I am a Seattle-based scientist working on noninvasive molecular diagnostics for cancer. I have been following the 2019 case of King v. Facebook -- number 1987 -- and am writing to express my opinion, as it seems very timely and important.As I understand it, unlike a majority of companies in America, Facebook is currently empowered to violate its own contracts and terms of service with its users at its sole discretion, while enjoying significant immunity from law suits intended to seek redress. In 2019, Facebook is one of the largest and most powerful companies ever to exist, and its capacity to wield influence is enormous. Allowing it to continue to receive the special protections that were granted in the 1990's by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) when the internet was a fledgling industry, in the face of arguments like that of Mr. King, seems to be an indefensible position. That Mr. King's postings on the Facebook platform have been selectively removed only when titled "How to Sue Facebook," however tasteful or not, resembles retaliation, seems like censorship of his First Amendment rights, and is not supported by Facebook's own terms of service.:
NOTE: Facebook as recently rescinded the ban: Check the thumbnail carefully:
It sets a bad precedent to leave Facebook's broad immunity under the CDA the in-tact, and I urge you to consider revoking it.
Content Policies: Although Facebook values free expression, it also wants to ensure that users feel welcome and safe on the platform. To that end, Facebook has established “Community Standards” governing which types of content are prohibited from the platform. Conservative interviewees identified concerns in the following areas:
1. Hate Speech Designations: On this front, interviewees’ concerns stemmed both from the notion of having a “hate speech” policy in the first place and from unfair labeling of certain speech as “hate speech.” Interviewees often pointed out the highly subjective nature of determining what constitutes “hate”—an assessment that may be subject to the biases of content reviewers. The term “hate speech” is itself controversial, insofar as it may incorrectly ascribe motive in many cases.