Zero Hedge reports on one of Rock & Roll’s heroes acting like a hero.
Pink Floyd song writer Roger Waters slammed Mark Zuckerberg during a press conference recently, announcing that the Facebook owner had offered a “huge, huge amount of money” to use the iconic song Another Brick In The Wall Part II in an advert for Instagram.
Speaking at an event to raise awareness about imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Waters noted the deep deep irony of Facebook wanting to buy and use a song that rails against ‘thought control’ and mindless conformity.
Waters described the development as part of Zuckerberg’s “insidious movement… to take over absolutely everything.”
Waters read out Facebook’s request, which noted “We want to thank you for considering this project. We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and so necessary today, which speaks to how timeless the work is.”
“And yet, they want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram more powerful than it already is,” Waters urged, adding “so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out into the general public so the general public can go, ‘What? No. No More.’”
“So it’s a missive from Mark Zuckerberg to me… with an offer of a huge, huge amount of money and the answer is, ‘f**k you! No f**king way!’,” Waters boomed to rapturous applause.
“I will not be a party to this bullsh-t, Zuckerberg,” Waters added.
He then asked “How did this little pr**k, who started off going, ‘She’s pretty, we’ll give her a four out of five. She’s ugly, we’ll give her a one’… How the f**k did he get any power in anything?”
“And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world,” Waters emphasized.
Last night, as soon as I pasted in the URL for this John Derbyshire post on the Derek Chauvin verdict and hit POST, instantly, up popped a “THIS VIOLATES FACEBOOK COMMUNITY STANDARDS AND CANNNOT BE POSTED” notice.
Well, I have a work around: the URL to my post quoting Derbyshire will upload.
The jury’s verdict itself was absurd. Derek Chauvin did nothing wrong. The best case here was made by retired lawyer Harold Cameron over at Revolver News a week before the verdict came out:
When Floyd continued resisting arrest after being placed in handcuffs, Chauvin didn’t beat him with a baton. He didn’t taze him. He didn’t put in him a chokehold. He put one knee on what the prosecution is now optimistically calling Floyd’s “neck area” and waited for the ambulance to come save Floyd’s life … The worst that could be said is that he didn’t simply let Floyd go because he was still complaining about being unable to breath, just as he had been since the beginning of the encounter. The state’s case so far boils down to a collection of experts equating that to murder.
Hamilton also reminds us of the size discrepancy between Chauvin, who weighs a slight 140 lbs., and Floyd, 230 lbs. and all pepped up on chemical stimulants. If you have ever been involved in a close-quarters struggle for physical mastery with another adult, you’re impressed that Chauvin managed to subdue Floyd.
In the famous kneeling video, Chauvin has a look of being somewhat pleased with himself. I would have been, too.
Aside from that look of muted pride, I thought from the beginning, and still think, that Chauvin did not at all have the appearance of someone who was aware he was doing something wrong.
Come on: If you are doing something grossly wrong, something that might end another person’s life, you know you are, and it will show.
Chauvin’s entire affect in that video was of someone who’s done an unpleasant job, and believes he’s done it rather well.
He quoted several phrases taken from those instructions, which Judge Cahill in turn took from the statutes under which Chauvin was charged, and asked:
Did the prosecution really prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Chauvin “intentionally inflicted substantial bodily harm”? That he was “perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life”? That he “consciously [took] chances of causing death or great bodily harm”? Was this “[un]reasonable force in the line of duty in effecting a lawful arrest or preventing an escape from custody”?
Jared, ever the punctilious gentleman and scholar, added: “I wasn’t in the courtroom, so I can’t answer these questions …”
But he knows perfectly well, of course, that they answer themselves: No, absolutely not.
So, to quote from Lady Ann, another virgin has been tossed into the volcano to appease the hungry god.
Back in 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton ’17, in This Side of Paradise described “The Yale Thing” this way:
“I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”
“I’m one, you know.”
“Oh, you’re different.” I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic,” you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors”
“And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor.
They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.
