Is Facebook really banning links to Infowars?

I put my Facebook account at risk to find out

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I'm conducting an experiment to see whether Facebook is really banning links to Alex Jones's nasty but not illegal site.  Unfortunately, it means putting my Facebook account at risk of suspension or disappearance.  Here's what I posted earlier today:

According to the Atlantic, Facebook has decided that no one can link to Alex Jones's Infowars—with the possible exception of posts that say mean things about the site:

"Facebook and Instagram will remove any content containing Infowars videos, radio segments, or articles (unless the post is explicitly condemning the content), and Facebook will also remove any groups set up to share Infowars content and events promoting any of the banned extremist figures, according to a company spokesperson." 

https://www.theatlantic.com/…/instagram-and-faceboo…/588607/

I'm not a fan of Jones and his nasty conspiracy-mongering. But I'm also not a fan of Facebook telling me what I can and cannot say. So, as an experiment to see whether and how Facebook actually administers its censorship regime, I'm posting links to apparently accurate news stories on the Infowars site to see what Facebook does.

If you never hear from me again, you'll know what happened!

And here we go. A link to an Infowars story taken from Reuters about drug company convictions related to opioids and bribery:

https://www.infowars.com/drug-company-founder-execs-found-…/

If you're reading this on the blog, you'll see a link to a story about drug company execs being convicted of bribery in an opioids scandal.  But if you read it on Facebook, you get a link to the Infowars landing page, which features much more opinionated content.  At first I thought perhaps Infowars was blocking deep links into its site, but now it looks as though Facebook is redirecting any deep links to the Infowars landing page.  Which seems a little self-defeating given the nature of what's on that page.  Which just goes to show:  censorship is hard work.But not to worry; I'm sure China is developing new tools every month!

NEXT: Florida Men Screw Up Less Than Usual

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  1. FaceBook is a private company. Don’t like them? Don’t use them.

    How hard is that?

    (it’s stewart so I’m just going to assume it’s very hard)

    1. You fool, he wasn’t advocating for anything, just making a playful post about how things are working out for them. Implicit in his comment about China is how he doesn’t like censorship.

      1. Calling it censorship sure is advocating. Advocating that this be treated as state action, which is pretty silly I grant you.

        1. Nothing about the word censorship requires that the censor be an agent of a government or a state. To be sure, those are the most objectionable cases, as they generally can close off the most routes for communication, and have other means of coercion available, should one persist in trying to get your message out.

          1. It’s unfortunate that the word “censorship” has taken on so many negative connotations over the years, but there are plenty of other terms that we can use as an alternative to avoid certain issues that really don’t need to be addressed. Whether or not the author is a “fan” of Facebook, he would hardly deny, for example, that the company would be right to assist law enforcement agencies nationwide in suppressing, banning, and blocking any form of objectionable “parody,” “impersonation,” or “harassment” of a distinguished member of the academic community that might otherwise appear on its platform. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

            https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        2. Your implication that only the state can censor things is just wrong.

          1. Nah, it’s right, Jesse. Censorship means complete suppression. In a world of “private” censors, there isn’t really any effective suppression, because there are always alternative private publishers. Only the government can really accomplish censorship.

            Also, it’s particularly absurd to suggest the possibility of non-government censorship in today’s world, when everyone is free to publish on his own platform on the internet.

            1. Censorship means complete suppression.

              Poppycock. Censorship may be limited, or ineffective. It may even be self-censorship. Thus the VC can censor what it regards as offensive comments, just as a government may censor newspapers in time of war. Or in the case of commie governments, in time of anytime.

              The notion that censorship requires “complete” suppression is inconsistent even with the most vigorous and determined efforts of the most censorship-enthusuastic governments. Even the Bolshies knew perfectly well that they couldn’t completely suppress all the stuff they didn’t want said – since they knew perfectly well that they couldn’t suppress very much beyond their borders, and not everything within them. They did the best they could within their resources, but they never achieved complete suppression, indeed they never even attempted that, knowing it was impossible.

