Facebook Is Banning Anyone Charged With Participating In Capitol Hill Insurrection

from the really? dept

Mark Gray spotted an interesting tidbit buried in a Washington Post story about online activism among Trumpist supporters. Most of the story is the usual stuff about how propagandists are finding each other and organizing movements online. There is some of the usual hand-wringing that is standard in these stories about how social media is "enabling" this kind of activity, though it also notes that users very quickly migrated to other welcoming sites (and, also, how they've figured out ways to sneak back onto the bigger platforms):

The mainstream tech companies‘ crackdown on Trump and his followers helped splinter that vast network, researchers have found, without fundamentally weakening it. Influencers kicked off Facebook or Instagram ported followers to the lightly-policed app Telegram or right-wing YouTube rival Rumble, but they’ve also found ways to get back on the mainstream platforms by creating new accounts or using alternate language to avoid detection.

But later, the article claims that Facebook has a policy to shut down any account of anyone charged in the January 6th insurrection:

Alan Hostetter, a former local police chief and yoga teacher as well as a speaker at the June rally attended by The Post, was indicted on a charge of his alleged role in the insurrection June 10. Shortly after, he went back on Facebook Live, YouTube, Spotify, Rumble and several other services, filming himself walking on the beach in San Clemente in a “Free Man" baseball cap. He decried the Jan. 6 riot as a “false flag staged event” and a “fakesurrection” because he believed infiltrators were in the crowd.

[....]

Within hours, his accounts were banned on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook says that it does not allow people charged in the insurrection on the platform and that it may fact-check claims that the riot was staged. Spotify and YouTube removed the videos a week later.

That part I've bolded is news to me -- and quite interesting. We've talked somewhat about how off-platform activities are increasingly coming under scrutiny by platforms in their content moderation/trust and safety efforts, but this is the first I've heard of any platform (let alone Facebook) having a blanket policy of refusing to allow those charged in the January 6th attack from using their platform.

At the very least, this does raise some questions. Since it's just based on charging, and not on conviction, what happens if the charges are dropped or the person is acquitted? That may be unlikely with many (if not all) of the January 6th folks, but it does raise some questions. And is the ban permanent? So far, the initial January 6th cases, against those who didn't seem to do that much once in the Capitol, have involved relatively mild sanctions. Will that also include a lifetime ban from Facebook? Should it?

Obviously, Facebook is free to moderate how it wants, and I think this will be interesting to follow over time. Will there be other situations in which being charged with a crime leads to your removal from Facebook? The Supreme Court weighed in on this issue in the Packingham case, that you can't have a law that requires the loss of internet service in response to a crime, but that only applies to laws. Facebook still has the freedom to refuse service to anyone it chooses.

At the very least, it will be interesting to watch how this kind of policy -- regarding off platform activities -- evolves on Facebook and other social networks.

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Filed Under: banning, charges, content moderation, insurrection, january 6th
Companies: facebook


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:08am

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

    Yeah, after the jan 6 insurrection I'm not too surprised that social media platforms would be more trigger happy as I imagine they don't want anything to do with insurrectionists for the PR liability and consider the minor PR dink for kicking such people off a net gain versus being known as platforms that welcome them, and that's before taking into account the push to gut 230 that could make hosting such content/people a hefty legal liability as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Koby (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:57am

      Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

      It has nothing to do with PR. FB will allow convicted felons, 2020 rioters, foreign dictators, and probably even some pedophiles. Censoring people charged with the 1/6 captol kerfuffle is 100% based on politics.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:59am

        That’s no way to talk about your circle of friends, Koby.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

        the 1/6 captol kerfuffle is 100% based on politics

        You are another one of the fuckers who are trying to minimize what happened on 1/6.

        Trumpists violently attacked the capitol, the capitol police, and DC metro police. There are numerous videos and 1st hand accounts of Trumpists beating cops with American / Trump flag poles. There is video of numerous violent attacks against the officers trying to defend the capitol and the congress.

        To claim that it was just a "kerfuffle" and "100% based on politics." is to be a fucking asshole that doesn't deserve the freedoms that we have in this country.

        If you really think that people yelling "Hang Mike Pense" and having a god damn gallows built outside the capitol is just a "kerfuffle", then you're a fucking asshole.

