The pointy heads at Facebook who think up ever more expansive and inventive ways to regulate your right-thinking have come up with a doozy of a censorship category. If they determine that a post, or an idea contained in a post, is liable to cause “social harm,” it’s likely to be deleted.
What is “social harm”? It’s any damn thing they say it is.
Ostensibly, the policy was put in place to prevent vaccine disinformation. In truth, there’s an awful lot of that going around. But if someone wants to post a vaccine warning about a man’s testicles swelling up like a balloon — especially if it actually happened — why is it Facebook’s problem?
Facebook deleted several dozen German accounts because it was determined that there was “social harm” in being skeptical about the vaccine.
The action is the first under Facebook’s new policy focused on preventing “coordinated social harm,” which company officials said is an attempt to address content from social media users who work together to spread harmful content and evade platform rules.
Under its long-standing guidelines, Facebook has removed accounts that use false personas or spread hate speech or make threats of violence. The new policy is intended to catch groups that work together in an attempt to get around the rules, while still spreading harmful content.
In the case of the Querdenken network, Facebook said multiple account holders used both individual and duplicate accounts to spread content that violated Facebook’s rules on COVID-19 misinformation, hate speech, bullying and incitement of violence.
The Querdenken network is known for its anti-lockdown activism, which can hardly be a coincidence. That they are vaccine skeptics too makes them a ripe target for censoring.
Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, claims the Querdenken network “repeatedly violated the platform’s standards against spreading health misinformation, incitement of violence, bullying, harassment and hate speech.” Gleicher said the group was causing “coordinated social harm.”
However, Facebook said it was not banning all Querdenken content. The company was “continuing to monitor the situation and will take action” if necessary, according to Facebook representative Gleicher.
The clampdown is the first time Facebook is taking action against the so-called “social harm” campaigns. Such campaigns “typically involve networks of primarily authentic users who organize to systematically violate our policies to cause harm on or off our platform,” Gleicher said.
We all wish that everyone would get the facts right about COVID, the pandemic, protection against it, and the vaccine. But the government can’t even get the facts right, so why should ordinary people not get the same pass that government gets? The enemy is a lack of information, not too much information.
If you believe in censoring certain voices while allowing some others to advance equally problematic theories, then a “social harm” policy makes sense. Facebook is setting itself up as the arbiter of truth. They can’t be the arbiter of what is factual since that standard is always in flux.
If they are the arbiter of truth, who died and made them god?