              “There’s no censorship unless there’s complete suppression” is another way of saying there’s no such thing as censorship. But in fact there is and it goes on all the time, with both limited ambition and limited success.

              1. Nah. Censorship means complete suppression, because that’s the ambition which propels it, because only government has power to somewhat approximate realizing that ambition, and because that is the fear which makes censorship imposing. Private censorship does none of that, and so remains a contradiction in terms. At best, it’s a figure of speech, and usually a misleading one.

                Your only example to the contrary points to the VC. That example could have been more accurately written, “the VC can edit out what it regards as offensive comments.” Calling that “censorship” actually obscures the meaning you were trying to convey.

                1. No, the VC can censor any views, comments or words it doesn’t like – from those areas which it controls. Ditto the university. Ditto Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc, Ditto yourself. Ditto the government. That’s how censorship works – your censorship is limited by the reach of your arm.

                  This is hardly an eccentric view – here’s an illustration from more than a century ago.

                  Aiming to forestall the possibility of censorship by law, the British Film Industry set up their own voluntary censorship body, which they called the British Board of Film Censors. And that’s what they did. Censor. Film makers submitted because they shared the worries that had provoked the voluntary censorship body.

                  The British government didn’t get involved in any film censorship by law until the Second World War.

                  “the VC can edit out what it regards as offensive comments.”
                  Just so. It can censor them.

                  Next week : “covert intelligence gathering using human agents using false names” is not “spying” 🙂

            2. Censorship is the use of state or group power to control freedom of expression or press. Censorship can be conducted by governments, private institutions, corporations, or groups of individuals.

              “What Is Censorship”, ACLU
              “Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.

              “In contrast, when private individuals or groups organize boycotts against stores that sell magazines of which they disapprove, their actions are protected by the First Amendment, although they can become dangerous in the extreme. Private pressure groups, not the government, promulgated and enforced the infamous Hollywood blacklists during the McCarthy period.”

      2. “You fool, he wasn’t advocating for anything”

        Not effectively, anyway.

        Don’t like FaceBook’s rules? Don’t use FaceBook. If enough people agree with you, build your FaceBook alternative and make your own billions of dollars instead of contributing to FB.

        1. Don’t like stories on someone else’s blog? Don’t read them, don’t comment on them, make your own posts on your own blog.

          Don’t like comments on someone else’s post on someone else’s blog? Don’t read them, don’t reply to them. make your own comments on your own story on your own blog.

        2. James, I usually like your commentary, but I object to this one. Even here, you are right in general, but the form of the argument is irritating.

          I don’t think it’s good taste to offer an argument that basically says, if you don’t like something my side did with ease, you are always free to overturn it by doing something asymmetrically difficult. Examples of this kind of argument are to be found among the many instances where pro-gun commenters say, if opponents don’t like Scalia’s Heller decision, they are always free to seek a constitutional amendment. That’s more like taunting than forthright argument.

          I mention that here because I suppose you join me in estimating that creation of a FaceBook competitor is not a practical thing to attempt.

          1. “I don’t think it’s good taste to offer an argument that basically says, if you don’t like something my side did with ease,”

            If you saw a reference to “my side” in my comment, that’s YOUR hallucination. You’ll have to fix it at your end.

        3. It is, however, useful for journalistic investigation to monitor what facebook is up to, especially in the face of government bluster about breaking up these companies or removing their legal protection from member postings.

          1. Basically, everyone is arguing the right of private citizens to do what they want with their stuff because of First Amendment freedom. But what if this self-censorship is prompted by government leaning on them via threatened changes to law?

    2. I’m all for private corporations determining their own standards. I’m similarly for holding private corporations to those standards. Surely you recognize the problem in a private corporation creating a rule which says “we will ban all convicted serial killers” and then proceeding to ban whomever they want, regardless of their status.

      1. Problem is, Jeff, your view would abolish press freedom. Press freedom includes the liberty of private editors to pick and choose what they publish, without limit, and without state intervention. Which includes not being held to standards by anyone, or having one set of standards today, and another tomorrow. You seem to be advocating government censorship of the press.

