Vox as usual is right on this matter:
Milo explains how Facebook-Instagram-Whatsapp has joined with the governments around the world in an unholy alliance to create a global Big Brother:
It’s not just Facebook we’re talking about. They own WhatsApp and they own Instagram. And WhatsApp and Instagram are two of the companies that are winning the short messaging war–that are winning the war for Millennial attention and for Millennial users.
He gets to the point:
Facebook is pure ideological evil. Don’t use it. Don’t support it. We will have alternatives, they are in the works and they are on the way, but they are going to take time to develop and they are going to need your support.
For years I’ve been posting on how Facebook does it and it’s DARPA nasty – it’s all data gathering about posters, nothing else – this poking and friend garbage is quite creepy the way it’s worded. Don’t use FB.
Meanwhile, this issue about free speech is such bollox.
I do not go over to, say, Harry’s Place, a known leftwing site and complain when they do not want my comment – Blind Freddy can see they would not. I do not go to Socialist Worker and expect open arms. Nor do I wish to close them down. Let them rabbit on all they like. It’s their gaff and always provided they’re not libelling or slandering personally, they do as they wish.If they put a certain view, then they’re at liberty to decide who and whom.
In practice, the single issue which most bloggers baulk at is libel. No blogger can afford to have someone coming in libelling someone else and so blogrules usually include something against that.
Where diversity of opinion comes in is the reader being free to skip from blog to blog and get that variety of opinions as a whole.
On the other hand, a supposedly neutral place, e.g. a national online news service, dedicated to impartiality in reportage, if not in editorial bias – when they block an opinion which does not specifically libel a named individual, on the say-so of a politically biased person on the staff, then that’s another matter. That goes nationwide and in the Mail’s case – global.
Ditto at a university, a public space – when those little toerags try to stop speakers coming to the university or attack reporters with cameras and they intimidate anyone with a contrary opinion – always provided such contrarians are not libelling or slandering personally – then that is not on, they are forgetting it is an officially neutral space.
Two key concepts here are:
- private v public space
- libelling or slandering personally
Just to repeat, a blog is not a neutral, public space. It is where those there put certain points of view. One thing no one online can tolerate – no one whatever, under pain of law – is someone coming in and libelling. The Mail, the Guardian, the Times, any blog – no one will accept that.
The test is easy – if a person is specifically named and the attack is not on his public actions or behaviour but on his private state of mind or his appearance personally, that is a sticky wicket.It still might not be libellous but it is a sticky wicket.
If the attack, however, is on the attitude, actions or behaviour, with a view to calling the person out, then that’s fair game.
An example is Obama. To refer to him as a chimpanzee is potentially libellous. To refer to the way he has wrecked America is not, particularly if that is backed by specifics.
In anything we do, there are ground rules – driving, entering a dangerous space, signposted as such, all different things, even bike riding. Most have no issue with that. Blogs have their groundrules, so does Twitter, so does FB.
If I don’t like FB’s groundrules, I don’t use it. Simple.