The Yale man in fiction was typically portrayed as an All-American, square-shooting man-of-action, along the lines of Frank Merriwell, Dink Stover, Flash Gordon, and even Bruce Wayne.
The modern ascendancy of leftism can **** up anything, even the Yale identity.
On Facebook, some self-appointed younger alumni (nearly all female) and some Albertus grad who merely works at Yale set up and run the “Yale Alumni Group.”
Typically, that group has a rules regime created by sanctimonious left-wing goo-goos.
1. Agree to Abide by the Rules of this Group by Joining it
By joining this group, you agree to abide by its policies below and understand that group Admins and moderators will enforce those policies at their discretion.
This page is heavily monitored. Posts that do not contribute to alumni community-building or are determined to be antagonistic, racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise rude or insulting, will be deleted and the user may be muted, blocked and/or banned from the group immediately without notice.
In other words: Surrender your free speech rights at the door.
2. No Hate Speech, Bullying, Insulting or Rude Language
This page is heavily monitored. Posts that do not contribute to alumni community-building or are determined to be antagonistic, racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise rude or insulting, will be deleted and the user may be muted, blocked and/or banned from the group immediately without notice. …
6. Be Kind and Courteous. Like at Yale.
We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let’s treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required. …”
“Be Kind and Courteous. Like at Yale.”? What Yale is that? Not the Yale I was at. The Yale I knew was full of intensely competitive, sharp-tongued young men with a talent for cutting remarks who were not inclined to suffer fools and simps gladly.
Obviously, the more recent Yale has been sensitized and feminized, neutered and house broken, and politically corrected and pansified to a fare-thee-well.
Yalies today clearly do not wear big blue sweaters and smoke pipes, they get tattoos and piercings and emote a lot. They are not a bit reminiscent of November. They are like a sticky, humid day in August in the rainy season in a Third World swamp.
Over the last 48 hours, that Facebook Yale Alumni group featured a thread started by a typical female specimen who wanted advice about how to cope with “bullying and intimidation” when “speaking truth to power” at an upcoming meeting of some unnamed non-profit board.
It seemed obvious to me that anybody who started off telling you they enjoyed some sort of privileged possession of the truth, and who regarded debate and disagreement as “bullying and intimidation” was a deluded and outrageously self-entitled nuisance with a penchant for posing as a victim. I thought all this cowardice about facing oppositional speech and eagerness to play the victim card was decidedly unbecoming in a graduate of Dear Old Yale and consequently a card-carrying member of the national elite, and said as much. I carefully phrased all my observations as blandly and politely as possible (knowing perfectly well that censorship was a hair-trigger away).
A number of other females rushed immediately to her defense, accusing me of “mansplaining,” not entirely inaccurately describing me as “arrogant and insufferable,” and demanding that I check my white male privilege.
I responded with this poster meme:
Within a few minutes, when I went to read the responses, I found that all of my comments had been purged.
Having taken great care to avoid any actual pejoratives or colorful expression, I was much annoyed. I had drink taken as well, and I lost my temper. I sat down and wrote a posting specifically insulting the group’s management characterizing their sexual proclivities and existential status and urging them to commit obscene acts, some actually impossible. I’m afraid my boyhood roots in a mining town in the Hard Coal Region came out under provocation.
Not surprisingly, a minute later, I was no longer a member of the Facebook Yale Alumni Group.
But I’m not done with those wee slinkit cowerin’ beasties. My next step will be to create a Free Speech Yale Alumni Group on Facebook.
Big tech has launched an unprecedented and coordinated cyber attack on President Donald Trump and his 74,000,000 voters.
As this was happening — the GOP was dead silent.
On Friday, Twitter permanently banned hundreds, if not thousands, of Trump supporters and prominent allies — before banning the president himself. Nearly every account that helped to promote the Stop the Steal rallies or challenge the election results were banned, including Ali Alexander, Michael Coudrey, Gen. Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood. Countless smaller accounts that supported the president were also getting suspended in a seemingly constant rate.
The same has been happening over on Facebook and Instagram.