        1. I found no terms relating to government in his post. I think “government censorship” was a Freudian slip on your part.

          1. In the absence of any apparent mode except government action for “holding private corporations to those standards,” I think my assumption was justified. If not, let this be an occasion to bring those other modes to the fore. Maybe we have a breakthrough here.

    3. They were given various legal exemptions for not acting like complete assholes. they violated that agreement.

      1. Corporations are granted liability limitations. Let the fun begin!

    4. The solution is to revoke the immunity from liability Facebook, twitter, Instagram received from DMCA and the Stored Communications Decency Act. The idea was they shouldn’t be liable for others peoples posts if they were not monitoring or editing them. Well now that they’ve decided that they are going to nitpick everything that’s posted on their platforms the usefulness of those laws to the public has passed.

      1. This right here is what I see should take a crack into this overreach eventually. My main concern is a permanent banning per individual, as these platforms serve as the hub for public discourse. Why do we have the Civil Rights act basically enforcing the 14th Amendment in private settings yet are all too happy to forgo the 1st?

    5. On the one hand, “don’t like it, don’t use it” is pretty simple.

      On the other hand, “publicly shaming them for hypocrisy about their own statements of policy and principle” is pretty simple, too.

      1. Not only pretty simple, but perfectly okay, and not censorship. Much better than the crazy stuff some of your right wing compatriots demand.

        1. It is perfectly legal but it is most emphatically NOT okay. If it were “okay”, it wouldn’t be necessary to publicly shame them for their behavior.

          And your claim that it’s “not censorship” unless it’s complete and perfect censorship is, as others have already said, poppycock. It’s still murder even if you don’t get away with it.

          1. I didn’t say it’s “not censorship unless it’s complete and perfect censorship.” I acknowledge that even energetic government censorship efforts often don’t achieve complete suppression. I do say—and this despite that I recognize that some dictionaries and some private groups like the ACLU have said otherwise—that true censorship is at the behest of government, and that the others are only figure-of-speech comparisons.

            Government censorship can be complete, and sometimes is. It is enforced with legal penalties. Private censorship efforts differ because they can be defied, or worked around, without legal consequences. There is no useful purpose in trying to erase that important distinction.

            You misunderstood part of my comment. What I meant was okay was your own initial comment. I don’t disagree with any of it.

    6. And if the entertainment industry won’t hire you, get another job. Those are private companies. Why do all the hypocritical liberals complain about the Hollywood blacklist? And how many times has rexegp called them out for it?

      1. ” Why do all the hypocritical liberals complain about the Hollywood blacklist?”

        Apples and oranges. Facebook is a single entity. The Studio System of the 1950’s Hollywood is not. Weren’t all the right-leaning folks standing firm on the notion that “collusion” is not a crime? Well, collusion in restraint of trade turns out to be illegal.

  2. Well, I went to your facebook page and didn’t see anything so I guess that’s that.

    1. Thanks. I think it was my privacy settings. I posted the following with full public access. Let me know if you can’t see it:
      Ha! Several people who read my blog post complained that they couldn’t actually see my Facebook censorship testing posts when they went to my Facebook page. That’s because I had long ago limited access to my posts to my friends. I’ve changed the setting. With luck, now other members of the public can follow the posts.

      1. still nothing but the one post about making posts public

        1. I believe that, in an effort to protect user privacy from user error, Facebook doesn’t apply the “public” status retroactively. So I reposted the relevant Facebook posts now that the account is public. They should all be visible now.

  3. Facebook is like other dysfunctional relationships: the only power or influence it has are what you give it. Deactivate your account, and go elsewhere. It’s actually quite liberating. (I’ve been off it for 6 months, and I don’t miss it.)

    1. I’ve been off for years. I can still be against them violating the TOS the users agreed to when they signed up. I can also be against them receiving legal protections they do not deserve based on their practices. I’m fine with them doing whatever the hell they want, outside of those 2 things. Allow for civil lawsuits against violations such as removing someone despite not breaking a ToS and remove their other legal exemptions.

