Define “harmful”

The Facebook whistleblower whose revelations have tipped the social media giant into crisis has launched a stinging new criticism of Mark Zuckerberg, saying he has not shown any readiness to protect the public from the harm his company is causing.

Frances Haugen told the Observer that Facebook’s founder and chief executive had not displayed a desire to run the company in a way that shields the public from the consequences of harmful content.

It rapidly – as it already has – becomes a list of things that you don’t want people to hear, see or even think about.

Teenage birds and their angst, invermectin, gain of function experiments, climate denial, mispronouning, what else will be on that list? It’s the demand that the public conversation be censored, isn’t it?

“Right now, Mark is unaccountable. He has all the control. He has no oversight, and he has not demonstrated that he is willing to govern the company at the level that is necessary for public safety.”

And that’s worse. Politics – more likely, the bureaucracy – must have power over that organisation because, well, it’s a source of societal power therefore the permanent bureaucracy must control it. Obvious, right?

16 thoughts on “Define “harmful””

  1. One would love to hear what the lady would say if Facebook pointed out that it should be illegal to publish hate speech and incite riot and insurrection. Thus she should promptly go to prison.

    But of course she’d say that she’s different. Just as if she had to do a bit of shopping during a lockdown, she’d say that her concerns are important.

  2. Odd how very differently the Establishment have treated the revelations by this particular ‘ Whistle-blower’ compared to the way they treat, say, revelations by Project Veritas.

    Almost as if one advances the objectives of the Establishment and the other one doesn’t.

  3. I liked her final comment about a brand of car that was 5x less safe than other makes.

    If there were such a brand, the statistics would be being published and the public could choose; but in what measurable way is Facebook dangerous? And what are the other makes.

    Let’s just agree that they’re publishers and get on with life.

  4. I get the feeling she’s not so much a whistleblower as a shill pushing a narrative which allows FaceBook to impose even more draconian controls over what can be posted on their private site.

  5. Mark lad, seriously= can you give her a job somewhere – reviewing pedo content for banning that should satisfy her bansturbation cravings- you have a duty to protect us from her.

  6. “ivermectin, climate denial…”

    All things favoured by people on the Right. Yet the Left has fantasies too, like the allegation of Trump/Russia collusion. Should talking about it be banned too?

  7. the Left has fantasies too, like the allegation of Trump/Russia collusion. Should talking about it be banned too?

    Looks like Andrew M is channelling his inner Steve today!

  8. … like the allegation of Trump/Russia collusion.

    A completely false allegation which was promoted by every media outlet in every Western country – not some obscure Right-Wing people on Twitter – but that’s different, because reasons…

  9. @BiTiN – they allow hurty words. This is eeevil. Hence dangerous. People mustn’t be allowed to see hurty words because that is violence. Also, silence is violence. A sense of perspective not required.

  10. Facebook welcome tighter regulation. It allows governments to outsource ideological censorship and keeps competition at bay for the techno-oligarchs.

  11. Theophrastus (2066)

    Harm is a concept with a considerable element of subjectivity. Some harm can be assessed objectively, but a lot can’t. It’s one of the weaknesses of J S Mill’s harm principle – ie we should be free to do whatever we like providing it doesn’t harm others.

  12. Redefining harm is how they operate. A local judge told a parent in a case that he considered not using a child’s preferred pronouns could be interpreted as an act of violence under the Families Act as violence included mental harm and the fathers refusal inflict mental pain on the child. Similar to being henpecked is now allowed as self-defence argument for murder of a spouse, though I note that as that’s backfired and applies to both sexes they are now going for misogyny laws instead.
    I’m not sure how we are now interpreting ‘preferred’ as now meaning mandatory either.

    Orwell was spot on about the control and use of language

  13. The Original Jonathan

    Making misogyny illegal without also making misandry illegal would itself be illegal under equal rights legislation.

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