UK Far-Right Ban Signals Serious Shift by Facebook

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This week, Facebook banned far-right groups in the UK. These included the likes of  Britain First and the English Defence League. At Wired, Matt Reynolds looked at the profound shift by the company this move signalled.

And Facebook says it will go further than just banning these organisations and individuals. It will also go after their followers…This is a dramatic switch for a company that, until a month ago, still talked about itself as a digital “town square” – a space where all voices, including the distasteful and dubious, jostled for attention, free from any interference. It is a seductive ideal that harks back to the early days of the internet and its promise of unfettered freedom of speech.

Check It Out: UK Far-Right Ban Signals Serious Shift by Facebook

UK Far-Right Ban Signals Serious Shift by Facebook

3 Comments Add a comment

  1. gGrant

    Two things –
    Facebook aspires to be a news organisation – excellent for the stock price and brings them into the big leagues of power and control of the population, just as the mainstream media does today. Their power comes from the influence they can provide. Mainstream media has lost the confidence of the public – told people they were idiots to vote for Trump or Brexit and not surprisingly people told them to stick it. Hence the unconscionable fear and pitting one part of the population against another, age old tactics, to try to regain influence.
    Facebook employs more psych graduates than developers, to not only make its app addictive, but experiment with influencing users – famously mood and political action influence studies have been trumpeted.

    Facebook also fears regulation. Not the kind that Zuckb begged for, he knows there will never be global agreement over acceptable and not acceptable content. That’s misdirection. It fears regulation of its business model – collecting personal data and making money from that. Influence is what Facebook is selling there as well. And politicians/elites need to get that under control to maintain the status quo.

    Appearing to take action on “unacceptable content” is playing the political game. All show for politicians and Facebook to appear to care about the population.

    The previous commenter noted that the the cold light of day is the best exposure for fringe groups. These groups have little influence, even in the internet age, but they make a safe straw man for liberal politicians and the media (that campaigned so strongly for them that the public lost faith in the media) to stir up emotions/support and criticise social media which has stolen mainstream media’s advertising income, respectively.

    The Wired article ignores these more pertinent points because it too aspires to be mainstream media and a competitor with facebook for advertising money. Apparently admitting that would be unacceptable to readers because readers like to believe they can’t be influenced by what they read, whereas our entire world view is shaped by the information we take in.

  2. John Kheit

    Disgusting. Facebook needs to be deemed a common carrier without such editorial control. Disgusting and hate speech are legal speech. Furthermore, let these idiots out themselves. Light of day and more speech are the greatest antiseptics.

    I disagree with all kinds of speech, but I’ll fight to the death to defend even despicable idiots’ right to say what they want.

    • gGrant

      Absolutely correct. That’s called freedom of speech and that’s not acceptable anymore.

      Freedom of speech has become a victim of the changing tides of institutions of influence and control. And we, the public, are too dumb to decide if Nazis are good or bad, we need Facebook, politicians and media to tell us!

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