Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Facebook Bans Jussie Wrongthink

For most of today, Facebook would not let readers share my TAC post on the actor's fake hate crime, based on its 'community standards' banning hate speech

Facebook will not allow its users to read my commentary on Jussie Smollett’s apparent hate hoax. 

Facebook will apparently not allow its users to say that police believe Smollett, a black gay actor, may have paid his two “assailants” to attack him last month, and blamed it on white Trump supporters — this, even though that is being reported by multiple national media outlets.

A friend posted this on his Facebook account:

The link below on my wall is to Rod Dreher’s blog post that has been blocked by FB for “violating community standards,” if you can believe it. So, what I did was create a tiny url of it just to see how long it stays up.  If FB blocks it, I am outta here, and I hope some of you will join me.  The type of soft totalitarianism that this company employs in order to silence dissent runs counter to the underlying purpose of communication: to speak and learn the truth. That, of course, means that we may stumble once and a while, which is what I have done on occasion. However, as long as we welcome correction and issue it with charity to others, we all benefit. FB, by short-circuiting that process in the name of protecting a particular “narrative,” harms us all.  Growth, whether spiritual or intellectual, sometimes requires that we hear and see things that not only challenge our cherished beliefs, but cause us real emotional pain. To try to purposely avoid such incidents is to advance the cause of ignorant docility. It is at bottom, paradoxically, inhumane.

Facebook did, in fact, block his tiny url link to my comment.

I didn’t much use my Facebook account, so it wasn’t a big deal to delete it, which I did this morning after seeing what Team Zuckerberg did. I invite all of you to consider what it means when Facebook will prevent its users from discussing facts and drawing conclusions that do not reflect well on preferred progressive narratives.

I fully support Facebook or any other social medium having a policy of banning certain material (porn, neo-Nazi propaganda, etc.). But when you can’t talk about hate hoaxes in general, or about a celebrated hate hoax in particular? Presumably my blog post violated Facebook’s “hate speech” prohibition (I can’t find any of their other Community Standards that it might have violated). Facebook’s policy on “hate speech” is here. This, I suppose, is what my blog post violated:

But the entire reason for the post is new evidence indicating that Jussie Smollett was NOT a victim of a hate crime, but rather faked a hate crime!

Just after typing that line, the same friend who sent out the tiny url blocked by Facebook texted to say that Facebook is no longer blocking my Jussie Smollett post. If true, that’s good news — but the fact that FB blocked it in the first place is a very troubling sign. I’m not going to reinstate my account. I’m done with Facebook.




Want to join the conversation?

Subscribe for as little as $5/mo to start commenting on Rod’s blog.

Join Now