The Great Facebook Purge of 2020
Or How I Learned to Live in
American Political Apartheid as a
In a Virtual Internment Camp
After about ten years as a loyal Facebook user, as Admin for a half-dozen groups and enjoying the social connections it offered to my wide-spread family, a couple of days ago I was expelled from Facebook suddenly — along with my nephew, Jeff.
Communications with relatives and friends were stricken – all of them. And, suddenly, I had become a banned unperson.
All of my groups and pages were abolished, including pages for recognized exempt organizations, including churches! When they reach out to make contact with me, or share something with me, my friends and family are learning I am been turned into a Facebook Unperson. Photos, videos, shared memories, planned events, gone. I imagine it might feel like this to be violated. I imagine it might feel like this to be a freedom advocate in apartheid South Africa or the happily-gone Soviet Union — singled out as a Banned Unperson.
Sometime that afternoon, I visited Facebook I was astonished to learn that I had been terminated.
There was a link to appeal. I immediately did so, sending a copy of my passport as requested. Within seconds a message popped on the screen: no appeal was allowed. No review was possible. Obviously preset, the social violation dictate was final.
Here is that arbitrary, capricious, fully automatic, act of ultimate censorship:
Why? What had I done to be singled out? In the Kafkaesque landscape of arbitrary social media violation, all you can do is try to piece hints and clues together – and never really know the answer.
Could it be because, along with my nephew Jeff, I was an Admin of a group with over 200,000 members called “Red Pill Crusaders”? Perhaps my “Free Speech Crime” is that I am a strong advocate for the Right of Informed Consent, health freedom and vaccine freedom of choice?
Or was the sin that I was recently sharing the facts about how the Americans with Disabilities Act allows people to refuse to be masked and silenced — https://tinyurl.com/maskexemption. Of course, it might have been my use of the hashtag #BillionBribeBiden. So while the exact crime(s) are unclear, the class of crime seems obvious: exercising my First Amendment rights
It would appear that you actually have no such rights to exercise.
Later I learned that thousands had been Facebook Violated in the past few days, even members of President Trump’s staff (no, I did not vote Trump in ’16 and plan to vote, as always, for the Libertarian Party candidate, who though on all 50 state ballots is subject to media shadow-banning as well). Yes, I used the hashtag for Dr. Jo Jorgensen, #JoJo2020. Was that why I was FBV, Facebook Violated?
My guess is that my FBV was, at least in part, because I have forthrightly asserted that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like, while “private companies” at least in name, are not really private actors at all, but are crony corporations favored and supported by taxpayer dollars and resources, acting under color of law, making commercial and political use of our Internet Commons while censoring political and other opinion speech as well as scientific discourse for their own self-interest, and no other reason.
Perhaps it is because I have asserted numerous times that the Telecommunications Act (“the Act”) does not allow these deep state companies to censor the speech of users of the Internet Commons. I believe, as a libertarian and retired lawyer that the Common Law is binding on all and clearly forbids such behavior. The Act includes infamous Section 230 which supposedly “protects” free speech while really giving the crony companies the excuse to violate free speech.
The language of the statute says that the service providers are not responsible for the content their users post if they do not monitor or moderate that content, but merely act as a public utility transmitting same. Then the law goes on to allow the companies to remove, without penalty, “pornography or other objectionable materials.” [Emphasis added by author]
It’s the last phrase, “other objectionable materials” that the companies choose to act as if they are allowed to ban people, opinions, facts, science and ideas. However, to reach that irrational conclusion they must ignore the normal rules of statutory construction.
Clearly “other objectionable materials” must be read in the context of “pornography.” Our jurisprudence distinguishes between pornography – which is not protected speech – and political and opinion speech and scientific discourse which is protected from government censorship. That means that it is protected from government censorship even when apparently “private” agents of state power (in this case, Facebook) engage in the censorship. Those companies are legally “creatures of the state” operating under the corporate franchise provided by the government with powers, such as limited liability, not available to corporations that truly are private actors. The phrase “other objectionable materials” must be read to only include non-speech such as pornography.
I am aware that some believe that “private companies” can do whatever they want to the users of their services. The newest nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has indicated a somewhat similar belief, that truly private actors are not restrained by the First Amendment which only restricts government.
I must strongly and respectfully raise the question as to who is a truly private actor. Libertarian Common Law does not allow state-created corporations to act like governments. When they do, engaging in “private” censorship, they are no more “private” than the “private” tax-farmers of ancient Rome. These Romans acted under license from the State and fed their tax harvests into the coffers of the State.
These corporations are instruments of, and serve, entrenched deep state power and need to be held accountable. They must be held to respect freedom of speech or all government support and funding, advantages and protection must be withdrawn from them immediately
Remember, the First Amendment does not create the right to freedom of speech. It merely recognizes the pre-existing natural right and forbids Congress (and through the 14th Amendment, the States and all creatures of the state acting under color of law) from “abridging the freedom of speech.”
Just a few weeks ago I pointed that out to the Federal Communications Commission, as one of the first to comment in support of President Trump’s formal Petition to the FCC asking the agency to review Section 230 and refine its enforcement to stop the censorship. My comments are posted at the FCC web site here: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1080792043737/Ralph%20Fucetola.pdf
Could that have provoked the FBV? Once I start to think that way, the chilling effect something like a FBV has (and is intended to have) on legitimate discourse is evident.
There is a bill pending before Congress that would change the operative words of Section 230 from “otherwise objectionable” to “otherwise unlawful” – a huge and very important difference. You can support that change by signing the White House Petition, here: http://www.opensourcetruth.com/free-speech-petition/
Do you think that my advocacy for free speech might have played a role in my banning? Is sharing a considered opinion on a government forum punishable by FBV? Is that what the First Amendment means now? For the sake of our Republic, I sincerely hope not.
What to do next? Boycott Big Fascist Tech. Use alternatives to it that do not censor. I am moving my social media activities to www.Minds.com — the blockchain-friendly, completely uncensored social media — my user name is RalphFucetolaJD. There my advocacy, my social and family contacts and the exempt organizations and churches with which I work can find refuge and freedom of speech. See you there.
Bye, bye Facebook.
I do not hang out with violators and fascists.
Ralph Fucetola JD