The current state of Facebook is an early glimmer of a distinctly possible future where all political expression – all expression, in fact – is tightly controlled by digital companies that arose from Facebook, their ancient ancestor. The ur-digital censor.
If you want more details of what happened at Facebook with leftist censorship, read this Quillette article by a former Facebook employee, who details how it happened.
My own personal beef with Facebook is that I opened a Hector Drummond Facebook account a few months ago, and they banned me immediately after the very first time I used Facebook to do anything, which was to leave a comment at Spiked Online. One comment. I don’t remember what I wrote now, but I’m certain that it wasn’t anything very offensive.
Of course, I wasn’t told that I was banned. Facebook is even more devious than Twitter. It doesn’t openly say you’ve been banned. It says that your account has been disabled while you verify your identity with them. To do that you need to do a few things, including uploading a photo with them. I knew that this was how they forced Thomas Wictor off the platform, so I had no great hopes of overcoming it, but I tried. I sent the photo in, and did everything they asked for. And of course I never got my account back. Despite being small fry my name was on a list somewhere of political undesirables.
I wouldn’t really care – I never had any desire to open a Hector Drummond Facebook account, and the platform seems to be dying anyway with its endless overcomplicated redesigns (the very thing that sunk MySpace) – except that Spiked Online last year went over to a Facebook comments system, and I sometimes like to comment there. (More about that issue anon.)
Anyway, reading about Facebook, and China’s ‘social credit scores’ (which some writers say is exaggerated, but even if so you can be sure it’s giving the wrong sort of people in the West idea), brings back memories of the many science-fiction dystopias I used to read when I was young. I’m starting to feel glad I’m not going to be around in the 22nd century.
Update: Speaking of Thomas Wictor, here’s an interview he did, back in his music journalist days, with the great Ray Schulman of Gentle Giant. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Gentle Giant? You’re more a Northern Soul man? Sheesh.