It’s bad enough our freedoms are slowing dissolving in this once great land. I don’t have to look any further than the government continually trying to take away our right to bear arms or the TSA and their disregard for the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution as they conduct illegal search and seizure without probably cause. Guess the government considers many of terrorist, based purely on what we say.
That leads to this story about Facebook and their censorship for “irrelevant or inappropriate” comments. So much for freedom of speech and it was really only a matter of time before they started cracking down on a very touchy subject. Facebook claims they are “working to create a safe and clean environment on its corner of the web by shutting down abusive or harassing behavior, content such as pornography, or general spamming of the system” (source). Much like the article says, I don’t understand how pornography and spam on the same level of comments posted on Facebook.
What offends an individual on Facebook is going to be subjective. I have seen quite a bit of “questionable” pages that could easily fall under soft pornography. Yet none of those pages have been shut down to my knowledge. There are times I read, what could be construed as “abusive comments” but why censor them? This was one of the main reasons I didn’t want to get into the social networking. I don’t want Big Brother looking over my shoulder telling me what I can and cannot post. Facebook’s explanation was “To protect the millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day.”
I find the Facebook ads offensive everyday I log on to their system. I hide the ad and list the reason as “offensive.” Why not? Like many sites I visit I don’t like their ads spamming my screen, yet Facebook won’t block any of those “ads” as they continue to data mine more information in order to tailor those ads to your likes and dislikes. Unfortunately their ads bring in revenue, so they will never go away.
As for the censoring of comments, Robert Scoble (the individual at the cent er of this) spoke to Facebook PR, “They say what actually happened is my comment was classified as spam. He further said that this was a “false positive” because my comment was one that Facebook doesn’t want to block.” Facebook can spin this however they want, but censorship is wrong. Here is another story from last April about Facebook’s censorship.