Social Media Hypocrisy

An opinion piece by: Shawn Pino

I recently had my shot at being a Social Justice Warrior.  Running across a both offensive and racist comment on Facebook, I did my usual thing and threw my two cents in to the author of the offensive post.  This time however, I took it one step further.  I decided to escalate the comment to the Facebook admin staff for swift justice.  It was, to me, a clear cut and dry case.  Given the fact that we now live in a society that bans the term “brown bagging” in the lunch room at work, and renames buildings because the name Lynch Hall “triggers” people with its racial undertones.  I felt pretty confident that the staff would cool this guy’s jets a bit for calling a group of conservative black men a "Car full of Uncle Toms” after James Davis posted a selfie of to Facebook of him hanging out with Donald Trump and Dr. Darrell Scott. This slur is especially offensive and ironic because the original character in Uncle Tom's Cabin was actually a Christian slave who was ultimately beaten to death after he refused to give up the whereabouts of two women who had escaped salvery. The man in the post below however, decided to use the term as a slur, twisting it to imply they had somehow betrayed their race by supporting a white man with similar Christian values.

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I didn’t expect Facebook to ban the guy from the internet for all eternity, but considering that they just censored Shireen Qudosi by temporarily banning her for merely posting screenshots of  threats made to her. The man berating her complained and she got temporarily banned.  WOW.  These Facebook admins must be the Samuel L. Jacksons of forum moderation.  BAD MOTHER FACEBOOKERS.  I was triggered, (I even proclaimed it in my post just like the most seasoned SJW), and this guy was going to get his. MMMMWAHAHAHA!  I felt just like trigglypuff inside.  I clicked the link to report the offensive post.  The steps through this process were warm and inviting.  Drawn cartoons of happy cities with jets flying overhead and boats floating in the bay adorned the page…ah…digital utopia.  Facebook asked me a few questions, and assured me that they were committed to ensuring that the Facebook community was safe for everyone and that they would be looking into the matter.  I wrapped up and sat there feeling accomplished. I was just like Kevin Bacon in Footloose.

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The social justice euphoria didn’t last long, however.  Within the hour Facebook notified me that the post had been reviewed and found to not be in violation of their policy.  Facebook allowing this slur to go by without so much as a “Dude, Chill” is an injustice.  What about people like Shireen Qudosi though? What did she do that is more offensive than the racial slur used against Trump’s entourage of conservative Christian black men?  Are they the wrong kind of African-Americans to receive respect from the "liberal" social media giant?   It is a double standard in my opinion. Facebook, shame on you. 

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Matt Drudge referred to the major social media platforms recently as “Internet Ghettos” and he’s dead on.  Social agendas are pushed; Mark Zuckerberg has been caught on a hot mic discussing censoring anti-migrant speech with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and it has been reported he is also working with the Chinese to bring the social media juggernaut to its 721 million online users. That isn’t creepy at all. No way that social experiment could go wrong.  Unpopular speech can now demonetize your content on youtube. If you make a living off of your content, that can impact you in a very real way just for discussing political issues.  In some parts of the "free" world, you get a visit from law enforcement for expressing your views socially. Thus ends dissent, and with it liberty.

The answer is clear enough I guess. If you’re a patron, don’t use the service if you don’t want to subject yourself to its scrutiny.  Host your content on your own site if you feel the need to dissent.  If you are a huge social media platform, don’t play favorites.  Free speech is free speech, and countries like China and Germany currently have very few Utopian qualities, Mr. Zuckerburg. 

Oh and …. GEEZE GOOGLE.  What ever happened to not being evil?        

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