        Sorry, do I sound angry about you calling it a "kerfuffle", You fucking bet your ass I am angry.

        It was a violent attack, instigated by Trump and his fucking sycophants, and people fucking died because of it. It wasn't a "kerfuffle" you fucking imbecile!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          I recommend that everybody spend the 40 minutes watching this video put together by the NY Times, not behind a paywall:

          Day of Rage: An In-Depth Look at How a Mob Stormed the Capitol

          Now come back and fucking tell me how that was just a "kerfuffle"!!!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

            "Now come back and fucking tell me how that was just a "kerfuffle"!!!"

            "All I see are brave american patriots storming the headquarter of Killary's child trafficking ring, trying to bring an end to the oppressive regime of the Kenyan Muslim!"

            • Koby, probably.

            It's pretty fsking clear by now where Koby is coming from; He's the online equivalent of the soft-spoken well kempt guy nazis like to send into a bar to sound out the waters. Actual facts aren't interesting to him and he'll be back right next thread parroting the same bullshit which didn't get traction on this one.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          Well, to be fair (not something I am convinced Koby deserves in this case, or indeed ever), the "all politics" refers to Facebook's actions, not the Jan 6th insurrection.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 4:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          I understand the backlash against koby for the use of the word 'kerfluffle', but to stick you head in the sand and deny this has anything to do with politics is just naïve.

          To call it a "kerfuffle" is the same type of disingenuous label as is "insurrection". If we are going to adhere to the strict definition of of insurrection, then to apply it fairly we have to also call all the BLM riots & police protests an insurrection also.

          It is the use of terms that makes it political and if you claim to be a free thinker you need to be able to apply the same term for the same actions regardless of your belief in the underlying cause.

          The other action that shows this is political is the continued media coverage and the prosecutions of the 1/6 protest/riot at the capitol while the BLM protests/riots are rug swept. Notice how I used the same term, the only difference is that one is plural. Again to see this you have to divorce yourself from the cause and look at the both protests/riots objectively.

          Where they both illegal? - yes
          Should the participants be prosecuted? - yes

          The question that makes this political, and is the reason why most can't view this objectively is:

          Was the riot justifiable?

          For me the answer is no, neither was justified. For some of the Country the BLM riots are justified and for others the Capitol riot was justified.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

            "I understand the backlash against koby for the use of the word 'kerfluffle'"

            The backlash against Koby is more to do with his long history of silly and disingenuous arguments to try and pretend that people who agree with his politics are being persecuted when social media platforms tell them they're tired of their crap. His attempt to downplay what happened on Jan 6th is just the latest example of that.

            "To call it a "kerfuffle" is the same type of disingenuous label as is "insurrection"."

            Which definition of the term "insurrection" are you using to define an attempt to overthrow the democratic process at the seat of government with violence as not being such a thing? That fact that it failed does not mean that the term doesn't apply.

            "to apply it fairly we have to also call all the BLM riots & police protests an insurrection also"

            Which definition are you using of protests that makes them insurrection, especially since much of the violence was initiated by people other than the initial protestors?

            "Should the participants be prosecuted? - yes"

            I've seen a lot of Trump fans claim that the people involved on Jan 6th shouldn't be prosecuted, that it's persecution and even that the woman who was shot trying to push through a barricade after multiple warnings to stand down was unfairly executed. I don't believe I've seen many people involved in other incidents claiming that any violence enacted shouldn't be met with consequences. A lot of concern about them being abducted off the streets into unmarked vans by unidentified law enforcement people, but not that anything they actually did themselves should be free of prosecution.

            "For me the answer is no, neither was justified."

            The question then becomes - who instigated it? The violence enacted in some cases were by the people involved themselves - such as on Jan 6th. In other cases, police violently attacked peaceful protestors. Not every case, but it's wrong to call those insurrections because violence was involved, when the people actually trying to protest peacefully were attacked and had to defend themselves.

            "for others the Capitol riot was justified"

            But, they are justified based on a fiction - that the millions of additional votes against Trump were fraudulent, and that despite there having been zero credible evidence of such being presented that it meant that the democratic process needed to be stopped (and in the words of some of the insurrectionists, certain people should be assassinated).

