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‘We want to delete more!’ Facebook must choose freedom of speech over censorship, if it still pretends to be ‘a platform’

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Keen observers of the ins and outs of Silicon Valley’s complicated relationship with freedom of expression may remember that last month a host of big corporations, including Disney, Ford and Adidas, pulled their adverts from the site in the biggest boycott ever of its kind.

This was sparked by a campaign called Stop Hate for Profit set up by several US civil rights groups in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. The group accuses Facebook of “profiteering from hate and misinformation” and has branded their policy on hate speech “vexing.” Now, as the month-long July boycott is due to end, some of Facebook’s own employees have urged companies to keep the pressure on their employer. Yes, Facebook's own employees want the company to make less money to make themselves feel better.

I suppose it takes a certain kind of person to want to be a “moderator” and those people are not likely to be free speech minded. If the job itself is censoring things, then it stands to reason it would appeal to censorious people. Those with an ardent commitment to freedom of expression simply wouldn’t do it, as they don’t see it as their place to police speech, but obviously these moderators do, and they want more power.

In pursuit of these greater powers a number of present and former moderators have spoken to The Guardian to urge companies not to recommence advertising on Facebook. A moderator still working at the company told the paper: “When it comes to our mental health, we would feel much better if we could delete more. One of the stressing factors is that we have to leave on the platform things that we think are harmful and plain evil. A lot of stress comes........

© RT.com

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