Friday, May 3, 2019

Do we need a lecture on the concept of what constitutes freedom of expression?

Let’s hear it for Facebook. And Instagram.
I guess I won't be seeing any more Alex Jones or Louis Farrakhan on Facebook any longer. Not that I would have paid attention to either if they had crept their way onto my page.
The pre-eminent sites that fall under the label of “social media” that this week decided there are a few people who are using them for the purpose of disseminating their own trash thoughts.

WHICH, OF COURSE, has those individuals’ backers convinced that their thoughts are being censored. Violations of freedom of speech are taking place. Social media is behaving in an un-American manner.

Or so the ideologues would have us believe.

Personally, I’m not all that bothered that someone decided to cut off the Facebook (and Instagram) access to people like Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Louis Farrakhan.

The latter is a black nationalist type and long-time leader of the Nation of Islam – an organization that manages to offend many non-black people for taking the stance that black people ought to be allowed to stand up for themselves against the Anglo majority.

THE OTHERS ARE right-wing pundits who like to use the mini-blurbs that Facebook encourages to disseminate their thoughts – most of which are along the lines of they’re absolutely RIGHT and it’s the rest of us who have to pipe down and learn to do what we’re told to.

Personally, I’ll defend the right of any of these individuals to think whatever nonsense they want to. If they’re really stupid enough to believe the trash they spew, it’s their loss. It ultimately will wind up being the reason they fall behind in our society and wind up as life’s losers.

But the problem is that too many of these ideologues try to tout the notion that everybody else is required to go along with their trash-talk. They think that on the issues, they’re entitled to have the ‘last’ word – on everything.
Farrakhan has his own newspaper to publish his thoughts. He doesn't need Facebook
When in reality, it is those individuals who are forcing Facebook and Instagram to publish the messages of nonsense that they spew – along with whatever form of photographs they take that further spew their idiocy.

THE VERY CONCEPT of freedom of expression is that the operators of Facebook and Instagram (along with any other entity) have the right to decide what it is they wish to publish. No one has a right to dictate their content to them.

And if someone is making a conscious decision that Farrakhan – or any of the other ding-dongs who have been cut off – is too absurd to want to give a platform to, we ought to be praising those people.

It’s the American Way truly at work. No one has a right to force them to do anything against their interest. And if it truly turns out that someone is making a bad call that does not go along with the majority interests, then things will work out. Facebook fanatics and Instagram geeks will take out their support for these people by cutting back their own use.

Which eventually would harm those entities. Dealing with the dissemination of information carries that dual-edged sword – get tyrannical with the way you control the flow of fact and opinion, and people will eventually decide you’re not worthy of being taken seriously. They’ll cut you off. You'll become irrelevant.

BUT I THINK we’re going to find out that the majority won’t have any real objections. If anything, they’ll probably find a Facebook with a little bit less nonsense being spewed. Perhaps even something that might well be worthy of being taken seriously.
Does broadcaster Jones really require a Facebook platform to express himself?
Now if Farrakhan and his ilk want to start up their own platform for disseminating their thoughts, that is their right. If anything, using Facebook is little more than a cheap way of spewing one’s nonsense – which they’d be best off keeping to themselves.

Just as I have my own Facebook page that offers up links to the very same commentaries I publish here. It’s an inexpensive way of getting more people to read this stuff -- nothing more!

Facebook could, I suppose, decide to cut me off. Whining about it, if they did, would strike me as being as pathetic as Jones or Farrakhan thinking they’re being victimized. Although I suspect the two of them are most offended by the fact that someone lumped the two of them together into a single class of ideological knuckleheads.


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