            It's understandable why after decades of police brutality against minorities led to such an emotional outburst after the slow agonising murder of one of them was filmed in real time for everyone to see. It's less justifiable that people died because of a laughable piece of fan fiction that nobody has been able to present a shred of evidence to support having happened. The two "sides" aren't even remotely comparable, unless you have a vested interest in pushing the idea.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

            "To call it a "kerfuffle" is the same type of disingenuous label as is "insurrection"."

            Nope.

            "Kerfuffle" implies it's largely harmless.
            "Insurrection" is an attempt at overthrowing the systems of democracy using violent means.

            The second certainly applies, especially given the amount of planning that went into this. You don't bring rappelling gear, handcuff zip ties, pipe bombs and a hit list to a "kerfuffle".

            "The other action that shows this is political is the continued media coverage and the prosecutions of the 1/6 protest/riot at the capitol while the BLM protests/riots are rug swept."

            Know how we can tell you're arguing in bad faith here? The BLM protests were marches protesting the continued murder and abuse of black people.
            The 6th of january insurrection was intended to murder and overthrow the government.

            One of these is a riot, in most cases provoked by police assaulting a peaceful protest, the other is a case of actual domestic terrorism.

            "The question that makes this political, and is the reason why most can't view this objectively is:"

            Bullshit. The objective view is that a bunch of peaceful protests which police forces not rarely tried to provoke into violence are still protests - occasionally a riot.

            The 6th of jan event was no riot. It was a premeditated and planned act of domestic terrorism and insurrection where the participants started out as aggressors.

            The difference being the same as what exists between a person who fights back after being unprovokedly attacked, and a person who set out do do the attacking.

            You don't get to soften the blow for your "friends" by conflating constitutionally protected protests with an actual dictionary-definition insurrection.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          To claim that it was just a "kerfuffle" and "100% based on politics." is to be a f*ing a**** that doesn't deserve the freedoms that we have in this country.

          Don't stoop to their level. Exercising one's constitutionally protected rights - which saying stupid and dishonest things absolutely is - should never be grounds for having them removed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

        The politics of overthrowing a democratic government.

        Uh....ok....sure.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 3:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          He's not wrong, you know. Just because the politics involved an insurrection attempt doesn't make them "not politics". Attempting to minimize the event, check ("100% politics") and check ("kerfuffle").

          When we see your comment in the end-of-week "best of" list, it may need a bit of context, though.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

            I guess my view of politics is naive. Politics to me as running for an office, getting the votes to win and working in that office.

            Insurrection to me is the violent overthrow of politics.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

        FB will allow convicted felons,

        Yeah, Dinesh D'Souza is still there.

        2020 rioters,

        I think most of the Boogaloo Bois moved to Parler.

        and probably even some pedophiles.

        Trump has been banned from Facebook until at least 2023...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 6:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

          and probably even some pedophiles.

          Trump has been banned from Facebook until at least 2023...

          To be fair, I am guessing that he is referring to Gaetz.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 9:59pm

        Re: Re: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

        Hey welcome back from vacation. We missed you last week when Florida’s bullshit social media law got put on ice. How you feel about that?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:59am

    I’m not morally opposed to this course of action because fuck the insurrectionists. But the ethics of this move (as alluded to in the article) do give me pause.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      This leaves me with a similar feeling to when I hear about schoolkids being punished at school for things they did outside school hours and off school property while not identifiable as attending that school. Yes, they likely deserve punishment, but not by the school.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Norahc (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      I'm of the same viewpoint as Mr Stone, with the additional caveat that the actions of FB will add more fuel to the fire of the right wing's deplatforming claims. FB has now created a double standard of who they kick off their platform, which they are completely free to do. Unfortunately I'm not sure FB thought this one through or did and just don't care about how it looks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        I mean yeah, I'm sure they will point to this as 'anti-conservative bias'(while banking really hard that no-one asks them what's 'conservative' about insurrection) but to be fair they've been doing that anyway and will continue to do so no matter what happens so it's not like there's any way for people or companies to reduce those claims.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          Koby (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          so it's not like there's any way for people or companies to reduce those claims.

          Sure there is. Just apply the rules equally. In this case, for example, announce deplatforming for anyone videotaped participating in the 2020 looting-riots.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:53pm

            I’d bet that you’re the type to claim any of the peaceful protests that happened in 2020 that didn’t become riots would also qualify for those bans. Then again, I’m not qwhite so sure why you’d be all for calling those events “riots” but are also willing to downplay an actual riot where people were chanting for the hanging of the sitting Vice President.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Don’t do the insurrection...

