In statements provided to Big League Politics, Facebook revealed that their decision to designate Alex Jones a “hate figure” was made, in part, because Jones interviewed Gavin McInnes on his broadcast and allegedly posted the interviews to Facebook.
When explaining their decision to name Jones a “hate figure”, Facebook told Big League Politics the decision was partially inspired by Jones interviewing McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys and co-founded VICE News.
According to Facebook, Jones interviewed McInnes twice and expressed positive sentiments of support toward him, which Facebook says is against the rules. Facebook says users are allowed to refer to McInnes, but may not express support for him or depict him positively. This is the reason many mainstream media sources are allowed to show video featuring McInnes and post articles with his statements and Infowars was not.
It is not clear from Facebook’s statement how Jones could have posted his interviews to Facebook, considering all official Infowars pages and Jones’s public figure page were already banned at the time. As Facebook will now ban any user who posts links or videos featuring Alex Jones or his broadcasts, they could have been referring to individual users posting links to the McInnes interviews.
Because of his designation as a “hate figure”, Jones has been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram, and users who post links or videos featuring Jones may now be banned from the platforms as well.
McInnes is currently suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating him and the Proud Boys as hateful individuals, which he believes led to them being banned from social media and major financial systems. While Facebook says they do not map to the SPLC to determine who is a “hate figure” and who is not, they also explicitly refused to condemn the SPLC in a statement to Big League Politics, even after the SPLC took credit for Facebook’s decision to ban Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Milo Yiannopoulos.
The SPLC claimed last week that they put Facebook “under pressure” to ban the “dangerous” individuals from Facebook and Instagram, and heralded the move as “an important step for Facebook.”
In its article, the SPLC concluded that the organization “will continue to monitor how Facebook is enforcing its policies related to extremist content.”
Facebook replied to a request for a comment from Big League Politics, with a spokesperson writing in their statement that the company chooses to “speak with numerous organizations across the political spectrum to inform our policies,” and added that they use these conversations to “write and enforce our own policies” which they say are public knowledge.
The connection of McInnes to Jones in the statement provided by Facebook seems curious considering McInnes was first targeted by the SPLC.
It should also be noted that Facebook’s refusal to disavow the SPLC may represent a de facto endorsement of the culture of misogyny and racism present at the SPLC before multiple high ranking officials were fired or resigned.
YOUR NEW MASTER: Twitter’s Head of Conversational Safety, a “Young, Queer Asian-American Businesswoman,” is “Rethinking” the Concept of User Safety
Do you trust someone like her to make Twitter “a safer place”?
The media company Protocol, a sister site of Politico, recently published an article about Twitter’s new “head of product for conversational safety,” Christine Su. It claims that Su, a “young, queer Asian-American businesswoman,” is revolutionizing what “user safety” on social media means.
Twitter hired Su around six months ago to be in charge of “what might be the most difficult task on Twitter,” despite having no apparent experience in politics, programming, and media relations. But Twitter seems to like her for her “creative” and “somewhat radical new ideas” about user safety.
“As a queer woman of color who is an Asian American in tech in rural America, that experience is a very intersectional one. I’ve had plenty of experiences moving through spaces where I wanted more safety,” Su said.
Protocol writes that Su’s vision incorporates “transformative and procedural justice.” Transformative justice ostensibly refers to a non-retributive form of repairing harm done to someone and preventing it from happening again; procedural justice to enacting a set of rules that “make harm rarer in the first place.”
This all sounds nice and dandy—but beware. So-called transformative and procedural justice will not benefit you, but will crush you. Anything that’s perceived as “harmful” against “women and people from marginalized groups” can and will be used to censor you. Christine Su may reassuringly claim that “the point is not to make the entire world a safe space,” but she’s open about the fact that she will help give the Coalition of the Fringes more control over what people are allowed to do and say on Twitter.
Examples from the article:
- Creating an audio hangout feature called “Spaces,” which will allow users to determine who is allowed to participate, as well as who can speak and when. (Note that it’s being tested on “women and marginalized groups of people” first.)
- Potentially doubling down on functions that “encourage people to read content before reposting it.” (Which is exclusively done to censor or limit the reach of conservative and other right-wing content.)
- Building tools that “create private pathways for apologies, forgiveness and deescalation.” (The finer details are still a work in progress according to Su.)
- Defining what a “meaningful conversation” is. (Would people like Su think that anything right-wingers say or believe belongs in a “meaningful conversation”? Let’s just say I wouldn’t bet money on it…)
You know full well that a company like Facebook would shortly follow suit. After all, it’s not just Twitter that Su is “revolutionizing,” but the concept of social media itself. Figure out where all this is heading.
Now is as good a time as ever to plug our Parler:
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