What the Daily Beast doesn’t tell you about Freedom from Facebook Day

Facebook-CensoredOn Tuesday, I was interviewed by the Daily Beast’s David Freedlander for an article about Freedom from Facebook Day, the July 4th event where we ask people to stay off the social media site for one day in protest of the site’s treatment of some of its users.

I’m no media virgin by any means — I ran for public office in California and served as campaign manager for other conservatives, and I know how these outfits work.  To be honest, I was a bit, well, apprehensive about it knowing that the Daily Beast is a left-of-center publication.  I have, after all, personally encountered the sausage grinder known as the Democrat-media complex, and trust me, it isn’t pretty.

I was a bit surprised, as Freedlander produced a piece that was more balanced than I expected, although there were a couple of glaring typos and link errors his editor apparently missed.

But there were several very important things his piece failed to say.

For instance, he failed to mention that Diane Sori was banned from Facebook for a link she never posted.  Not only did she not post it, she didn’t have internet access at the time it was posted.  That was a crucial part of her story, which I covered here and here.

Instead, his piece leaves the reader with the impression that Sori did, in fact, post something she should not have and deserved what she got.

So why did Freedlander leave that out of the story?  I personally told him this, plus I provided links to the story.

The result of the omission was also seen in blog posts based around his article.  Naturally, none of those bloggers bothered to contact me for the full story.  The results can also be seen in the predictable comments left by the liberals who call the Daily Beast “home.”

While he accurately quoted me on Facebook’s ability to destroy reputations and livelihoods, he also forgot to mention what I call Facebook’s “guilt by association” rules that hold all admins responsible for what any admin publishes.

Let’s explain it this way — it’s like firing every single employee at McDonald’s because of something a mid-level manager does in Kansas.  Circumstances and what legal experts call a “reasonable man” standard would have prevented her banning.  A reasonable person would conclude that a person who (a) did not do a thing, and (b) had no means to correct that thing, should not be punished for the thing that was done.

But Facebook does not operate that way, and it impacts people every single day.

Facebook claimed that it handles “more than 1 million weekly reports stemming from more than 1 billion users,” and admits to “occasionally” making a mistake, as it did in the case of Todd Starnes.

But it goes much deeper than that, and Freedlander knew it, based on our interview.

For example, Facebook permitted a grisly video of a beheading despite numerous reports.  Facebook’s excuse — they permitted it because people were criticizing it.

But the link that got Sori banned was intended to do the exact same thing.  Add that to the fact that she didn’t even post it.

This event was not just about conservatives versus liberals; far from it.  It was about something called “fundamental fairness,” something liberals used to support.

And for those who want to say Facebook can do what it wants because it’s a private company — try applying that standard to the baker in Oregon being terrorized because he didn’t bake a cake for a gay wedding, or to the florist in Washington being sued by the state for the same reason.  And, by the way, Facebook is a publicly-traded company.

But I forgot — In today’s upside-down politically-correct world, some are just more equal and deserving of rights than others.

Freedlander should be happy there were 2,400 people who were happy to sign up to protect his right to free expression.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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