            Peacefully protesting isn’t equal to attempting to overthrow a government. So you should have no problem with ya bois getting kicked off FB.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            See Koby, this is where you're mistaken. Life isn't fair. And whining about 'equal' with assholes like you is just disingenuous.

            Give me a shout when conservatives entertain LGBTQ people on the same level as anyone else.

            Give me a shout when conservatives aren't forcing their religious horseshit down our throats via abortion laws that effectively make women into brood mares for the state.

            Until then, enjoy how it feels to be unequal. Asshole.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Answer me this, AC, without caveats or qualifications: which is more important, a woman's convenience or a human life? Because as research as shown, most abortions are done by healthy women on healthy babies. Many women are actually pushed into doing them whether they want to or not. I doubt you could find a woman who's gone through it who doesn't feel some measure of guilt even if she won't openly admit it. The DNA sequence of the unborn baby is distinct from hers and completely unique, so it's not just another part of her body. And if she doesn't want the baby or can't care for it for some reason, there are more humane alternatives than killing it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "The DNA sequence of the unborn baby is distinct from hers and completely unique..."

                An unfortunate comparison since the same holds true for a cancerous tumor or wart.

                That set aside a mass of cellular tissue without differentiation or a functioning brain is not "human". It's as disingenious an argument as claiming that a life is lost every time a woman has her period.

                I don't think your religious arguments get much shrift on a forum where most people know the difference between a bundle of stem cells and a self-aware entity.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "It's as disingenious an argument as claiming that a life is lost every time a woman has her period."

                  Or miscarriage. According to a statistic I've read, the chance of a miscarriage is as high as 25% in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, and that's not even considering the foetuses that have to be aborted due to fatal consequences to the baby or mother due to the dangerous and complicated process that is pregnancy. If it's killing "babies" these people want to talk about, they need to start with their deity.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Because as research as shown, most abortions are done by healthy women on healthy babies"

                I await your link to that research. Especially since you use the word "babies", which is unlikely to appear in any such credible research.

                "I doubt you could find a woman who's gone through it who doesn't feel some measure of guilt even if she won't openly admit it"

                Almost as if it's a horrifically complicated situation that no woman enters into lightly.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:22am

                Answer me this, AC, without caveats or qualifications: which is more important, a woman's convenience or a human life?

                Yes or no: If you believe in the sanctity of human life no matter how that life was conceived, should the state force a woman to birth a child conceived through rape/incest?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Answer me this, AC, without caveats or qualifications: which is more important, a woman's convenience or a human life?

                A woman's convenience. When the man involved (don't forget, it takes two people...) will equally share in the inconvenience, maybe we can talk. But that's not the way it is, and making that change would be a prerequisite for changing my mind in any way on the subject.

                The people who are typically anti-abortion are also typically anti-birth control and pro-death penalty. Same people were also whining, bitching, and complaining to high heaven about their rights being violated for daring to ask them wear a mask during a pandemic. But please, go on and tell me the altruistic reason why those things are fundamentally different.

                Protip: If your god advocates that life is precious, perhaps he shouldn't have spent the first 2/3rds of the bible killing people.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 7 Jul 2021 @ 9:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                A fetus =/= baby.

                Babies don't have umbilical chords.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Answer me this, AC, without caveats or qualifications: which is more important, a woman's bodily autonomy or a human life?

                Fixed your grossly dishonest phrasing for you.

                Many women are actually pushed into doing them whether they want to or not

                [Citation absolutely needed] but I'm pretty sure you do not want to go down the road of 'It's a bad thing when women are pressured into doing certain things with their bodies that they wouldn't have otherwise done'.

                I doubt you could find a woman who's gone through it who doesn't feel some measure of guilt even if she won't openly admit it.

                Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with the people calling them murderers and baby killers and telling them what horrible people they are... also I do so love the bullshit 'even if they won't admit it' line as by that same metric I could say that you know that claim is garbage even if you aren't honest enough to admit it.

                The DNA sequence of the unborn baby is distinct from hers and completely unique, so it's not just another part of her body.

                Which is utterly irrelevant, it is in her body and using it so the fact that it might not be her body means nothing.

