This morning, a missive from Ron Unz, editor and publisher of alternative media site The Unz Review, appeared in my inbox. He was reporting that everything from his site had been removed from Facebook. Its page on the social media leviathan was gone.
The link in Ron’s email goes here.
I tried to post it to Facebook, to see what would happen. It would not post. The message I received contains that now-infamous phrase, “violates our community standards.”
Mr. Unz’s thought crime appears to have been his willingness not just to entertain but to write about coronavirus / COVID-19 “conspiracy theories” (e.g., this, which he references).
Facebook (also Google and Twitter) have periodically announced plans to crack down on such notions as can be found on sites such as Ron Unz’s, and elsewhere. (Example; although the focus there is on a supposed connection between COVID-19 symptoms and the 5G rollout, I suppose that as people are more and more protesting the lockdowns and matters come to a head, Big Tech will lead the open season on any unwanted ideas about the coronavirus, its origins, whether its spread is covering up something else, etc.)
So far, Zuckerberg and Co. have left my material alone. My post outlining my reasons for thinking we are seeing the effects of a broader agenda behind the draconian reaction to this coronavirus was still there as of noon today.
But for how long? And at what point will links to such articles simply not post, or be deleted, possibly earning users 30 days of time in “Facebook Jail” as it’s informally called.
A dear friend of mine with a few controversial ideas (it was her whose writing I actually quoted the other day!) was inexplicably gone from Facebook as of this morning! I do not think she would have deleted her account voluntarily. Maybe she is in “Facebook Jail.” I dunno….
How long will any of us who write about, or entertain, ideas that dissent from dominant narratives, be able to continue posting on Facebook or other platforms not our own?
Very likely I will be ratcheting up my use of this site, which will mean: more content here! Less visibility, for sure, but down the road, who knows … ?
Because although I’ve posted regularly on Facebook for over 11 years now, if I find myself being censored I will not be sticking around there.
Obviously, we are about more than philosophy here. (Sadly, most of what goes on in academic philosophy is about as interesting as drying paint.)