Facebook, Google and Twitter are again engulfed in scandal as multiple sites expose that they deliberately offer suggestions for keywords that promotes racism, anti-Semitism, Nazis, and much, much more, to advertisers using Facebook to sell their products or services.
Let me begin by saying advertisers generally try to sell products, make money with supply and demand. An advertiser truly doesn't care what the cultural, political or ideology of a customer is as long as their money is good. That is their job, to make money for their shareholders or investors or partners, so targeting an audience for a specific product is all part of business.
Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you.
Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”
Normally I would say that an advertiser has the right to target any audience they want to sell their products to, because we are supposed to be a capitalist nation, but since Facebook decided it would be the politically correct thing to do to immediately remove the "offensive" categories after being contacted by Pro-Publica, they basically are admitting that in their socialist and communistic view, they did something wrong and it needed to be fixed.
Instead, we chose additional categories that popped up when we typed in “jew h”: “How to burn Jews,” and “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” Then we added a category that Facebook suggested when we typed in “Hitler”: a category called “Hitler did nothing wrong.” All were described as “fields of study.”
They even made a statement acknowledging their own wrongdoing.
“There are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards,” said Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook. “In this case, we’ve removed the associated targeting fields in question. We know we have more work to do, so we’re also building new guardrails in our product and review processes to prevent other issues like this from happening in the future.”
So what they are saying is the groups themselves are allowed on Facebook, but advertisers are not allowed to sell products or services to those bad, bad people, and it was a mistake to allow them to and they will do better in the future. (Yes, that is snark)
What exactly is the perpetually outraged folks mad about? That Facebook allowed advertisers to dare sell products to "bad people, or that Facebook offered the suggestions of more of the same type of groups to target?
Not quite sure, it seems the fact that people with different beliefs shouldn't be allowed to have any online presence, or something like that..... whatever, the point is the circus began, and others jumped right on the bandwagon by finding their own groups and keyword targeting to be outraged about.
Via Slate: "Yet when Slate tried something similar Thursday, our ad targeting “Kill Muslimic Radicals,” “Ku-Klux-Klan,” and more than a dozen other plainly hateful groups was similarly approved. In our case, it took Facebook’s system just one minute to give the green light."
Then BuzzFeed jumped into the fray to expose Google's ad targeting system and found "Google prompted BuzzFeed News to run ads targeted to keywords like "black people ruin neighborhoods," then allowed the campaign to go live."
Of course The Daily Beast followed suit and "exposed" Twitter for letting advertisers target people that use the words "wetback," and "Nazi," and "nigger," except TDB found it was acceptable to spell out the terms wetback and Nazi, but had use symbols as part of the "n**ger* word, because hey, political correctness and all that.
Twitters response though is quite telling as TDB quotes them:
On Friday, Twitter said the keywords The Daily Beast targeted in its investigation “have been blacklisted for several years” and said “we are looking into why the campaigns … were able to run for a very short period of time.”
In its advertising policy, Twitter says it prohibits "the promotion of hate speech globally." It says its ad policy includes race, ethnicity, and national origin, and tells marketers: "You are responsible for all your promoted content on Twitter."
I find it extremely interesting that in each of these examples, Facebook, Twitter and Google automatically assume the right that they can determine what is and isn't "hate speech," and silence it (only after they were busted not applying their own biases to their own actions), when even the Supreme Court has affirmed time and time again, the latest on a decision from June 19, 2017 in the case of Matal v. Tam, that found "A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society."
Facebook, Google and Twitter are not government entities and are not regulated, so they assume the power to do what even the government cannot do, and that is to become the morality and speech police.
The fact is Facebook, Twitter Google and other tech giants have set themselves up as speech and thought police, and now the politically correct morality police online are attacking them and it is because of their own hypocrisy and actions.
I call that being hoisted by your own petard!
THE MORALITY POLICE IN CONGRESS JUST GOT JAMES T. KIRK'd BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
It is not only the morality police online that are making spectacles of themselves, as both sides of the political aisle attempted to trap President Trump by passing a "non-binding sense-of-Congress resolution," attempting to force the president to "speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy," in response to their "outrage" that the president's statements in regards to the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA last month, blamed bad actors on both sides of the issue for the violence.
In the minds of Congress, they were boxing the president in, sign it, which makes his original statements blaming both sides null and void, or don't sign it and have everyone call you a "white supremacist." In other words they were trying to control the president's free speech.
Trump signed the resolution late Thursday. His signing statement said that Americans "oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms."
"No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God," Trump said. "We are nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal."
But just as his initial statements on Charlottesville blamed "all sides" for the violence, Trump's signing statement didn't condemn any specific group.
"It is ironic that this bill is in response to Trump’s tone-deaf comments about 'all sides' and then when he signs this statement, he repeats the very thing that sparked the controversy in the first place," Kelley said.
Whether we are talking about the MSM, Congress, or websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google, the slippery slope of attempting to be thought police, speech police and morality police, leads to less and less "free speech" which is a guaranteed constitutional right. Someone is always going to be offended by something, some offenses are deliberate and others are accidental, but this politically correct mentality attempting to silence any speech that this person or that person deems offensive, is literally destroying this nation.
Comedians are having to apologize for jokes, movies are suffering boycotts because their "fiction" is not politically correct, news outlets have guidelines that deliberately mislead people because the truth may offend someone.... it goes on and on and on.
Big tech thought it could become speech police and now they are being cannibalized by other speech police... they are eating their own.