Facebook To Reverse Protections For Politicians. Here’s Why That’s Bad For Everyone.

Facebook’s expected announcement that they will be ending their policy of “special” protections for politicians on their platform indicates that Facebook — whose CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the few high-profile figures in the tech world who has vocally argued in favor of free speech — is caving to the Left’s increasingly aggressive censorship demands.

Looking back at 2019, the Facebook CEO sparked outrage among Democrats when he dared to argue in favor of “free expression.” Flying in the face of leftists who saw Facebook as a tool that should either be wielded in the pursuit of “progressivism” — i.e. the censorship of conservative thought — or suppressed entirely, Facebook announced an almost unprecedented policy for politicians in the world of social media.“We don’t believe … that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny,” said Facebook vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, in 2019. “That’s why Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program.”

Clegg also added that, “we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”

Flashforward to 2021. Donald Trump remains banished from both Facebook and Instagram — after Facebook’s “Oversight Board” upheld his indefinite suspension, alleging “that the two posts by Mr. Trump on January 6 severely violated Facebook’s Community Standards and Instagram’s Community Guidelines,” claiming that phrases like “We love you. You’re very special,” “great patriots,” and “remember this day forever” had “violated Facebook’s rules prohibiting praise or support of people engaged in violence.”

This demonstrably absurd decision has appeared to open the door to action against conservatives more broadly. Facebook’s latest expected announcement — that politicians “will for the first time be opened up to enforcement against more rules for things like bullying that Facebook’s moderators apply to other users,” as The Verge puts it — stands as a clear warning that political speech is under more attack on the platform.

While many will argue that this was already the case, it’s crucial to understand the line that is being crossed. Political rhetoric — both from those on the Left and the Right — is subjective by design. Politics is subjectivity. The purpose of Facebook’s original policy was to acknowledge this fact by not holding politicians to the same content standards — to some extent — as “other” users. However, by applying content moderation that — by its very nature — will be subjective, conservatives will almost certainly bear the brunt of Big Tech’s leftward political leanings.

We are slowly witnessing the forced expulsion of conservative ideology from Big Tech’s “Overton Window.” It’s time to realize what is going on, and push for our right to a seat at the tableIf we fail, we’ll soon find ourselves homeless in the online world.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.


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