The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States doesn’t apply to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site. It only applies to government. Facebook is a publicly-traded corporation and corporations don’t have to honor the 1st Amendment.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress in August that he has 20,000 censors and “artificial intelligence” trolling through words and phrases in millions of Facebook posts. They’re supposed to be looking for foreign propagandists trying to influence elections in the U.S. and terrorists.
But Zuckerberg’s censors and software algorithms are actually looking for thoughts to censor that have resulted in people like Diamond and Silk with large “intellectual” followings finding themselves locked out of their accounts and blocked from posting. It’s the same with black conservative author and blogger David J. Harris, Jr. whose posts were unpublished by Facebook.
It’s even the same with this writer. A post about a South Euclid resident illegally holding office on Cleveland city council was deleted by Facebook as offensive. No warning. No chance to appeal. No phone number to call or customer service representative to review it. Only a reminder that future violations would result in a deleted account.
Diamond & Silk were entertainment during President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Their real names are Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson and they burst onto the national conscientious as his supporters and haven’t looked back.
The two didn’t buy the thought that Trump was a racist because he’d been tight with black celebrities and rappers who’d made him popular. Black folk around him knew that Trump dated a half-black model named Kara Young who Melania looks like; and that he was with her before Melania. Rev. Jesse Jackson couldn’t undo the truth that Trump gave him free rent on Wall Street in Trump Tower to open his Wall Street Project. The two saw past the rhetoric of folk they labeled “dummycrats” and backed their guy.
Diamond and Silk took to the media and started challenging Trump’s critics. Doing so created them a social media following of 1.2 million. They even made former Newsone host Roland Martin look uninformed when he asked for specifics about Trump’s plans to create jobs for black America and they started discussing his trade and tax plans.
Martin went through a litany of steps Congress would need to take to do it in an effort to discredit what they’d shared of Trump’s economic plan for black folks. Martin wasn’t around on Newsone after his show was cancelled in December 2017 to give the two an apology.
There’s nothing offensive about Diamond & Silk’s diatribes favoring Trump but the fact that those who don’t support him don’t like their words. They don’t cuss. They don’t express anything resembling an anti-American view. They’re just conservative black Republicans.
One of their video journeys included a trip to Los Angeles-based U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ office. Her staff might have called to complain because they said she lived in a $1.4 million house on a $170,000 a year salary. The idea that they’d find themselves stripped of being able to communicate with the social network they used Zuckerberg’s platform to build makes no sense.
In April 2018 Diamond & Silk offered testimony to Congress’s Senate Judiciary Committee and ripped Zuckerberg’s decision to “weaponize” their page.
U.S. Rep. Jim Hines, a Connecticut Democrat, spoke before Diamond and Silk and supported Facebook’s unbelievable claim that restrictions on their page was an error it took them almost 7 months to connect with the two and fix. Their rebuttal ignored his rant as nothing more than hype from a “dummycrat.”
Congress was told in April 2018 how Facebook identified the two black conservatives as “ultra-liberal” to advertisers and offered them no way to change that wrong designation. It meant they’d receive messages that were not connected to their political interests. It also meant people who shared their political interests were not seeing them in Facebook’s algorithms.
Diamond or Hardaway shared analytics from their page and others showing how a “liberal” with fewer than 500,000 followers garnered almost 20 million in views where a video they posted to their 1.2 million followers generated 37,000 views. After they complained and Facebook corrected the “problem” Congress was told they posted the same video and it generated about 500,000 views.
YouTube simply labeled their videos “hate speech” and de-monetized their content.
Hardaway wasn’t playing with Zuckerberg when she accused him of interfering with the elections with his arbitrary and artificial intelligence censorship of conservative “thought.”
While Hines sought to diminish the substance of their free speech discussion, and members of Congress asked them questions about the money they earned that hadn’t been asked of any other persons offering testimony, their censorship should also be generating a much larger national discussion than the one that’s currently taking place.
There are government agencies with social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Federal, state and local elected officials have social media pages where they communicate officially to their constituents and others. Political parties with opposing views in damn near every county in the nation have social media pages. The idea that Facebook’s human and artificial intelligence censors could determine that an official statement contains offensive thoughts and block its release to citizens who have a legal need to know the information is dangerous.
Republicans “chose” Diamond and Silk to testify about Zuckerberg’s bias-driven and irrational censorship. As Descendants of Slaves they have a deeper loyalty and longer history in the USA than Zuckerberg’s ancestors; and a deeper investment in the message citizens like them can receive from the nation’s elected officials.
But there are other players in the back and foreground of Zuckerberg’s censorship of thought in the United States that should put him in the crosshairs of a federal prosecutor.
Zuckerberg operates in the USA and is a citizen of this nation. His corporation has entered an agreement with Israel to “monitor and control content” that leads to negative thoughts about the Israeli government’s acts on the world stage.
Zuckerberg’s employees met with Israeli interior minister Gilad Erdan and justice minister Ayelet Shaked and agreed to create teams that would monitor and remove inflammatory content in and around Israel and the world. Individuals who make comments that are deemed not in the Israeli government’s best interest are flagged. Zuckerberg also agreed to turnover information to Israeli authorities. In Jerusalem their secret agreement has resulted in Palestinians being arrested for criticizing the government and not committing any acts of violence attorney Mahmoud Hassan told a reporter for the Independent.
Facebook “imperialistically” issued a statement to the world about that it had an agreement with the Israeli government and it was no one else’s business. Zuckerberg hasn’t reported the publicly-traded corporation’s secret deal with the Israeli government to Congress in two appearances. It’s not in his Series 10K filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. He’s not registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a possible unregistered foreign agent.
Zuckerberg’s decision to censor Diamond and Silk opened a new perspective about the independent acts he’s engaged in with the Israeli government and just who and what his human and artificial censors are targeting as promoters of “hate speech.”
When Zuckerberg’s employees spoke to the Guardian in 2016 they shared that the hate speech focus was supposed to be on terrorism.
” … there is no place for terrorists or content that promotes terrorism on Facebook” the Guardian reported.
Diamond and Silk don’t look anything like terrorists. Zuckerberg’s secret collaboration with the Israeli government looks troublesome.