                And if she doesn't want the baby or can't care for it for some reason, there are more humane alternatives than killing it.

                Ones that don't involving 9 months of pregnancy and the risk and cost of giving birth?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:16pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                “Answer me this, AC, without caveats or qualifications: which is more important, a woman's convenience or a human life?“

                A women can always have more kids. Your sperm however are surplus to requirements.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Toom1275 (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                which is more important, a woman's convenience or a human life?

                Red card for such a disungenuous false premise.

                In the real world, the only considerations are the woman's life, health, and future.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            participating in the 2020 looting-riots.

            So the people peacefully protesting in DC that were tear-gassed by Trump so he could have a fucking photo-op was a riot, but the violent attempt to overthrow congress while validating Trumps loss was just a kerfuffle.

            Fuck you Koby!!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:50pm

            If you wouldn't accept your own excuses, don't make them

            I believe you mean the 2020 'kerfuffles', and everyone knows those were merely political and therefore no big deal.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 4:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Just apply the rules equally.

            [Asserts facts contrary to evidence]

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              To clarify: delusions-of-persecution shitheelss like Koby whine their asses off even as they're getting special privilege over others.

              Now that platforms are now applying the rules evenly and finally banning them, they're screeching more, not less.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:02pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                'Apply the rules equally! ... wait, where did 90% of the people I follow on social media go?'

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Now that platforms are now applying the rules evenly and finally banning them, they're screeching more, not less."

                It's an unfortunate outcome of having zero self-awareness. The alt-right simply won't grok that they are, in fact, an obnoxious minority of whining loser no sane person wants to be around.

                Since they don't want to understand reality they choose to lay the blame on the various rules of society, demanding "fairness" without realizing that if they were actually to be treated like everyone else, none of them would ever be allowed to post a comment on most forums ever again. Had they been muslims rather than white supremacists every last one of them would be in gitmo by now.

                It's to the point where I almost wish they get that dream of theirs, of abolishing 230 so platforms can't moderate their forums...this will inconvenience liberals and smaller platforms but...stormfront? Gone. Parler? Gone. Gab? Gone. And no platform unwilling to be sued out of existence will dare let a white supremacist or sympathizer post another word, ever again.

                In the world the alt-right thinks they want, none of them will be allowed to exist.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 4:53am

        Re: Re:

        "FB has now created a double standard"

        It is not just FB with the double standard, it is also the government. Daily I hear in the news about the Capitol riot persecutions, but not a word about any charges/trial for the participants of the BLM riots.

        Where they both illegal? - yes
        Should the participants be prosecuted? - yes

        In the absence of persecutions in the BLM riots is bias.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      I’m not morally opposed to this course of action because fuck the insurrectionists.

      This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because we've yet to prove that these people were insurrectionists or had anything to do with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:41am

        That’s my whole point about the ethics of the situation. Morally, I have no opposition to Facebook kicking off people who are merely charged with participating in the insurrection. (Again: Fuck the insurrectionists.) Ethically, I have some misgivings about booting people who are merely charged with a crime⁠—“innocent until proven guilty” and all that. What happens if one of the alleged rioters who got banned is acquited and Facebook can no longer justify the ban based only on that person being charged with a crime?

        Morally, I’m 100% okay with Facebook’s decision; ethically, not so much.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:02am

          Re:

          "Ethically, I have some misgivings about booting people who are merely charged with a crime⁠—“innocent until proven guilty” and all that"

          But, that goes back to Facebook being a private company and not an agent of the government. If they were a public service there would be major questions. But, if FB decide that keeping them around threatens ad dollars, audience participation or something else that affects their bottom line, or if they just believe that they can't be bothered to put up the hassle of keeping them around, they're gone.

          "What happens if one of the alleged rioters who got banned is acquited and Facebook can no longer justify the ban based only on that person being charged with a crime?"

          It's then up to them to reevaluate the ban and decide if they want to let that person back in. No actual rights have been violated either way they make their decision.

          It sucks for the person involved, but it also sucks if a bar decides they don't want any of you damn liberals hanging around even if they just misinterpreted the shirt you were wearing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:52am

        Re: Re:

        "This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because we've yet to prove that these people were insurrectionists or had anything to do with them."

