On Friday, Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit reported that Facebook, the social media site appropriately dubbed the “world’s most dangerous censor,” banned and censored a video on the history of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Facebook, the report said, marked the video as “spam,” and claimed it violates their community standards.
Roger Scott, the reader who posted the video, told the Gateway Pundit:
Facebook said the story behind the Star Spangled Banner on Youtube is spam. This is the same message Facebook is using to remove millions of conservative posts. Yes, the image is on my Facebook page – Roger Scott. I had more than a dozen posts spammed by Facebook but thought the Star Spangled Banner was the most inappropriate. Other bans included Breitbart posts.
You read that right — the national anthem is now considered “spam” by Facebook.
Incidents like this are the reason yours truly wrote Banned: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad in 2016 with American Israeli Adina Kutnicki.
It’s also the reason activist Chris Sevier drafted a proposal targeting social media censorship. That proposal, named the “Anti-Social Media Censorship Act of 2019,” is set to be introduced in at least three state legislatures.
If that measure was in force, Facebook would be facing a minimum fine of $75,000 along with other damages as a court might see fit to impose.
In my opinion, Facebook has perpetrated a form of fraudulent inducement, tortious interference of business relations, breach of the duty of care, unjust enrichment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress by at first allowing conservatives and Christians to build a platform where they were supposedly free to express themselves only to then turn around and arbitrarily find some speech permissible and other speech impermissible.
The states have the ability to create a private right of action against the website if the censorship is taking place for political or religious reasons, unless the speech is x-rated or calls for immediate acts of violence.
I made the statutory penalty against the censorship to be $75,000 which is the jurisdictional minimum to allow a user to take the social media website into federal district court.
The court would have subject matter jurisdiction because of diversity jurisdiction. The injured user like those in the examples documented here at the Conservative Firing Line and other sites have standing under the “long arm statute” to haul Facebook into federal or state court, if this act were to pass.
What’s next? Who knows.
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