TRENDING: BREAKING: Twitter Bans President Donald Trump — PERMANENTLY
At the same time, Parler was warned by both the Apple and Google stores that if they did not impose moderation on their free speech platform within 24 hours they would be banned entirely.
The Trump campaign is now blocked from emailing their millions of supporters after being suspended by their email service provider.
The suspension comes shortly after President Donald Trump and his campaign were permanently banned from Twitter.
The email service, Campaign Monitor, confirmed the suspension of the account to Financial Times’ Dave Lee.
The Nationalist Review reports “the move effectively cuts off communication between his team and his core supporters. What is not clear however, is what other services have banned his team. The Trump campaign sends out a massive amount of emails—33 in January so far. But, it has been 48 hours since the campaign has reached out to its supporters via email, prompting most journalists to speculate that other providers have shut off access as well.”
Snapchat locked Trump’s account.
Shopify removed Trump’s organization and campaign store.
Michelle Obama called on all tech companies to ban President Trump.
Facebook deleted the Walk Away movement page, including 500,000 Walk Away testimonials.
Twitter banned General Flynn.
Twitter banned Sidney Powell.
Google’s YouTube terminated Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast while 500,000 were watching in real-time.
Twitter permanently banned President Trump’s personal account.
The Gateway Pundit says that Twitter banned hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other lesser-known sites that challenged election results.
The Trump campaign’s email service has banned the campaign from its platform.
a lot of people have said for a long time that conservatives should leave those hostile, censorious platforms. There are free speech alternatives, most notably Parler (a Twitter alternative), Me-We (a Facebook alternative), Gab (another Twitter alternative), and Rumble (a YouTube alternative). Considering that we are the product, why in the world were we giving ourselves away for free?
And finally, on Friday, Trump apparently did go to Parler. The tech giants, though, were ready. Because Parler is a bulletin board, not a publisher, it does not moderate “parleys.” Google has therefore removed Parler from the App store for “user safety.” Apple is threatening to do the same unless Parler starts acting like the other tech companies and censors speech Democrats find offensive. Amazon is also making noises about deplatforming Parler.
This is what happens when private enterprise becomes the town square. It seemed to make sense in a time when the mainstream media was manifestly biased. It never occurred to people that the tech corporations would be just as biased, only with even more power. We currently have a situation in all the President has no avenues of communication because corporations have silenced him. Joseph McCarthy was a piker compared to today’s Democrats.
My classmate, Chicago Law Professor Charles Lipson, is justifiably indignant at the shameless partisan behavior of the Establishment Media and the Social Media giants.
[T]he Biden familyâ€™s corruption as part of th[e] entrenched system is why the social-media censorship of that story should not be seen as a separate, stand-alone scandal. It is integral to understanding how the Swampâ€™s ecosystem operations, how it defines our politics.
Twitter and Facebook have prevented dissemination of the Post story on their platforms. The reason, they say, is that they have not substantiated it themselves. They decided to block all users, including members of Congress and the Presidentâ€™s press secretary, from sharing links to these published stories. Big Tech Knows Best.
Remember, this story was published by a major newspaper, a reputable one with a large circulation, subject to libel and defamation laws. Notice that the Biden presidential campaign has not denied the documents are authentic. They did deny, sort of, one item in one email, namely that VP Biden met with a Burisma executive, despite years of denying any involvement with Hunterâ€™s business dealings. The campaign issued a carefully worded statement, saying only that the vice president had not listed on his official schedule any meeting with a senior Burisma official for the day in question. Later, they acknowledged that there were long gaps in the schedule and that a meeting could have taken place. Maybe it did; maybe it didnâ€™t. We just donâ€™t know as yet. We do know, quite apart from these emails, that VP Biden met with his sonâ€™s Chinese business contacts without listing them on his â€˜official scheduleâ€™.