        The exact example given in the OP specifically refers to some maga cultist claiming that yes, he was there. And spreading the usual bullshit about how the 6th was a false flag op.

        I can't really blame the white supremacists for trying to muddy the waters and poisoning the well - them striking the US flag and replacing it with a Trump banner is not a good look. Them bludgeoning policemen to death is not a good look. Them waving the banner of treasonous slavers is not a good look. One or more of them actually shitting on the floor of the rotunda is most definitely not a good look.

        It's no wonder none of these cowardly whiners want to fess up and instead try to blame everyone else. Or end up trying to imply no one ought to care about the violent insurrection since people weren't making this much noise about BLM - conveniently forgetting that if they were treated like the cops treated BLM a lot of them would have been shot or beaten into a coma rather than arrested.

        That social platforms do not want to allow terrorist sympathizers entry isn't, strictly speaking, odd. I'm pretty sure you don't get to be on Facebook if you're a recruiter for ISIS either.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah the gallows they built was just an art piece.

        Carrying water for terrorists isn’t a good look bro.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I mean even if it was that would hardly make it better. 'We didn't build that because we planned on murdering someone on it, we built it because we wanted to make clear that it sure would be nice if certain people were executed as they deserved to die.'

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 2:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Carrying water for terrorists isn’t a good look bro."

          I guess the alt-right is finally seeing the flip side of "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Shame it had to be about the modern-day beer-sodden SA mob.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sumgai (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:18pm

      Re

      You dare to use the words Facebook and ethics in the same sentence? That's gotta be a mighty big pair of cohones you're carrying around there, me bucko.

      If you're gonna go down that road, let me remind you that Facebook is big only because Zuckerberg didn't just admit, but openly bragged that he had no qualms about selling everybody's personal data to the highest bidder, come one, come all. And over and over, again and again. And that's Zuck's epitome of ethical behavior, it only gets worse from there. Sorta makes "kick 'em off" decisions kinda tame, doncha think?

      Besides, advertisers are starting to take note of where their ads are appearing, and right about now, appearing next to a #45'er is isn't exactly the good PR that they were paying for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:22pm

        I’m well aware of the many ethical failures of Facebook. My ethical concerns here directly and specifically relate to moderation efforts; having been a moderator in the past, thinking about doing what Facebook did gives me pause to consider my own ethics in that regard.

        Legally, it’s fine. Morally, it’s great. Ethically, it’s questionable at best. And on any given day, I might be for or against what Facebook did. That I don’t see an easy answer to the ethical question right now is…discomforting.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          sumgai (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:58pm

          Re:

          We have a word for this in the English language - ostracize. That's what Facebook is doing, practicing ostracizism. It's simply a matter of freedom to associate with a given person/group, or to not associate with them. Whether they are 'merely' charged, or found guilty should make no difference in how Fb makes their "associative" decisions. (Although I agree, one might well call them biased, and that may be well deserved. But is bias an ethics issue? Please Gawd, don't let the current crop of mouth-breathers get ahold of that idea, or I'll be long dead before that issue is resolved.)

          Let me put it this way: Just because I don't wish to associate with Joe Flag-waver, how/why should anyone get upset with me and call me unethical? Now imagine that Joe was one of the insurrectionists.....

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 2:57pm

          Re:

          Why should Facebook give a platform to those who would destabilize the country, and harm Facebook's business?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:58am

      Re:

      "But the ethics of this move (as alluded to in the article) do give me pause."

      I don't see why. ISIS recruitment centers aren't welcome on FB either.

      On jan 6th the white supremacy movements and zealous trumpists took the step from being useful idiots for Trump to being actual domestic terrorists. No one owes them or their sympathizers a soapbox or an entry pass.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:10am

    I agree with Stephen. While morally this is the right thing to do, ethically this runs right alongside deplatforming people because the media corporations have accused them of copyright infringement.

