Well, it was inevitable that this would happen sooner or later. We watched suspiciously as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plunged head-first into a coalition with Germany and other European countries to make sure that their hate speech codes were not violated on the social media platform, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he and his liberal Silicon Valley cohorts would not be able to resist the temptation of bringing those codes home to America. And now it appears that it’s getting ready to happen.
This week, Facebook announced that it would be hiring thousands of new employees charged with keeping the mega-site clean of any “hate speech.”
Let the censorship begin.
“Our current definition of hate speech is anything that directly attacks people based on what are known as their ‘protected characteristics’ — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, or serious disability, or disease,” said Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “There is no universally accepted answer for when something crosses the line. Although a number of countries have laws against hate speech, their definitions of it vary significantly.”
A couple of things we should highlight, just in this paragraph. Most importantly, take note of the word “current.” Our current definition. Mmm-hmm. In other words: Subject to change. In even more other words, we will decide as time goes on what does and does not qualify as hate speech. And we will delete anything that does, regardless of what you might happen to think about it.
Second, oh boy, that list of “protected characteristics” is a doozie. Note the inclusion of “gender identity.” We can already assume that anyone who dares to question whether a parent should be encouraging their 3-year-old boy to wear a pretty green dress to preschool will not find a welcoming home for their POV on Facebook. Oh, and we’re looking forward to seeing Facebook delete messages that slander Christians, because it ain’t gonna happen. No, “religious affiliation” means Muslim. Maybe Jews, but we’ll see.
Of course, Allan also reassured skeptical readers that there was no reason to worry because Facebook has ALREADY been deleting “hate speech” at the rate of some 60,000 posts a week.
Well, Facebook is a private company, so they’re free to delete anything for any reason. But make no mistake, this is a HUGE test balloon for what kinds of censorship Americans are willing to put up with. This is how the left operates. They move the window a little bit further…a little bit further…and then when the time comes for hate speech laws…well, half the country is already primed and ready to turn its collective back on the First Amendment.
Maybe instead, we’ll turn our backs on Facebook.