  4. Nothing on your timeline but a couple of posts from last year.

    1. Yeah, if you had posted a “before” screenshot or two, it would have been really helpful.

    2. Try again. I think it was my privacy settings.

      1. I see your post about privacy and the two from last year. Nothing about Infowars.

        1. If I remember right, individual posts can have their own privacy settings. You might want to check that.

  5. “I’m also not a fan of Facebook telling me what I can and cannot say.”

    FaceBook isn’t telling you what you can and cannot say. FaceBook is telling you what you can use FaceBook’s resources to say. If you don’t like it, don’t use FaceBook’s resources to say things… use your own resources to say things. When you use other people’s resources to do or say things, they get a vote about what you do or say. When you use your own resources, you get to decide instead of anyone else (unless you manage to offend law enforcement agencies.).

    1. Except Facebook didn’t do that. Many of the names listed did not actually violate any TOS. This was an arbitrary decision.

      1. Nothing about press freedom prohibits private arbitrary decisions. Just the reverse, press freedom defends private arbitrary decisions.

        1. I think in this case, the question isn’t press freedom, as it is fraud: Facebook lies about what its policies are, and why they’re doing things. They routinely ban people and content for violating the TOS when there is no identifiable violation, while leaving unbanned people and content that unambiguously violates the TOS.

          The claimed TOS are a fraud.

      2. ” This was an arbitrary decision.”

        About how FaceBook’s resources are to be used. FaceBook is entitled to be entirely arbitrary in that decision. That’s how property rights work.

        Would it be OK with you if FaceBook came by in the middle of the night a spray-painted its messages on the front of your house? Is that an arbitrary decision?

    2. The USFG and EU have proposed several plans that amount to “expect the same amount of control or moderation on every platform as on Facebook.” The GDPR certainly does. It’s reasonable to worry about how Facebook moderates then.

      1. Gormadoc, you should be a huge fan of repealing Section 230. That is the only way free speech advocates are going to dodge snowballing public pressure that government regulate speech on the internet.

  6. To be sure, Reason will be on the next list cuts.

  7. As long as people discontented with Facebook can go elsewhere and get a freer platform (at least for the stuff they like), then it’s all good.

    The problem is if the govt (U. S. govt and other govts) regulates these various platforms into committing censorship.

    1. Eddy, be sure to include among your demands another requirement for implementing a free press. You have to hold publishers privately accountable for libel, through civil action. Failure to do that is what lies behind all this uproar over Facebook. Repeal Section 230, make every publisher read everything before publishing, and then leave them at liberty to choose what to publish, and take responsibility for it afterwards. That is the tried and true, historically tested route to a successful free press. Congress screwed this up when they enacted Section 230. Now it is demonstrably time to go back to what worked before.

    2. “As long as people discontented with Facebook can go elsewhere and get a freer platform”

      You can get your own domain name and webhost storage. Build it yourself, ya bum.

  8. Stewart Baker uses a blog that bans certain speakers to criticize Facebook for banning certain speakers.

    Still wondering why conservatives are not more successful in America’s market for ideas . . . and continue to lose the contest for shaping American progress to the liberal-libertarian mainstreams?

    1. Because the left has no reputation in deplatforming, invoking a hecklers veto, or, otherwise interfering with anyone’s right to speak.
      Sometimes, RAK, you are even more idiotic than others.

      1. This is why we win. This is why you lose.

        Carry on, people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

        1. You win because emotion is the driving force behind human decision making. Reason and logic are a distant second.

          1. I win because education > ignorance
            tolerance > bigotry
            reason > superstition
            progress > backwardness
            science > dogma
            inclusivity > insularity
            modernity > pining for illusory good old days

            1. War is peace.
              Freedom is slavery.
              Ignorance is strength.

              Right, Rev?

            2. You lose because you’re still an 85 IQ hicklib despite your desperate efforts to get the swells to stop laughing at you behind your back.

