About Facebook "Jail"

Facebook suspends its members' ability to post and reply to comments for varying periods of time as a sanction for violating its terms of use. Current United States case-law precedent allows Facebook the last word on how and when to control what is said and published on its website, regardless of our first-amendment rights. Facebook is a private entity which is not subject to the same restraints on curtailing freedom of speech that the government is by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and correlating state constitutions.

Facebook calls its self-defined terms and rules of use its "community standards." They are published on its website and Facebook requires its users to obey them as a condition of being able to use its social-media platform. The enforcement of its“community standards by Facebook has been arbitrary and capricious. According to Forbes contributing writer, Peter Suciu, subject matter as innocent as military history, vintage advertisements, old comic books, antiques and even toys can somehow trigger Facebook to remove such subject matter and ban its contributing members from posting or commenting afterwards anywhere on the website - or even adjusting or making corrections to their Facebook account profiles (see https://www.forbes.com/sites/petersuciu/2020/06/08/delving-deeper-into-facebooks-murky-community-standards/ ).

I did three days of hard time in Facebook jail for negatively commenting on a racist photograph that somebody posted depicting a dust-bowl era Caucasian boy standing at the open door of an old-make automobile which had been handpainted to advertise that the owners would pay a $200 bounty per dozen "n-word" ears turned over to them. I wrote that the people who owned the vehicle probably didn't even have $2 to their name to begin with. Facebook said that it violated its community standards against hate speech for me to do so.  But, apparently, the posting of that racist photograph before by that other member did not. Here's the link to the Facebook post in question that got me into trouble: https://www.facebook.com/100025881515047/posts/653015075571204/

Prior to that, I was sent to Facebook jail for posting an image of the British national flag.  Facebook told me that it violated its community standards against "nudity." Go look up the British national flag on Google. See what you get and tell us whether or not you can recognize anything that even remotely resembles human nudity in it. 

I was given an option each time to object to both rulings, which I did. I very promptly received a flat response message each time advising that my objections had been noted, but that the rulings would stand. 

Once in "Facebook jail," one may not post or reply to comments on Facebook for the period of time the suspension is in effect.  Once the ruling is handed down by the Facebook gods, there is really no right or process to appeal it. Facebook censorship acts with lightning speed, and it is readily apparent that it involves computer algorithms and not actual human discretion. There is no telephone number that one may call to discuss it or anything else with a human being at Facebook. That is fundamentally unfair.

It has been strongly and convincingly argued that Facebook had an influence on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election (see https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/10/what-facebook-did/542502/). Given that very real possibility, we are forced to ask the inevitable question whether more government regulation should be imposed on Facebook and other such social-media giants to protect the public good than  already may be the case. If legitimate research has shown that Facebook could possibly influence public elections as its ownership sees fit, then why shouldn't we deploy government watch dogs on them, especially in election years? After all, it is also readily apparent that their influence on society has the potential of disadvantaging anyone whom they may wish to target via their ownership and control of this far-reaching social-media platform.

I have to admit that, on some personal level, having been put in "Facebook jail" on more than one occasion, it was highly satisfying for me to recall watching Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, sweat in front of Congress on national TV not too long ago. "Serves him right," I keep thinking. Facebook needs to put humans, and not its computers, in charge of its user-contributions censoring process.

I have owned and had control of my  own web holdings for about a decade before Facebook ever came into existence. I am also posting this to some of them (we'll see how long it stays up on Facebook, though). I am thankful that my means allow me to control my own web input, and that Facebook cannot unilaterally blot my voice out of existence entirely.


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Links to Some of My Facebook Essays & Stories




Vegetarianism:
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1391418911061166/

Hurricane Katrina:

https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1398922840310773/

I was almost kidnapped in the Mid -East: https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1390159564520434/

President Obama's Accomplishments: https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1377340252469032/

My Ghost Stories:
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1387067914829599/

The Parable of the Weeds (answer to life's problems):
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1397416220461435/

Racism in America:
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1403989633137427/?extid=rHgoRxBMcFMc69GL&d=n

Trump never served, but I did!
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1392488724287518/


The First Telephone Call to the Moon:
https://www.facebook.com/100005792109005/posts/1372055696330821/