The New York Post has disclosed a great deal about its sourcing for these Biden stories, far more than other newspapers did when they published anonymously-sourced attacks on Trump. The social media giants didnâ€™t block those. It didnâ€™t even block discredited stories, like one from BuzzFeed that was demolished with an unprecedented public statement from Robert Muellerâ€™s Office of Special Counsel. Today, you can post links to that discredited story on Facebook or Twitter. If you are an Iranian or Chinese propaganda ministry, you can post your stories, too.
To put it bluntly: the â€˜verification standardâ€™ isnâ€™t standard and doesnâ€™t require verification unless the social-media czars say it does. It should be called the Alice in Wonderland Standard. â€˜â€œWhen I use a word,â€ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, â€œit means just what I choose it to mean â€” neither more nor less.â€ â€œThe question is,â€ said Alice, â€œwhether you can make words mean so many different things.â€â€™ And so it is with Facebook and Twitterâ€™s â€˜verification standardâ€™.
Why did Twitter and Facebook blackout news about Hunter Biden? The obvious answer is that those companies have a dog in the fight, and they are walking behind him with a giant pooper-scooper. Itâ€™s impossible to say if they picked that dog for ideological or financial reasons. Perhaps both. Most employees favor Biden, while higher-level executives want to preserve their networks of political power and influence. Both motives point in the same direction.
Trump has framed this New York Post story and its suppression on social media by saying â€˜Biden is corruptâ€™ and â€˜Big Tech is biasedâ€™. Heâ€™s right, of course, but he should go further. Oddly, he is overlooking the very idea he has campaigned on since 2015. Biden, Burisma, Chinese banks, Twitter and Facebook are all faces of the Washington Swamp. Next week, the faces may be different, but the Swamp itself will be the same. The buyers and sellers who populate this fetid ecosystem have powerful reasons to sustain it. For some, that means taking payments from foreign oligarchs and then opening doors for them. For others, that means suppressing news about who opened the doors and why. That is exactly what Big Tech is doing now. They, like the politicians they are protecting, want to retain their power and line their pockets. In Washington, thatâ€™s the Circle of Life.
Last month, on Facebook, in the course of a heated political discussion, I responded to an interlocutor’s uncomplimentary remarks by referring to him as “a white trash communist.” Facebook immediately took his side and froze my account for 30 days.
There was nothing new here. Pretty much any insult to liberals or liberal shibboleths will incur the wrath of Facebook’s zampolit censors. They start with 24 hours, then give you a week, and after a few offenses it’s 30 Days in the Hole for you.
Like many other outspoken conservatives, I responded simply by rolling up a second pseudononymous account. It only required a second email address and phone number.
My 30-Day suspension runs on until mid-month, and lo and behold! on Monday, I shared the above anti-BLM meme, and my second account was immediately punished with 7 Days for violating Community Standards with “hate speech.”
I’m out of extra phone numbers, and Facebook has evidently gotten wise to dissidents like myself creating alternative accounts. My attempts at creating Account 3 all failed.
All this has had the positive effect of bringing me to my senses. I’ve been wasting a few hours every day creating content for Mark Zuckerberg for free, responding like a laboratory rat to the positive reinforcement of “likes” and comments from friends, and indulging my argumentative disposition by correcting the fallacies of liberals. Not only is Facebook an incredible time sink, supporting it really amounts to accepting tacitly the petty dictatorship of Zuckerberg and his apparatchik nincompoops.
This is it for me. I will, henceforward, skim Facebook for new blog fodder, cynically use it to promote Never Yet Melted by linking posts, and that’s it. I’m otherwise posting, commenting, or sharing nothing. Mark Zuckerberg go screw yourself!
Facebook makes sure that the same rules against violating liberal taboos are evenhandedly applied to people on the left, right, or center. Western Journal:
A powerful player on Facebookâ€™s new content oversight board infamously mocked Barron Trump during last yearâ€™s impeachment hearings, sowing doubt in the social media platformâ€™s promises of unbiased moderation.
The selection of Pamela Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School, was announced Wednesday by Facebook, according to CNBC.
Karlan will sit alongside 19 other experts and professionals on a board created by the social media giant to help police content.
