As 2020 continues to spiral into some Orwellian nightmare, one of the world’s premier social media networks is threatening to silence American voices should the coming elections’ results cause unrest.
Facebook has long held a controversial place in American politics, beginning during the election cycle of 2016 when the platform appeared to be openly discriminating against conservative news aggregators and political personalities. Now, 4 years later, the social media magnates are catching flak for their hands-off approach to fact-checking political advertisements on the platform.
It seems as though they are doomed to fail no matter what they do.
Now, with a tumultuous election just over the horizon, Facebook is threatening to restrict users’ access to the platform should the results of that contest cause any sort of unrest.
According to a report by the Financial Times, Facebook announced this week that it will “restrict the circulation of content” following November’s election to curb violence and social unrest. The announcement follows efforts by Facebook to address concerns from those who have alleged that the platform aids in voter suppression and promotes election-misinformation.
Facebook Head of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said that the company is prepared to adopt a set of policies that are designed to decrease the likelihood of social unrest following November’s election.
“There are some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances,” Clegg said.
Clegg claims that Facebook has used similar protocols in other areas of the world to limit “We have acted aggressively in other parts of the world where we think that there is real civic instability and we obviously have the tools to do that [again],” Clegg said.
This begs the question, of course, as to whether or not Facebook has grown omnipresent, thus making the platform a space protected by the First Amendment, despite the company’s insistence that they are a private corporation allowed to restrict speech however they see fit.
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