    Of course, FB and Google already do that, so this seems like more of the same, just for a different target group.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      That is like calling it unethical for a store clerk to empty the register while a gun is pointed at them because they are actively participating in theft to save their skin. It is a matter of fucked up legal system pointing the proverbial gun.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:05pm

    Unless you count cheap laughs, this doesn't actually accomplish anything. It's just more ammo for the "anti-conservative bias" -crowd.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      To do that, of course, means they'd be admitting that "conservatism" is indistinguishable from terrorism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      It reduces the reach of those that would excuse or attempt to dismiss an attempted insurrection as no big deal and increases the odds that the only platforms willing to host them are those filled with people that already believe them which I wouldn't exactly call 'nothing', as for adding ammo to the 'anti-conservative bias crowd' they're eternal victims who've already been whining about how mean people are to them so it's not like anything Facebook could do would reduce that whining, and if they really want to point to this as 'anti-conservative' then they're opening themselves up to the question of what exactly is conservative about insurrection.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re:

        It doesn't open them up to any questions. Their thought process is they identify as conservative, therefore banning them is anti-conservative. Their own people will accept that and the "enemy" is always wrong.

        Those people will just move to Parler or something that's on their side. They will attract followers to go with them, and being driven off FB will be just another thing to blame the other side for. Making the divide and the hate between the parties worse is not a good outcome.

        We can't fix hate by telling people to go play with their own kind. Segregation has never helped anything.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Those people will just move to Parler or something that's on their side."

          That is a best case scenario. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have competently set up a competent alternative service for various reasons, and even the hardcore cultists realise that they don't want to hang around exclusively with people like them.

          "They will attract followers to go with them"

          History says otherwise. Even disregarding the fact that people can use multiple services if they so wish, unless they've been so aggressively offensive that they can only use the alt right venues, one of the main reasons these alternative services keep failing is due to low traffic.

          "We can't fix hate by telling people to go play with their own kind."

          No, but we can stop them from infecting everywhere else. We didn't have these kinds of problems when they were relegated to Stormfront. It's only when they were allowed a veneer of mainstream acceptability that we had to deal with them directly, and the time for that is over.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 2:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "We can't fix hate by telling people to go play with their own kind. Segregation has never helped anything."

          I beg to differ. Historical fact points that out as the only solution we can show works.

          It's when you normalize the falsehoods and scapegoating that society crumbles. For nazism, white supremacy and bigotry to go away the first thing required is for most normal people to stand up and say "That's your choice. The door's over there. Make use of it."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 1:00pm

    Obviously, Facebook is free to moderate how it wants

    Mike, you know better that that. It's true that they can legally moderate (pretty much) however they want. But there have been a multitude of stories about how people disagree or are surprised by this, which means it's not obvious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 5:56pm

      Re:

      It's true that they can legally moderate (pretty much) however they want.

      Yet both Democratic and Republican lawmakers (not named Ron Wyden and Zoe Lofgren (Chris Cox is no longer a legislator which is why I excluded him)) have a problem with this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LittleCupcakes, 6 Jul 2021 @ 3:17pm

    There are above some quite thoughtful reasoned responses, delivered soberly, to this piece of news.

    Which is sad.

    Facebook can and should do whatever it pleases regarding the content of its platform.

    And this is simply gross. Icky. Disturbing. Shameful. Awful.

    Facebook’s purported stance isn’t just “concerning” or “something interesting to keep an eye on.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 3:38pm

    Just like your conversations are propaganda and meaningless because you censor me, so is Facebook's.

    The internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 5:44pm

    Well, without a deeper reasoning which we will never actually get, nor could we trust, we don't know if "banning 1/6ers" is really an offline-based ban. It could merely be a convenient envelope term. Maybe fb found stuff in all the accounts which was ban-worthy, including insurrection planning or such. Maybe fb just assumed such. There could be some other method or reasoning.

    Whatever, yeah fb is worth watching over this, whether it is over their evolving moderation practices, or over their classically piss-poor public communications.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 6:46pm

    And this is why demanding tech fix societies problems will never work.

    "Conservatives" will claim bias claiming it never happens to the other side, "Liberals" will claim victory until it happens to them.

    Y'all live in a nation where elected officials repeat lies & no one holds them accountable.
    Any attempts at accountability are deflected with its because I'm conservative & the base springs into action, completely ignoring if the original statement was true or not.
    We have states where the Governors & State Legislature made moves that made the pandemic worse & killed citizens needlessly (cause 1 asshole's ego isn't really a need), and nothing will happen.
    Any attempt at accountability will met with Conservatives refusing to accept facts, claim its all political, & claims the dead are just bamboo manikins China air dropped to make them look bad.

