On Sunday, Joy Reid devoted part of AM Joy to discussing the impact (if any) of Facebook banning individual white nationalists from its platforms. It seems that now they've shown up in the Mueller report as a factor in Russia's election interference, Zuckerburg is feeling the heat. Of course, Facebook's official response to this is to act like they've ALWAYS banned hate speech, and this is nothing NEW or divergent from the policies they've ALWAYS held to. To hear their spokesperson talk, anyway...
"We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology," a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today."
Suuuuure ya have. Just as extensive as the process Facebook uses to ban Black people who talk about white supremacy, riiiight? Please.
Anyhow, Reid had Shireen Mitchell, founder of Stop Online Violence Against Women and Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America on her panel to assess the impact of this latest Facebook move. She started off with the Mueller report's findings that the Russia-based Internet Research Agency infiltrated Facebook and Instagram to the tune of 126 million people, in an attempt to "use psychographic tricks to get people to vote for Trump or not vote at all" in 2016. Reid asked Mitchell if they should worry more about that than banning individual white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
Reid then asked Carusone what thought tech companies should do about this, and his answer showed just how much damage is done when tech companies bow to the wishes of "conservatives" (white supremacists) who complain about censorship. Furthermore, he illustrated that while it seemed super easy for "conservatives" to get what they want just by complaining, in order to get just a modicum of fairness for the people who were harmed by the actions of these white supremacists it took a great deal of mobilization on the part of activists and civil rights organizations.
Of course, in order to adequately monitor its sites, these companies will have to hire and rely upon actual human beings, and not just algorithms. But that will cost them money, and we all know that's the bottom line for the richest men in the world.