One of the four constitutional scholars who testified at the impeachment hearings on Dec. 3 played an instrumental role in the building of Facebook’s Oversight Board. Noah Feldman, professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, testified at the House Judiciary Committee’s public hearing.
Sources claim that the DNC directly lobbied Facebook to police the platform for “malicious actors” and “disinformation” from politicians.The Democratic National Committee CEO Seema Nanda reportedly wrote the Nov. 21 letter to Facebook to “raise concerns about the company's ability to catch online trolls” and in hopes that the company would “change its political ad policy,” according to CNN. One excerpt of the letter reportedly obtained by CNN appeared to condemn Facebook’s free speech policy towards political campaign ads and warned that Facebook’s ad targeting a capabilities were a dangerous power in the hands of bad actors.
After taking a stand for free speech on several occasions, is Facebook now backsliding? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to take a pro-free speech stand and allowed political ads without fact-checking as early as October 2019, and amidst pressure from the left, the Big Tech CEO has even doubled down on his pro-free speech remarks. But according to sources speaking to The Washington Post, “Facebook has weighed whether to label political ads to indicate they have not been fact-checked, rather than vetting what candidates say, one of a series of proposals the company has floated” leading up to the 2020 election.
Dave Rubin has launched two platforms on the same day, which he believes could solve the free speech and censorship problem online. In a Dec. 4 livestream, the host of the Rubin Report Dave Rubin described two platforms he created, Locals.com and the Rubin Report app, which have gone public today. Rubin said that he created the platforms to help solve the “massive problems with Big Tech” that we all know exist, including things like deplatforming, algorithmic suppression and shadow banning. Locals.com, he said, will be where creators, as long as they are not engaging in illegal activity, will be able to establish online communities and be fundraised by their fans. “You’re going to set your rules, whatever rules you want for your community,” he said.
Even after persistent attacks by liberal critics, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doubled down on defending one of America’s most iconic values -- free speech. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan appeared in a “CBS This Morning” interview which aired this past Monday. During the interview, and in the face of media pressure, the couple defended Facebook’s recent policy changes in favor of free speech.
A Facebook employee lauded by the Trump campaign in 2016 as an “MVP” is not happy that he helped President Trump’s election strategy. James Barnes, a former member of Facebook’s political ad sales team, wrote in a Facebook post on Nov. 23 that he was joining ACRONYM, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the progressive movement
An actor and comedian famous for his shenanigans as the character Borat blasted the Big Tech community for being “the greatest propaganda machine in history” and knocking Facebook for its recent free speech stance. Sacha Baron Cohen gave a speech at the Anti-Defamation League's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate last Thursday, claiming that “hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history."
Facebook has become more open to some policies that the right has fought for. “President Donald Trump hosted a previously undisclosed dinner with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook board member Peter Thiel at the White House in October,” Facebook reportedly told NBC News yesterday. A Facebook spokesman told NBC News,“As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House.”
Liberals complain about Big Tech platforms that allow for free and unfettered speech in political advertising. It seems as though some of these companies are listening. Google announced on Nov. 20 that it was restricting microtargeting on election ads on the platform.
Facebook has taken heat for supporting free speech and for including Breitbart in its “News” tab, and now its VP of global marketing solutions is making a stand. Yesterday, Gizmodo wrote its not-so-objective commentary that “Facebook recently announced that white supremacist propaganda site Breitbart would be considered a ‘high quality’ news source on its platform, leading to complaints that Facebook was legitimizing hate.”
In what could be perceived as a subtle barb at Facebook, and perhaps even Twitter too, Snapchat declared its commitment to battling “misinformation” with the upcoming election in mind. “We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising,” the Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said on Monday, according to CNBC. He continued, adding, “I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don’t allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising.”
When the liberal media starts relating their bellyaching over their man-made climate change narrative to an impending “collapse of the information ecosystem,” their propagandizing may have just made the latter a self-fulfilling prophecy. HuffPost Editor in Chief Lydia Polgreen wrote an opinion piece Nov. 19 for liberal outlet The Guardian, where she suggested that “[w]e are currently facing a new systemic collapse, one that has built far more swiftly but poses potent risks for all of humanity: the collapse of the information ecosystem.”