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Why is Hate-Filled Abuse ‘within Community Standards?” – EN

This is from the latest Evangelicals Now…
I find it a little ironic that it was posted on a day when I was subjected to a great deal of abuse because I dared to question a UK political spin doctor about the effectiveness of masks.  You would think that I had blasphemed!  Sadly social media and the general dumbing down and tribalisation of society means that the reaction to everything we disagree with is often anger and indeed violence.  When the social media giants set themselves up as judge and jury – whilst at the same time being the prime instigators and conduit for the mob – we are in deep trouble….

WHY IS HATE-FILLED ABUSE ‘WITHIN COMMUNITY STANDARDS’?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ (Who guards the guardians?) is the question the Roman poet Juvenal asked, at just about the same time as the New Testament church was rapidly expanding.

CommentDavid Robertson
Figure Image

It’s not often that Latin phrases come to mind (mainly because I know so few), but this one seems entirely appropriate for the increasing tendency we are seeing in our major internet platform providers to decide that they, and they alone, are the arbiters of truth.

I no longer put the word vaccine in the title of any article I write or podcast I produce, simply because whenever I do, Facebook will automatically put up a warning directing people to their ‘independent’ vaccine centre. YouTube announced at the end of September that they would ban any video which makes claims about any vaccine (not just Covid) which they regard as ‘misinformation’.

Dangerous hubris

In one sense this is understandable. The most ridiculous conspiracy theories are often widely circulated. So why shouldn’t the big tech giants stop the harm that they cause? Because the cure is worse than the disease. There is a way to deal with misinformation – tell the truth! Banning misinformation soon leads on to banning truth. Which is why the self-appointed guardians of truth in our post-truth age are so dangerous.

Firstly, there is the danger of having a single authoritative source, backed up by big money, which no one is permitted to question. What if that source is wrong? Facebook, YouTube and Twitter blocked articles several months ago which suggested that Covid 19 might have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. Their ‘independent’ fact checkers just knew that this was nonsense. Now it is considered to be the most likely source. Imagine if Facebook’s fact checkers had been around in Galileo’s day – they would have banned him for not going along with the experts!

The hubris of Big Tech thinking that they can arbitrate on every matter is astonishing. But that is not the only problem. Not only do we not have any individual or organisation which is omniscient (it may come as a shock to some young people – but Google does not know everything); we equally don’t have any organisation or individual who is pure or good. Google used to have a motto ‘Do no evil’, but that had to be dropped. The fact is that fact checkers are as biased and sinful as the rest of us.

Money, algorithms, and technology

Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. The nearest thing to absolute power in the 21st century are the few, mostly white male, tech multibillionaires, who operate out of California (and incidentally promote the ideology that being a white male is something to be repented of – except in their case). With their money, algorithms, and technology, they have enormous power and influence. Twitter has decided for example that to ‘misgender’ someone is a serious crime deserving banning – yet every day on Twitter I read hate-filled abuse which is considered to be ‘within our community standards’. I was once banned from Twitter for suggesting that abortion was killing babies. Yet those who called me ‘some creepy, old, fat, misogynistic, religious nut who makes me want to puke’ were considered acceptable.

There is also the power of money. I was recently sent an advert for a book called Let Harry Become Sally which purported to be the other side of the story portrayed by the socially conservative political philosopher Ryan T. Anderson in When Harry Became Sally, a book that is critical of modern transgender theory. When I went to Amazon to have a look and possibly purchase – I discovered that whilst Let Harry Become Sally was for sale, the book which it was supposed to answer was banned. The ability to buy, sell or advertise will be restricted to those whose ‘facts’ fit the progressive agenda. As will the ability to fundraise.

Covid vaccines and transgender ideology are not the only criteria the ‘fact’ checkers will focus on. Soon we will find that those who question any aspect of the climate change ideology will be subject to ‘fact checking’. If they don’t go along with the prevailing orthodoxy they will be out.

