A tech giant has flagged text from America’s most important founding document because it is not “politically correct” enough in 2018.
“Somewhere in paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote something that Facebook finds offensive,” wrote Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett. “The first nine parts posted as scheduled, but part 10, consisting of paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration, did not appear. Instead, The Vindicator received a notice from Facebook saying that the post ‘goes against our standards on hate speech.'”
The publication was posting a daily Declaration of Independence series on Facebook leading up July 4.
The text that offended Facebook’s censors follows:
“He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
“He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
In the spirit of true totalitarianism, Facebook did not tell the Vindicator what the offending passage was, but Stinnett suspects it was “Indian Savages.”
The censorship is not inconsequential. Facebook has implemented what amounts to a “strike” system. If a user breaks the rules too many times, his page can be taken offline.
“So, the removal of this morning’s post puts The Vindicator in a quandary about whether to continue with posting the final two parts of the Declaration scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday,” wrote Stinnett. “Should Facebook find anything in them offensive, The Vindicator could lose its Facebook page.”
The managing editor remained in good spirits, though.
“This is frustrating, but your editor is a historian, and to enjoy the study of history a person must love irony. It is a very great irony that the words of Thomas Jefferson should now be censored in America.”
An update from Stinnett from the evening of July 3 says that Facebook reached out to Stinnett to tell him that they made a mistake, and that the tech giant restored the post.
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FBI Arrests Hacker Connected to Katie Hill’s Campaign for Taking Down Primary Opponents’ Websites
This is real election interference.
The FBI has arrested a California man connected to former Congresswoman Katie Hill for taking down the websites of two of her campaign opponents in 2018.
Arthur Dam was arrested Friday on charges of hacking into the websites of two Democrats who opposed Hill in the 2018 Democratic Primary for California’s 25th District. According to a criminal complaint regarding the arrest, Dam orchestrated a cyber attack on websites of two of Hill’s primary opponents, Jess Phoenix and Bryan Caforio. Both of their websites were disabled during a crucial moment of the primary, which Hill went on to win.
It was suspected during the primary that Hill was connected to the campaign website hacks, considering her own website was still intact. Dam’s connections to the former member of Congress- who was forced to resign from office in 2019 in light of a sex scandal surrounding her intimate affairs with a congressional staffer- appear to make that a likely possibility.
Dam is married to Hill’s former campaign fundraiser and district director in Congress, Kelsey O’Hara. In campaign finance records, Hill lists an in-kind campaign contribution for “graphic design and website security consultation.”
Some coincidences are merely just that. But it’s extremely hard to ignore Kate Hill’s “website security consultant” getting arrested for hacking into the campaign websites of her congressional primary opponents.
Hill has reinvented herself after her resignation from Congress as a result of the sex scandal, seemingly viewing herself as a victim.
Sexual involvement with subordinate employees is arguably a severe lapse of ethical judgement in any workplace. Perhaps one could forgive such poor decision-making, even if it’s made by a Member of Congress obligated to a higher standard.
But the lasting hacking arrest of Hill’s campaign security consultant make it likely that the former Democrat Congresswoman has more to answer for her own personal lapses in judgement.
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