Facebook has taken some free speech stances that drew heavy criticism from fellow Big Tech companies, liberal commentators, and now the Democratic primary frontrunner. Former vice-president Joe Biden told The New York Times editorial board “that Section 230 should be revoked, immediately” for Big Tech companies. The Times called that provision “pretty foundational” to the internet. Biden spoke with The Times editorial board as it tried to determine which candidate to endorse as an organization. In the 80-minute discussion, Biden hammered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and threatened to repeal the legislation that was intended to protect free speech on the internet.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Facebook released a “report” on Wednesday, which is anything but transparent concerning its censorship and deplatforming of millions. “The company said it removed more than 3.2 billion fake accounts between April and September,” and it also “removed 11.4 million pieces of hate speech” during the same six-month period the previous year.
Donald Trump Jr. warned of the large liberal influence that Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have on elections in an exclusive interview with Media Research Center president and founder, L. Brent Bozell.
Liberals think any advocacy for freedom of speech that does not benefit them merits punishment. Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton is ready to crack down on Facebook. At a Netflix event for the documentary “The Great Hack,” Clinton addressed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from the stage, ominously saying that he should “pay a price for what he is doing to our democracy.” She also hinted that there was a link between Facebook’s meetings with Tucker Carlson and Breitbart.
The New York Times war against online political speech it disapproves of continues apace. Technology reporter Mike Isaac made the front of Tuesday’s Business section with “Dissent Erupts At Facebook.” The Times cleverly featured excerpts from a letter posted by “dissenting” Facebook employee, broadcasting their opposition to free political speech on the platform, in a large typeface within a graphic that took up the entire top of the front Business page in print. The message resonated even louder by being packaged within an ostensibly objective news story.
On Thursday, the broadcast networks kept up their crusade to push Facebook into censoring political speech by celebrating Twitter’s move to ban all political ads from its social media platform. The reporters on NBC, ABC, and CBS weren’t alone in their joy, touting how “Democrats largely praised” the move as well.
Facebook is undertaking radical changes to protect American elections, from labeling state-controlled media to announcing free speech protections. In recent weeks, Facebook has been walking a tightrope to keep both political sides happy in light of accelerating calls for regulation and other pressures to allow for free speech online as the 2020 election approaches. Facebook recently launched its “News” tab, where news stories will be picked by human curators to be shown to Facebook’s users. Facebook has reportedly approved more than 200 sources, and Breitbart is among them, much to the ire of liberal news outlets.
While ABC, CBS, and NBC were continuing to push for President Trump’s impeachment during their Monday newscasts, they didn’t care to mention that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg aided the presidential campaign of South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg by recommending some people to hire. A simple thing that the liberal media would likely treat as an administration rocking scandal if it involved the Trump campaign.