Facebook recently announced that it would be adding a new feature allowing users to flag fake news stories.
If enough people flag a post, it’s not deleted but it’s algorithm is set so it appears far less frequently in people’s feeds, effectively killing any chance of the post going viral.
But here’s what they’re not telling you; This isn’t just about flagging fake news stories.
When utilizing the new flagging feature, users are presented with a series of options which also allow them to flag posts or memes which “annoy” them, posts which they find “distasteful”, posts which go against their religious or political views, or make fun of their beliefs.
This of course means Facebook can now be completely gamed by agenda-driven political sub-groups, governments or corporations to unfairly suppress information which challenges their position.
Note how this new system will allow Facebook to totally escape the backlash it would have otherwise received for censoring free speech by deleting posts. The posts are not deleted, they are merely relegated so that hardly anyone sees them. This negates the ‘Streisand effect’ – where the act of removing or censoring content only makes it more likely to receive attention elsewhere. Now you won’t even know if your post has been targeted for censorship, so you won’t be able to do anything about it.
Governments and large corporations already hire people to sway online opinion, now Facebook is handing them the power to all but silence dissent.
New scientific studies or documentary films which bash leading brands could be actively suppressed. Groups attempting to draw attention to the horrors of war or the expanding police state or government surveillance could be gagged and muted by powerful interests.
Radical feminist groups, who already get people’s Twitter accounts deleted by creating hoax campaigns to flag all their posts as spam, will also be rubbing their hands together at the chance to artificially censor content with nobody finding out.
No matter what your political persuasion, this is a chilling development for Internet free speech. Facebook is essentially moving to crowdsource censorship. Whoever can rally the largest amount of people to drown out voices of dissent can control the narrative on any issue.
The flagging of so-called fake news stories, or what some call “conspiracy theories,” is also completely subjective and rife for abuse. The media considers any information that differs from the official narrative on any issue a “conspiracy theory,” so this will only serve to nullify criticism of the state, corporations and alternative viewpoints on current events.
As CNN reports, “Putting power in the hands of the people has the potential to backfire. Facebook users could band together and report true stories that they disagree with as false.” Even Snopes founder David Mikkelson is against the idea.
By implementing this alarming new feature, Facebook, whose CEO once called its users “dumb fucks,” has once again communicated its total disdain for freedom of speech.
Two days after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Mark Zuckerberg promised that Facebook would continue to be “a service where you can speak freely”.
But by allowing “professionally offended” social justice warriors who plague the Internet, as well as governments and corporations, to artificially censor content with which they disagree – Zuckerberg has once again illustrated that Facebook is increasingly proving itself to be a platform which actively discourages and censors freedom of speech and healthy political debate in the name of political correctness and ideological cronyism.