Last week the legally embattled Southern Poverty Law Center took credit for Facebook and Instagram’s decision to ban Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, and any link or video featuring Alex Jones, and in a statement to Big League Politics Facebook would not deny that the SPLC held power over its decision.
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.
In all of the statements Big League Politics received from Facebook, they have refused to acknowledge an official relationship with the SPLC, and have also refused to disavow them.
The company’s vague response to our request for comment shines a light on the possible overlap between the SPLC’s list of “hate figures,” which Facebook claims it does not map to, and the company’s policies.
Additionally, Facebook’s refusal to explicitly condemn the SPLC may represent a de facto endorsement of the group’s culture of misogyny and racism, which led to the termination or resignation of multiple high level SPLC employees in the wake of a lawsuit launched by conservative writer and media personality Gavin McInnes.
McInnes is suing the SPLC after they designated him and the Proud Boys, which he founded and later stepped down from, “hate figures” and “hate groups”, which many believe led to the group and its prominent members being banned from most social media and financial systems including PayPal and Chase Bank.
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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