              1. Feel free to call me an 85 IQ hicklib, and to do so repeatedly, Red Rocks White Privilege . . . but don’t use the term “slack-jaw,” because the proprietor does not want to see that word at this blog.

                This blog, inadvertently, has become an excellent instructor on current conservatism, especially with respect to the subject of censorship.

                1. Feel free to call me an 85 IQ hicklib, and to do so repeatedly, Red Rocks White Privilege . . . but don’t use the term “slack-jaw,” because the proprietor does not want to see that word at this blog.

                  Feel free to tell the teacher on me, you slack-jawed 85-IQ hicklib.

                  1. Why would I rat? I believe slack-jaw is a good descriptor and do not understand the objection advanced by this blog’s proprietor. Also, I find the Volokh Conspiracy’s vivid hypocrisy concerning censorship delicious and illuminative.

                    Keep up the good work!

            3. By your logic
              White IQ > Black IQ
              Women > Men (wait a few years for that one)
              The Global North > The Global South
              Sighted people > blind people
              Non criminals > criminals
              Legal immigrants > illegal immigrants

        2. “Carry on, people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.””

          But you would win more if more Dems were candid like you, Arthur. You’ve said that you are active in Democratic politics, so maybe you convince more Dems to say things like this. Perhaps you could even convince the Democratic candidates to refer to themselves as “your betters”? That would be awesome!

          1. The guy who said that was the black guy who beat the conservatives’ war hero, then beat the right-wingers’ Richie Rich.

            The black guy who could be elected anytime, to almost any office in a successful jurisdiction, if eligible for candidacy.

            The black guy who is an important part of improving America against the wishes and efforts of Republicans.

            You think it would be bad for the political aspirations of educated, tolerant, accomplished, decent Americans — and good for Republican electoral prospects — if there were more Barack Obamas?

            No wonder you guys get stomped in the culture war, then replaced by better Americans.

            1. Arthur L. Hicklib admits that Trump’s a better American than he is.

      2. Smooth, there is an inherent practical limitation to giving speech freedom to everyone. It means that speakers with certain messages need to choose their venues with an eye to the non-presence of too many other equally empowered would-be speakers with contrary views. That is just the way things are, and idealistic notions which ignore that reality generally don’t work. History at least back to the founding era suggests it has always been that way.

        Today, that practical principle works particularly vigorously against those with ambitions to weaponize speech, and who choose selectively venues full of others whom they regard as targets. Those targets enjoy speech freedom too. They suppose the law should not require them to surrender their right, and just sit and take it, while someone with a better-privileged right exercises it to attack them.

        Would-be speakers who find that practical problem too frustrating should maybe avail themselves of press freedom instead.

        1. Lots of fancy words.
          Once again, I ask: what is “weaponized speech”? If e.g., going onto a college campus and saying “Deport all illegal immigrants” qualifies, then, the term is nothing but blather.
          Also, we are not talking about klansmen sneaking into NAACP meetings. We are talking about invited speakers at a public forum.
          Stop trying to mitigate the actions of left wing nursery school fascists and speak in plain, honest terms for once.

          1. Weaponized speech, as I use the term, is hostile speech directed at specific identifiable people in a public place. I contend that doing that violates equal protections—comparable to protections against a hostile workplace—that the specifically targeted audience ought to enjoy. A classic example would be the appearance of a well-known white supremacist at a public college campus, to address a general audience, and to call the black students who attend that college too stupid for college, and to demand their removal. I suggest that the targeted audience is materially harmed immediately whenever such conduct is permitted, and that there is no sufficient remedy which can be had after the fact.

            By the way, fancy words? Which words did you have in mind? What words do you see there which a literate kid shouldn’t have learned by 6th grade?

            1. “Weaponized speech, as I use the term, is hostile speech directed at specific identifiable people in a public place.”

              So no more saying “Those KKK members are reprehensible people who are an embarrassment to American society”?

              1. You think KKK members demonstrating in the public square, and getting heckled for it, are comparable to black college students on a college campus being told by an outsider to get out because they are black?

