Saturday, December 01, 2012

Facebook Policies

For those of you who use Facebook, you should be aware of their policies and proposed changes to them.  Some of the policies are ambiguous at best and can be interpreted in a very broad manner to prevent users from posting content that is deemed politically incorrect (censorship).

For instance, rule #7 under paragraph 3 (Safety) in Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:
"You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence."
"Hate speech" is a subjective term and is therefore a tool that can be arbitrarily applied to limit your speech since it can be defined in almost any way one wishes.  It can be used to censor the truth when speaking about other religions or cultures, and can be employed to support other culture's laws such as Sharia.  Restricting "hate speech" is also the beginning of government control over the content of the Internet since they can dictate what is considered hate speech, and what is not.

(Read more on hate speech in "Hate Speech.")

Prohibiting language that "incites violence" can be used to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws.  If this restriction means you cannot explicitly direct others to commit violent acts, that is understandable.  However, it should not be used to prohibit speech that may precipitate a violent reaction because another does not like what is said.  The perpetrator of the violence is responsible for their own actions, not the writer.  However, much like the lie that the Benghazi attack was in reaction to "The Innocence of Muslims" video, violent reactions to speech are quickly used as a reason to limit what citizens are allowed say.  In fact, the latter interpretation encourages the blatant use of violence to intimidate others to self-censor their speech.

(Read more about freedom of speech in "Appeasement and Betrayal.")

In conclusion, Facebook needs to clarify some of the policy statements so that users know exactly what they mean.  After seeing where Facebook is headed with their policies, citizens may want to pay more attention to the policies being created.  (You could leave comments on Facebook's "Proposed Updates to our Governing Documents" page until this past week.  If you have issues with their proposed and current policies, you might be able to contact them directly.)

--Against All Enemies

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Disclaimer: These opinions are solely my own, and do not reflect the opinions or official positions of any United States Government agency, organization or department.

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