Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Truth about the Facebook Whistleblower

As you know, Frances Haugen, the now famous Facebook whistleblower is an activist leftist. In some ways, so is Glenn Greenwald. Pulitzer prize winner Greenwald is not buying the ginned up outrage about what Facebook and other social media are doing to young girls. He thinks that the Haugen testimony and her manifest betrayal of her employer conceals a darker purpose. Via Maggie’s Farm.

The American left, Greenwald asserts, has only one goal in regard to internet giants-- to force them to censor more conservative voices. And thus, to turn the marketplace of ideas into a propaganda organ.

As for the girls in question, one feels compelled to say a word. It’s one thing to say that social media is the cause of their distress. It’s quite another to say that social media is exploiting conditions created by other salient factors. Girls today are systematically indoctrinated with feminist ideology. They are taught that they are perpetual victims of patriarchy and that men want nothing more than to use and abuse them. They are often brought up in broken homes, with no male authority figures present. They are taught to distrust all male authority figures. And, of course, through the hookup culture young women are being pimped out by the sisterhood, all in the interest of pretending that they are sexually liberated.

Ask yourself this: given this cultural nightmare how many young girls growing up today like being girls. Of course, Facebook is aggravating the problem, but asserting that it is responsible for America’s current state of decadence is an exaggeration.

Now, back to Glenn Greenwald, who sums up the Haugen charge against Facebook:

The social media giant hurts America and the world, this narrative maintains, by permitting misinformation to spread (presumably more so than cable outlets and mainstream newspapers do virtually every week); fostering body image neurosis in young girls through Instagram (presumably more so than fashion magazines, Hollywood and the music industry do with their glorification of young and perfectly-sculpted bodies); promoting polarizing political content in order to keep the citizenry enraged, balkanized and resentful and therefore more eager to stay engaged (presumably in contrast to corporate media outlets, which would never do such a thing); and, worst of all, by failing to sufficiently censor political content that contradicts liberal orthodoxies and diverges from decreed liberal Truth. On Tuesday, Haugen's star turn took her to Washington, where she spent the day testifying before the Senate about Facebook's dangerous refusal to censor even more content and ban even more users than they already do.

Haugen and the Democratic Party want one and only one thing. They want to censor more speech. That, Greenwald argues, is the truth behind the circus.

Of course, these social media titans are monopolies. They crush opposition and competition. About that the Congress, both Republican and Democrat, dependent as they are on political contributions from these companies, has nothing to say. 

Greenwald continues:

A bipartisan consensus has emerged on the House Antitrust Committee that these two corporate giants — along with Amazon and Apple — are all classic monopolies in violation of long-standing but rarely enforced antitrust laws. Their control over multiple huge platforms that they purchased enables them to punish and even destroy competitors, as we saw when Apple, Google and Amazon united to remove Parler from the internet forty-eight hours after leading Democrats demanded that action, right as Parler became the most-downloaded app in the country, or as Google suppresses Rumble videos in its dominant search feature as punishment for competing with Google's YouTube platform. Facebook and Twitter both suppressed reporting on the authentic documents about Joe Biden's business activities reported by The New York Post just weeks before the 2020 election. These social media giants also united to effectively remove the sitting elected President of the United States from the internet, prompting grave warnings from leaders across the democratic world about how anti-democratic their consolidated censorship power has become.

Pretending that this level of censorship is benevolent insults the intelligence of those who still have any.

Congress has taken no steps to curb the influence of these Silicon Valley giants because Facebook and Google drown the establishment wings of both parties with enormous amounts of cash and pay well-connected lobbyists who are friends and former colleagues of key lawmakers to use their D.C. influence to block reform. With the exception of a few stalwarts, neither party's ruling wing really has any objection to this monopolistic power as long as it is exercised to advance their own interests.

He continues:

And that is Facebook's only real political problem: not that they are too powerful but that they are not using that power to censor enough content from the internet that offends the sensibilities and beliefs of Democratic Party leaders and their liberal followers, who now control the White House, the entire executive branch and both houses of Congress. Haugen herself, now guided by long-time Obama operative Bill Burton, has made explicitly clear that her grievance with her former employer is its refusal to censor more of what she regards as “hate, violence and misinformation.” In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night, Haugen summarized her complaint about CEO Mark Zuckerberg this way: he “has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful and polarizing content gets more distribution and more reach." Haugen, gushed The New York Times’ censorship-desperate tech unit as she testified on Tuesday, is “calling for regulation of the technology and business model that amplifies hate and she’s not shy about comparing Facebook to tobacco.”

He calls it a craving for censorship. If you thought it was about preteen girls, you missed the point:

And this craving for censorship has been elevated into an even more urgent priority for their corporate media allies, due to the same belief that Facebook helped elect Trump but also because free speech on social media prevents them from maintaining a stranglehold on the flow of information by allowing ordinary, uncredentialed serfs to challenge, question and dispute their decrees or build a large audience that they cannot control. Destroying alternatives to their failing platforms is thus a means of self-preservation: realizing that they cannot convince audiences to trust their work or pay attention to it, they seek instead to create captive audiences by destroying or at least controlling any competitors to their pieties.

So, the liberal Democratic left has become totalitarian in its aspirations and its practices:

A Pew survey from August shows that Democrats now overwhelmingly support internet censorship not only by tech giants but also by the government which their party now controls. In the name of "restricting misinformation,” more than 3/4 of Democrats want tech companies "to restrict false info online, even if it limits freedom of information,” and just under 2/3 of Democrats want the U.S. Government to control that flow of information over the internet

As for activist Haugen, she serves a purpose:

What she provides, above all else, is a telegenic and seemingly informed “insider” face to tell Americans that Facebook is destroying their country and their world by allowing too much content to go uncensored, by permitting too many conversations among ordinary people that are, in the immortal worlds of the NYT's tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, “unfettered.”

One will leave the legal issues to lawyers. But clearly there are anti-trust problems here. And we now have a fearful Congress, led by censorious Democrats, who are trying to impose even more censorship on conservative speech. As always, kudos to Greenwald for having the courage to expose the truth:

There are real dangers posed by allowing companies such as Facebook and Google to amass the power they have now consolidated. But very little of the activism and anger from the media and Washington toward these companies is designed to fracture or limit that power. It is designed, instead, to transfer that power to other authorities who can then wield it for their own interests. The only thing more alarming than Facebook and Google controlling and policing our political discourse is allowing elites from one of the political parties in Washington and their corporate media outlets to assume the role of overseer, as they are absolutely committed to doing. Far from being some noble whistleblower, Frances Haugen is just their latest tool to exploit for their scheme to use the power of social media giants to control political discourse in accordance with their own views and interests.


Anonymous said...

Anyone with half a brain would avoid Facebook like the plague. Thus its popularity speaks volumes about the average person.

Sam L. said...

I don't do Facebook or Twitter. I'm old, and just don't care.
I trust nothing from the New York Slimes and the Washington Pooper, as they are in bed with the Democrats. I consider the GOP as the "GO Along to GET Along with the Dems" Party.

Sam L. said...

Yes, I'm old, and cranky, and GET OFF MY LAWN.