Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is calling the platform a “champion of free speech” that could have prevented the Iraq War by giving “a voice to the voiceless,” while he continues to sponsor the censorship of countless independent anti-establishment and anti-war voices.
Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University where the event was called “a conversation on free expression.” But the reporters who were there were not allowed to ask questions, they were not allowed to film the event, and the students who asked questions had to go through a moderator.
But even so, Zuckerberg continued to tout Facebook as a “champion of free speech.” He talked about how Facebook was created around the time the Iraq War began, and he said this…
“I remember feeling that if more people had a voice to share their experiences, maybe things would have gone differently. Those early years shaped my belief that giving everyone a voice empowers the powerless and pushes society to be better over time,” Zuckerberg said.
He is claiming Facebook could have influenced the Iraq War by giving a voice to the anti-establishment voices who questioned the US government—yet anti-establishment and anti-war voices in the US are exactly what Facebook has targeted and censored.
My Facebook page, which I used to share my work as a journalist, was taken down last year. It was a page I had been building for 4 years, and it had nearly 70,000 followers.
At first, Facebook unpublished my page and sent a vague message claiming I violated the platform’s spam policies. Then, when I submitted an appeal, and asked for Facebook to point to which posts violated their policies, my page was deleted altogether—as if it never even existed.
In the latest case, Facebook took down a page with more than 42,000 followers that was literally dedicated to sharing Russian cuisine. The owners of the page said that first their reach was impacted, and then their page was deleted without warning.
In a statement, the chief editor said, “Facebook has deleted our Russian Kitchen page with recipes of Russian cuisine and pictures of caviar, mayonnaise and stuff like that.”
On top of that, Facebook has taken down thousands of pages in the last year, labeling them as “spam” or “fake news,” and it has yet to answer why it targeted independent media pages like The Free Thought Project and The Anti-Media, or police accountability pages like Police The Police and Cop Block—which had millions of followers.
The call to “break up big tech” is an argument that has been made by a number of Democratic candidates who believe companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are far too powerful, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren has remained at the forefront of the movement against the companies.
However, what is notable about Warren is that while she has been railing against big tech on the campaign trail, she actually received around $150,000 in donations from those companies between July and September of this year and that was more than any other Democratic presidential candidate.
As for Facebook, in the same way that the platform claims to be transparent, but shows no transparency, and claims to protect its users, while secretly sharing their private information, it also claims to promote free speech, while doing the opposite.