given that their "moonshot" cryptocurrency project was (thankfully) basically dead on arrival, they now don't have nearly as many tentacles into our lives as the other tech giants.
Now, imagine being the only social network where the President of the USA is allowed to write whatever he wants. That's a sure-shot bailout package isn't it?
We've been saying that what's on the internet is not bond since before the inception of Facebook and Twitter, so there's no reason to try and change it now. When did people forget that there was no use in doing this?
He knows exactly why he doesn't want to get in this splashzone. Cause what twitter did is so far over so many lines I can see them being the same after the FCC starts making rules for them like ISPs in 60 days.
As someone who grew up in Christchurch this Tweet strikes a nerve. Not a single thing has changed at Facebook that would hinder an armed lunatic from freely live streaming a killing spree to thousands on the platform.
This is not anything new.