                Those aren’t comparable, as you know. Behavior and status are not the same.

            2. “Materially harmed” by some idiot they never met saying mean things about them? Are you nuts?
              What about my “deport illegals ” renark?
              What if the speaker merely recites data, or makes a cogent argument from said data?
              You–unless you’re a provocateur–are a sterling example of self-satisfied liberal elitist hatred.
              And the “fancy words” remark was making fun of your pronounced tendency to pontificate and make comments that are absurdly verbose.

              1. So no fancy words after all?

              2. No, Smooth, whether or not black students are materially harmed by an idiot saying mean things about them, they are materially harmed by any state institution which owes them protection equal to what others get, but fails to deliver it. That failure turns the public college into a hostile learning environment for blacks. Which, of course, is the objective your racist idiot and his backers seek to accomplish, as everyone knows.

                As for some speaker who is known to “merely” recite (objectively racist) data, using “cogent” (but discredited) reasoning, I suggest a public college has two equally acceptable alternatives. It can turn such speaking applicants away, and think no more of it. Or it can invite such speaking applicants, but arrange to contrast their twaddle with presentations from others who can supply useful expertise.

                Either way, the college will advance its academic mission, while also delivering equal protection to blacks. College administrators ought to be empowered to pick either alternative according to convenience, and according to estimates of the academic advantages to be had in each case.

                Perhaps you think these remarks reflect “liberal elitist hatred.” They don’t. I do oppose racism, but with an emphasis not so much on hating the haters, as on pointing out structural implications which follow from that “ism” at the end of the word “racism.” In the nation’s shared experience, it has proved impossible to hide the systematization of bigotry which that “ism” implies. That has a good side. It makes it feasible to identify racism objectively—by recognizing its systems in operation—and to oppose it dispassionately—without occasion or need for hatred. Assuming you are probably an anti-racist yourself, I urge you to consider a similar approach.

                1. “Your freedom ends where my feelings begin”, used to be a joke meme.
                  You’ve just proclaimed it should be public policy.
                  Like I said: liberal elitist hatred.

                  1. Smooth, however disreputable it has become, there remains plenty of legal scope for racism. Especially in the public square, racists can proclaim their hatred over the rooftops. Many will scorn them for that. But for my own part, I will continue to oppose racists with dispassion instead—no elitism, and no hatred—because I continue to hope that approach will work better, despite your own disappointing response.

                    1. Problem is Slick, once you go down the road of saying “no hurting anybody’s widdle feewings”, you get the authoritarian mess that is our average college campus today.
                      IOW: “Deport all illegals”, gets lumped in with “Niggers back to Africa”.

      3. “Because the left has no reputation in deplatforming, invoking a hecklers veto, or, otherwise interfering with anyone’s right to speak.”

        By the time you were about ten years old, your mama should have taught you that “but THEY do it too!” is not an excuse for wrongdoing.

        1. Beam meet mote… right
          But you can’t expect someone to sit and listen to Bill Clinton lecture them about sexual continence.

          1. Since you’re the one dragging Bill into this conversation, is there any reason to pay any further attention to you?

  9. As someone who has been sniping at FaceBook’s critics, I should add that I don’t support what FaceBook is doing. Or maybe I support it in principle, but not in spirit.

    FaceBook won’t be doing it right until it reads everything before publishing it. Of course I understand why some find it infuriating that FaceBook does what is now doing. Problem is, I just can’t get behind the remedies those folks, in their fury, want to inflict.

    1. Why do you and Pollock keep writing the incorrect “FaceBook”?

      1. Speaking for myself, I have never had an account, and didn’t know any better. I copied it from someone, maybe Pollock. So thanks for the correction.

        I hope some similar explanation can account for the constant repetitions of “Democrat Party.” Hope you can get right on that one, too.

        1. I can show you signs that announce the location of local “Democrat Party Headquarters ”
          That phrasing is not incorrect.
          Some hypersensitive lefties got mad because Rush uses the term, and made a big deal about it. Now the term gets used to laugh at the ninnies.