    These people who claim to be followers of Jeebus refused to do the bare minimum that would have saved lives because they believed their rights matter more... and that 'Merika in a nutshell.

    FB would have been better served by not doing something this stupid, but the alternative would have been monitoring groups & working with law enforcement and... yeah Zucks really doesn't want anyone outside to see that happens inside. So do your best to shovel them onto other platforms & let them deal with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Shel10 (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:39pm

    Question

    When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution? Free speech for me is free speech for thee!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 10:45pm

      Re: Question

      when you can prove they've done that, that's when

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:00pm

      Can't abridge a right you don't have

      When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution?

      ... the same day they rule that companies can not abridge people's right to fly by flapping their arms really hard, which they are doing and are capable of doing just as frequently as they are abridging the constitutional rights of users?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:15pm

      Re: Question

      When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution?

      Just as soon as the government decides to take over these companies and have them state run.

      Or just as soon as congress passes an amendment that abolishes the 1st amendment.

      So, take your pick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Jul 2021 @ 11:49pm

      Re: Question

      "When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution? "

      They have, and they have found that until those companies become agents of the government, they aren't abridging any of those rights to begin with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 3:50am

      Re: Question

      Free speech, and freedom of the press only mean that the government will not stop you speaking, and that you can publish at your own expense. Anybody else helping you to publish your words is purely a voluntary arrangement, possibly for a monetary consideration, but nobody is compelled to help you. If you want to make you point in such an obnoxious way that Facebook and Twitter ban you, you are the problem, not the company that bans you..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:27am

      Re: Question

      When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution?

      Probably around the same time you understand that what you're asking is 'when are we going to do some socialism?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: Question

        "Probably around the same time you understand that what you're asking is 'when are we going to do some socialism?""

        If only. Shel10 and his spiritual peers are asking for outright communism, where all property belongs to the state.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:42am

      Time for some tasty copypasta!

      The First Amendment protects your rights to speak freely and associate with whomever you want. It doesn’t give you the right to make others listen. It doesn’t give you the right to make others give you access to an audience. And it doesn’t give you the right to make a personal soapbox out of private property you don’t own. Nobody is entitled to a platform or an audience at the expense of someone else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:59am

      Re: Question

      "When are our Courts going to rule that companies can not abridge the rights granted by our Constitution?"

      Roughly at the same time they rule that companies can not have you legally executed or imprisoned?

      When are you alt-right morons going to realize that private property is not government property? The bar owner throwing your sorry white power ass out doesn't mean the bar has removed your 1A rights. It just means you have been evicted from someone elses property.

      Every time you try to run that bullshit on a forum you just show another hundred people that you are an idiot who doesn't know the very basics of your own constitution. Or the difference between public and private.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re: Question

        When are you alt-right morons going to realize that private property is not government property?

        Considering that is the main crux of Trump's new lawsuit, my guess is never.

        They just can't accept that there is a large group of people to do not want to be associated with them, and they are whining about not being allowed with the cool kids anymore. With that, they feel that the gov't must do something about it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Question

          "With that, they feel that the gov't must do something about it."

          Yeah, entitled and fragile little snowflakes that they are the only courageous and patriotic thing to do is to run away, tail between their legs, and holler to daddy about the other kids not wanting to play with them.

          Well, fuck their feelings. I for one don't feel obligated to extend courtesy and respect to those who would gladly deprive everyone else of the same.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Question

      When are you idiots gonna stop asking the same stupid question?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wmbl-2 (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:34am

    Social media and the Trumptards

    All the arguments here about FB having the right to allow/disallow content is spot on....but the bigger question is why use FB at all?

    We got by just fine before FB existed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:06am

      Re: Social media and the Trumptards

      We got by fine before the internet existed, before electricity existed - yet, here you are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re: Social media and the Trumptards

        True, but at the same time, FB is not required for daily life as is electricity and internet.

        I can cook a dinner for myself without the need of Facebook, but electricity is something that will be required in most cases.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 11:02am

          Re: Re: Re: Social media and the Trumptards

          The point is that just because we got by just fine without it, is not a reason not to use it. There are many things that humanity got by without, and can continue to get by without, but we use them anyway because they have real and/or perceived benefits. If you want to argue that everyone should stop using Facebook, there are good arguments to be made, but that isn't one of them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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