Although I know that powerful social media platforms are out to block and ban people who say things they do not like, being blocked myself has a different taste to it.
The story began yesterday when I posted an article titled “The Fascism that is coming” and illustrated it with a swastika.
The censorship began soon after the article was posted on my Facebook profile and pages. First, they blocked my profile and about an hour later my two other pages.
I did not know the magnitude of the ban until I received a message from Facebook saying they had blocked my account for 24 hours, and threatened with blocking all three accounts for 72 more hours should I post anything else that violated their community standards.
Since Facebook did not specify what exactly their standards were or how I had violated them, I asked them to review the decision. They responded rather quickly, only to inform that the ban would stand.
After the block was put on my accounts, I was no longer able to post anything on my timeline. They also blocked me from liking posts, commenting or sharing anything posted by my contacts or friends.
Facebook’s ban of my accounts clearly proved my point on Fascism
Social Media are not meant to be channels to have significant discussions about politics, faith or ideology. Their community guidelines are blurry at best, and censorship can be imposed without any explanation.
In the case of Facebook and my post on fascism, the explanation as to why I was blocked was vague. “You violated our community standards”. That does not say much, does it?
Facebook is not obligated to tell me what word, sentence or image caused them to block posts, likes or shares. I do not even think there are humans behind the decision to block or ban speech, though guidelines and algorithms are indeed created by human censors to supposedly protect snowflakes who may feel offended.
In my case, the content of my article most likely fell into one of the 6 categories that they use to ban speech.
I suspect that it went through the filters of the “objectionable content” category. Why? Because this is the section that makes it the easiest for Facebook to tell you that violations to their standards have been committed without having to prove anything.
In the article that apparently triggered Facebook to block my accounts, I began by using Winston Churchill’s words on fascism.
Churchill said that “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists”. Many years have passed since he wrote that sentence and here we are, in the future he predicted.
A social media platform can block someone’s free speech temporarily or permanently, because its guidelines prohibit the use of certain words or the display of certain images, even if the point you are making is against fascism itself. Facebook and Google, to cite two examples, are the fascists that Churchill warned us about.
In the eyes of many closet fascists, free speech is good as long as it does not offend their beliefs. Speech is only defensible if it complies with rules made up by fascists in social media organizations.
Modern fascism, as I pointed out, is no longer the use of the State by private interests to further their agendas. They have already achieved that goal. Fascism in the 21st century is that of the collective.
This new fascism is what many people call democracy, the rule of the mob, on behalf of whom fascist leaders justify taking away our free speech.
The establishment of this new form of fascism is done in the name of “protecting” the ignorant masses. God forbid they see a swastika! Oh, gosh, I just said God. I bet they will ban that, too.
Unfortunately, banning free speech is not something new or a trend that is supported only by social media giants. Traditional news media often promote and encourage censorship.
Television reporters and talking heads demand that alternative media be taken off the air and that people who think differently, critically, be censored, forever.
According to AJ Willingham, a CNN writer, freedom of speech can be selectively protected. She says not all cases of censorship are about free speech.
In an article, she states that free speech protections only apply when it comes to the government banning speech, not when private corporations do it. She forgets that since corporations already own the State, the First Amendment does apply to corporate censorship of free speech.
Censorship also runs deep into the veins of politicians who wish they could ban free speech once and for all. This is the case of Democratic Representative Ted Lieu.
The California United States Air Force veteran explained on CNN that if given the choice, he “would love to be able to regulate the content of speech”.
Today’s fascism is not proclaimed fascist. Instead, it is sold as democracy. This is so partly because the word “fascism” continues to provoke widespread rejection and also because it appeals to one of the definitions of democracy, the most partial, so partial that it borders on falsehood: a government of the majority.
With its ban on my speech, Facebook proved to be a fascists organization that prevents journalists from bringing real news to people who are hungry to learn what they cannot find on mainstream media.