          1. Having had it pointed out to you that your usage is incorrect, you choose to persist the incorrect usage.

            1. I don’t see your point: it’s not MY usage.

              1. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.

  10. Mr. Stewart, so you’re calling out Facebook for removing items they don’t like.

    How about calling out the Volokh Conspiracy then too?

    I’ve had 1 – 2 comments removed here.

    1. I had thought (or at least hoped) the Volokh Conspiracy’s banishment of Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland — for the crime of mocking conservatives, without threats or vulgarity — was a relatively isolated example of partisan censorship by this blog. Are you sure it was active censorship and not merely a software glitch, apedad?

      Thank goodness I became a man of the cloth — Congregation Of Exalted Reason — and can therefore find refuge in the Volokh Conspiracy’s devout respect for religious liberty.

      1. Thank goodness I became a man of the cloth — Congregation Of Exalted Reason Unwarranted Self-Regard

        Fixed that for you, you slack-jawed hicklib.

        1. Gosh, you sure showed him!

      2. Everytime I see your byline, Rev, I am almost infinitely thankful for the scroll bar.

      3. Not a software glitch.

        Prof. Bernstein was very thorough in removing my comment.

    2. Gee, I wonder why that might be.

    3. You haven’t been deplatformed, so what the fuck are you crying about, scrote?

      1. That’s “Detective Scrote”, to you.

    4. apedad: “I’ve had 1 – 2 comments removed here.”

      Removing 1 or 2 comments because the content of those comments are considered contrary to Volokh Conspiracy terms of service does not equal blocking links to articles in. say infowars, just because it’s infowars.

      apedad still has posts here. As do I.

      1. “Removing 1 or 2 comments because the content of those comments are considered contrary to Volokh Conspiracy terms of service does not equal blocking links to articles in. say infowars, just because it’s infowars.”

        In what way are these two things that are the same somehow different to you?

  11. Free speech is an ideal, not only a legal right vis a vis the government. One can believe that a person’s legal right to engage in censorship doesn’t make it right.

  12. This situation illustrates just how full of s**t leftists are. Here, you here incessant screaming “They’re a private organization, and can set their own policies!”

    Yet when a baker or photographer doesn’t want to bake a cake for or photograph a homosexual “wedding,” you hear nonsense about their businesses being “public accommodations” and tropes about the infrastructure needed to support their businesses being paid for by tax dollars.

    In essence, their philosophy is “Let private companies do what they want when I agree with them, and when they don’t, use the power of the state to suppress them.”

    1. Bad analogy
      Courtrooms are limited public fora built for the purpose of settling arguments, but you can’t run into a hearing and start ranting about whatever. Similarly for university lectures.
      Cake bakers have announced their identity as bakers of cakes; all the public accommodation law does is hold them to that bargain.
      I’m not saying the bakers’ argument fails or that these laws are always a great idea, but, the analogy you are trying to draw fails.

      1. Nonsense. They haven’t announced their identity as bakers of cakes for every single person or event who wants them. If anything, Facebook has done more to “announce its identity” as a purveyor of free speech.

  13. If we don’t like censorship by social media companies, one option is to advocate for removal of any legal barriers to aggregating social media content, so that people can create services that display facebook content along with other people’s content, effectively removing the censorship.

  14. “If we don’t like censorship by social media companies, one option is…”

    Another option is to build your own service that censors in a manner more to your liking, and then exercise your own editorial judgment to your heart’s content.

    Trying to set rules about how other people use their computer equipment, however, is the statist approach. That is what you have advocated.

    1. Facebook is more akin to UPS or FedEx than it is to a private company at this point.

      1. And here I thought UPS and Fedex were private companies.

      2. What?
        You think FedEx can’t say, “We won’t deliver packages to the local office of the German American Bund”…?

        1. Yes, I do think that.

  15. Stealth redirecting links is deception pure and simple.

    1. If you don’t like the way company A does business, discontinue patronage of company A’s products and services.

      Hell, ask for a complete refund while you’re at it.

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