Knowing how little we know

What about in the church? Surely as the ‘pillar and foundation of the truth’, we want truth? The difference for us is that we accept that all truth is God’s truth, and we are not fazed by ‘facts’ which seem to contradict any of our beliefs, because we know how limited we are in terms of knowledge, and we know that there is a bigger picture. Whereas the fact checkers of the global media corporations consider themselves as the ultimate fount of all knowledge, we have the privilege of knowing how little we know, and knowing the One who really is omniscient.

Not least we must follow the injunction of Paul in Romans 12:2: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

PS.  As an example of this – I have just put up a video on YouTube – speaking about Romans 8.  It mentions Climate Change – so YouTube immediately put up a link to that notoriously unreliable source, Wikipedia, with this claim “Climate change includes both human-induced global warming and its large-scale impacts on weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known events in Earth’s history”.  This latter statement is highly questionable….however even if it were true why do YouTube feel it necessary to post this on my video?  When did they become the arbiter of everything?

Dear Twitter – Why Have You Banned Me?

IS IT TIME TO REVISIT THE CONCEPTS OF SABBATH AND SUNDAY? – Evangelicals Now

13 comments

  1. David, you are spot on with what you have said. Like countless others I’ve had a post deleted from FB because I spoke up for the defense of our primary children.
    The other sad aspect of all this, is that the church has lost its voice, or willingly bows the knee to P C..

  2. Soon we will find that those who question any aspect of the climate change ideology will be subject to ‘fact checking’.
    That’s already happening.
    Just a few examples:
    Facebook Fact Checkers Just Censored Peer Reviewed Science
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/22/facebook-fact-checkers-just-censored-peer-reviewed-science/
    Facebook Removed False Label After Scientists Said Climate ‘Alarmist’ Fact Checkers Are Targeting Them
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/25/facebook-removed-false-label-after-scientists-said-climate-alarmist-fact-checkers-are-targeting-them/
    How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/30/how-google-and-msm-use-fact-checkers-to-flood-us-with-fake-claims/

  3. Some forms of power corrupt but only those that are without love. Same goes for the desire to have power. Power without love is reckless and abusive. Love without power is sentimental an anaemic.

    Getting it right with love being the best form of power that demands justice and opposes anything that is not love is a tricky business. But not impossible with God!

  4. “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter blocked articles several months ago which suggested that Covid 19 might have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. Their ‘independent’ fact checkers just knew that this was nonsense. Now it is considered to be the most likely source. ”
    If social media and governments lied about this how can we trust them on the other information they convey on mask wearing, vaccine safety etc?

  5. I’m firmly of the opinion that Facebook’s Community Standards are whatever they think they are at any point in time. I’ve given up reporting posts or videos that are questionable at best because you always get the same answer.

  6. Yes, David, you were “subjected to a great deal of [sic. “some”] abuse because [you] dared to question a UK political spin doctor about the effectiveness of masks.” You are right. That is simply not acceptable. And you do sometimes point out that this is not reasonable behaviour. But sometimes, David, your own responses to comments which are not abusive but which question your sources or your argument or your conclusions do not seem helpful or wise. Is Twitter itself a good place for us to throw a bomb like “What REALLY happened at Wuhan” if we want to get people to think about Jesus?

    1. Yes – because it shows the sinfulness of humanity – and therefore our need. Because all truth is God’s truth. And because Christians reflect their Maker by showing love and concern for all humankind.

  7. Interesting, isn’t it, that we must not question a man’s comments on issues but “they” can challenge God’s with impunity (at a human and legal level). They don’t realise that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the holy God. How long will He be patient with our generation. Oh, for a revival – or the Lord’s return.

  8. There is very simple option available to anyone who dislikes the worldview of platforms like Facebook/Twitter etc – don’t use it.

    1. Unfortunately the worldview of platforms like Facebook/Twitter etc reflects the worldview of western governments.

  9. A top paid BBC journalist, Stephen Nolan, has done some great podcasts looking at Stonewall. Those are worth looking up. He seems to possibly have been warned against upsetting anyone at the BBC.

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