Douglas Andrews / July 7, 2021

Facebook’s Obsession With ‘Extremists’

The social media giant is testing new ways to censor speech it doesn’t like.

RedState editor Kira Davis got the message. So did Newsmax’s John Cardillo. And Virginia State House delegate Nick Freitas. And writer and commentator Alex Berenson. But, strangely, no one on the Left appears to have gotten it. Nope, none of those folks from the anti-America party — the party of kneelers, rioters, statue-topplers, and assorted race-baiters and haters of the “wealthy white men” who founded this great nation.

The “it,” in this case, is an Orwellian notification from Facebook that seems to have been directed at conservatives but not progressives. The message reads: “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist? We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”

Below that is a call to action: “How you can help: Hear stories and get advice from people who escaped violent extremist groups,” followed by a clickable “Get Support” button.

Not the Bee has catalogued the various if-then scenarios being deployed by Facebook to keep you safe from the extremists in your life.

It seems like overkill, though — if you’ll pardon the violent extremism — if the goal is to root out those 22 violent extremists that Joe Biden keeps talking about when he says, “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today.” But then again, we thought it was overkill when Facebook exorcised its Donald Trump demons by banning him from its platform for at least two years. Same with its deployment of circular “fact-checks” for every bit of COVID-19 news its leftist censors didn’t agree with.

In any case, Facebook, in addition to allowing you to lord it over your “friends” about just how smart your kids are, or how clever your cat is, or how great that trip to the lake was, is now encouraging folks to rat out their friends for wrongthink and other potential thought crimes. Nice.

As Cardillo quipped: “This just popped up when I checked my Facebook app. And you doubt the NSA is illegally spying on Tucker Carlson and every other conservative?”

And if it’s really extremists they’re looking for, former lefty Dave Rubin announced that he’s on the case: “I just reported AOC, Omar and Tlaib,” he tweeted.

Or, as Berenson put it: “Yeah, I’m becoming an extremist. An anti-Facebook extremist. ‘Confidential help is available?’ Who do they think they are? Either they’re a publisher and a political platform legally liable for every bit of content they host, or they need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY. Zuck’s choice.”

This, in a nutshell, is the conservative argument against Facebook’s constant suppression of speech that its thought police find fearful. It’s either a publisher or a platform, but it shouldn’t be allowed the privileges of both.

Relaaax, say the good folks at Facebook. All this is only a test.

“This test,” they say, “is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk. We are partnering with NGO’s and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”

More to share in the future, eh? We can’t wait.

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