â€œIt is our ambition and goal that Facebook not decide elections, not be a force for one point of view over another, but the same rules will apply to people of left, right and center,â€ Michael McConnell, one of the boardâ€™s co-chairs, told reporters, according to CNBC.
[A] small newspaper, based out of Liberty, a Texas town of 75,000 outside of Houston, planned to post the Declaration of Independence on Facebook in 12 daily installments leading up to the Fourth of July â€” 242 years since the document was adopted at the Second Continental Congress in 1776.
But on the 10th day, the Vindicatorâ€™s latest installment was removed by Facebook. The company told the newspaper that the particular passage, which included the phrase â€œmerciless Indian Savages,â€ went against its â€œstandards on hate speech,â€ the newspaper wrote.
The story about how Facebook had censored one of the United Statesâ€™ founding texts on the grounds that it was hate speech has traveled around the world. And it is another glaring example of how the mechanisms that tech companies use to regulate user content â€” many of which involve algorithms and other automated processes â€” can result in embarrassing errors. Facebook uses a mix of human work and technological efforts to moderate its content.
Facebook has since apologized to the Vindicator and restored the newspaperâ€™s post.
â€œThe post was removed by mistake and restored as soon as we looked into it,â€ the company said in a statement distributed by spokeswoman Sarah Pollack. â€œWe process millions of reports each week, and sometimes we get things wrong.â€
Hilarious, of course. Just imagine the embarrassment in Menlo Park.
But, not really surprising, considering Silicon Valley’s aggressive Politically Correct Intolerance and its penchant for Diversity in hiring. Why should anyone expect a recent Comp Sci graduate originating from Dehli or Damascus or Guangzhou to recognize the text of the Declaration, or identify 18th Century English, by sight?
It seems to me that the inconsistency of the policy is also intellectually even more embarrassing. In the end, Thomas Jefferson (for now) gets a pass. You and I don’t, and outside Facebook, people of the same mentality are right now pulling down statues of formerly sacred heroes from Christopher Columbus to Robert E. Lee to William McKinley.
We were especially surprised by this action as neither prior to this seemingly arbitrary act of censorship, nor since, were we contacted by Facebook with an explanation of what “community standard” had been violated or what particular filter or article had triggered the blanket rejection of all Zero Hedge content.
To be sure, as a for-profit enterprise with its own unique set of corporate “ethics”, Facebook has every right to impose whatever filters it desires on the media shared on its platform. It is entirely possible that one or more posts was flagged by Facebook’s “triggered” readers who merely alerted a censorship algo which blocked all content.
Alternatively, it is just as possible that Facebook simply decided to no longer allow its users to share our content in retaliation for our extensive coverage of what some have dubbed the platform’s “many problems”, including chronic privacy violations, mass abandonment by younger users, its gross and ongoing misrepresentation of fake users, ironically – in retrospect – its systematic censorship and back door government cooperation (those are just links from the past few weeks).
Unfortunately, as noted above, we still don’t know what event precipitated this censorship, and any attempts to get feedback from the company with the $500 billion market cap, have so far remained unanswered.
We would welcome this opportunity to engage Facebook in a constructive dialog over the company’s decision to impose a blanket ban on Zero Hedge content. Alternatively, we will probably not lose much sleep if that fails to occur: unlike other websites, we are lucky in that only a tiny fraction of our inbound traffic originates at Facebook, with most of our readers arriving here directly without the aid of search engines (Google banned us from its News platform, for reasons still unknown, shortly after the Trump victory) or referrals.
That said, with Facebook increasingly under political, regulatory and market scrutiny for its arbitrary internal decisions on what content to promote and what to snuff, its ever declining user engagement, and its soaring content surveillance costs, such censorship is hardly evidence of the platform’s “openness” to discourse, its advocacy of free speech, or its willingness to listen to and encourage non-mainstream opinions, even if such “discourse” takes place in some fake user “click farm” somewhere in Calcutta.
Republicans like myself normally defend Big Corporations against government regulations and anti-trust prosecution. I’m planning to make a special exception for Facebook.