You Aren’t Being Censored, Kiddo: A Letter to Conservatives

The “story” broke a little while ago but I’m still hearing about it, so I’ll take that as a blessing to write about it. Gizmodo recently released a report alleging that Facebook intentionally prevents conservative news from appearing in its Trending section, and the Right went nuts. Conservative news often amounts to nothing more than angry rants about Obama, trans people and Muslims by middle-aged hawks in suits (something that the world could easily do without) but still — this was an outrage! This was censorship! This was the beginning of the new Orwellian order! Wasn’t it?

No, it wasn’t.

I find it ironic that such outrage came from adherents of a political ideology whose number one goal is to ensure individuals and companies can act freely, unimpeded by political coercion or social outcry. The freedom of a baker to refuse to ice a cake with “support gay marriage” must be upheld. Ditto with a county clerk’s right to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Or a state’s right to legislate against people using a bathroom because of their genitals. Or a person’s right to chase down a Black teenager and blow his face off for making him feel nervous. People who endorse these kinds of freedoms make me question whether there’s any point trying to argue with their ideology in the first place, but I’ll give it a good old-fashioned Leftist try.

Surely, going off the Right’s own ideology, Facebook has the right to censor whatever it wants, if it wants to? It isn’t state-owned, nor is it officially run for public benefit. It is a private company, beholden only to its shareholders, so there’s no obligation for it to allow conservative news — or any news at all — to trend. This whole controversy stinks of hypocrisy: if conservatives are going to demand Facebook starts running stories about cultural Marxism, degeneracy and cuckolds in its trending section then I expect to see them railing against Facebook’s removal of tits and depressing memes too. While they’re at it, they can call for Fox News to start advocating #FreeingTheNipple and taking in Syrian refugees, and tell Alex Jones to invite some of those nasty “globalists” onto his show to defend themselves for a change.

The fact is, conservatives, you aren’t being censored. You just desperately want to believe you are because the truth is too damaging to your egos: people just don’t care enough about your inane rambling for it to trend. For every “SJW” you lot run into and produce a hundred videos complaining about there are thousands of people who’d much rather watch a cat video, read about a real news story, or maybe even ignore the trending section altogether, preferring instead to use their news feed. Britain First, the infamous anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, anti-socialist, anti-gay, anti-just-about-anything-that-isn’t-straight-out-of-a-Eurasia-conspiracy-book “political party”, has over 1 million likes and hasn’t once been censored despite posting some of the most horrible gibberish I’ve ever had to see on a regular basis. Meanwhile if you’re a plus-sized model in a bikini or a naked aboriginal woman there’s a good chance you won’t be seeing the screen-side of Facebook for very long. The good thing about these cases is that they were reversed after wide public outcry, which is exactly what I would suggest conservatives do if they find themselves being unfairly censored. But because that would require the Right to repeatedly and publicly infringe on a company’s freedoms — something they are, of course, totally against — they’d rather scream “CONSPIRACY” at the whole system, rant about “freedom of speech”, and throw their toys out of the pram in the hopes that people will believe this is about fair representation, rather than another cynical exploitation of a highly dubious non-story.

Conservatives have been pushing a narrative for a while now that the mainstream media has a liberal bias, that newspapers, broadcasters, actors (often referred to as “luvvies”) and other celebrities are determined to marginalise and oppress right-wing voices. Anyone who isn’t knee-deep in conservative ideology can see this is a scare story designed to lower the standards of political discourse even further and push people into the arms of frothing right-wingers. And while stirring up moral panic over bathrooms and safe spaces is effective, the idea that Facebook is suppressing conservatives is the crème de la crème of incendiary bullshit. After all, Facebook is everywhere now, responsible for directing huge amounts of traffic to news websites and absorbing huge amounts of almost every internet user’s time. If Facebook can succumb to the liberal disease, then it really is time to get scared, and nothing seems to fuel conservative politics quite like fear and paranoia.

I won’t humour this story any longer though. If Facebook were actually censoring conservative news, most of us probably wouldn’t have heard about it in the first place, considering that story itself spread largely through the Facebook trending module. But as I’ve said, if they were, they’d be well within their rights to and for the Right to complain about it would be a full contradiction of the ideology they’re accusing Facebook of preventing them from peddling. In summary, I’ll put it like this: if a Swedish programmer can turn a game about pixellated cubes into the cultural phenomenon of the decade without spending a single penny on advertising, but a wide coalition of political thinkers can’t overcome a tiny box in the corner of a website, then maybe it’s your ideology that sucks, not Facebook’s news curation policy.

Call me a leftist fascist/flood me with cuck memes @camerondechi