As near as I can tell, most of the Facebook “jailing,” (both my own 24 hour suspension and in the case of a few friends), takes place because of “posting while kafir.” As Facebook moves into middle eastern and Euro-think markets, all it takes is a few sensitive souls who can’t take any criticism of “the prophet,” and a click-meter nested deeply within the bowels of a Menlo Park server-bank will begin clicking, establishing some sort of “.IslamRespect” property on your profile. My guess is that, unlike actual bullying or threats of violence or posting private documents, anything “anti-Islamic” is fairly easy to turn over to the millions of new Pakistani, Saudi, and Syrian FB customers for policing. They can go on quiet internet jihad and wreak havoc with your account. A flagged post takes place in an emerging market country and your post is scanned for any mention of a dozen key words. It would be something like..
- Complaint came from Pakistan ✓
- User flagged post as hate speech ✓
- Post included the word “Hijab” ✓
- Target Account profile has “liked” NRA, Judicial Watch, FRC ✓
Use your coding imagination. It’s fairly easy to see how a report could be generated daily for the benefit of the Saudi minister of trade, indicating both how many accounts were blocked for “Islamophobia” and which of their dutiful subjects were helping Mohammed, and maybe even which of their subjects were helping the Crusaders.
Anything for market share. I actually don’t think it’s simply a matter of soothing snowflake sensibilities or creating a digital safe-place, although that probably helps. This faceless, digital “auto-blocking” doesn’t take place when someone questions, say, the LGBT agenda or climate change. (Yes, there is blocking on that account, but not “auto-blocking” on the scale only achieved by allowing the machines to respond to millions of jihadists world-wide.) There aren’t enough enraged gays or environmentalists in the world, or they don’t represent an untapped subscription base.
The broader point, as a friend pointed out recently, is that Facebook — and many American corporations — don’t really have any desire to remain simply American institutions. They lust after foreign brides. The conversations on Facebook, more and more, will have to meet insipid global standards. We forget that the majority of the world is afraid to complain about their postal delivery, much less the prevailing spiritual darkness around them and the high priests who rule over them. Can a Venezuelan really criticize Nicolás Maduro? Can a German really, wonder, out loud, whether Europe can accommodate sharia? You all do know what happens to Saudi civil rights activists, right? They end up dangling from cranes, or worse.
And Mark Zuckerberg is helping string them up. Not only can’t they speak freely in their own countries, Mark is making sure no one will tell them the truth on this side of the pond either. He’s helping their own religious gestapo. That sounds dramatic, but can anyone doubt that’s exactly what is happening?
So the search continues for an honest place to speak. I’ve been checking out gab.ai and minds.com, but my sense is that we should all develop our own platforms, the more the better. Exchange contact information. Any platform that invites you build a network without the ability to retain that network deserves some scrutiny, at the very least.
And we’re going to have to get used to the problems of free speech. Personally, there are some folks I don’t really want to meet off the internet. I don’t care if it’s a neo-pietist on a crusade against beer, or one of the three dozen bona fide white supremacists in Arkansas, free speech is messy. You have to endure crackpots, on occasion, and a few genuinely hateful people, but the alternative is antifa and book-burning and ultimately poverty.
Great ideas are like trees. They don’t grow in cages.