Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 5, 2019

Busted for violating Facebook Community Standards a second time.

Filed under: Islamophobia,social media — louisproyect @ 11:29 pm

Around 10am on December 31st, I received a notice from Facebook that I had violated their Community Standards and would lose my posting privileges for 3 days. Their algorithms identified something I wrote as hate speech directed toward Muslims, which is quite strange since I have written maybe 400 articles since 2011 attacking Islamophobia. Then again, based on Facebook’s computerized moderation, Jonathan Swift would have been banned permanently for writing “A Modest Proposal”. I was told that the next time I violate their standards, the sentence would be 7 days and the next violation after that would result in a life sentence. Banned from Facebook for life. What a let-down that would be. Only yesterday, I had a “friend” explain to me in 41 words how Fidel Castro was not a genuine socialist like him. Maybe I can purge my friends list at some point based on whether they have posted a cat video or not. Anybody who hasn’t gets the boot.

So how did I end up writing an Islamophobic comment? As you might have heard, I get friend requests every day from people I have nothing in common with: Christians, men and women with nothing in their timeline except selfies and birthday greetings, people into “spirituality”, etc. Of course, my troubles stemmed from getting a friend request from a leftist in India who somehow had not figured out that I had written hundreds of articles calling Bashar al-Assad a blood-soaked dictator. Thirty seconds of reviewing his timeline had smoke coming out of my ears. Photos of triumphant Baathist soldiers, accusations of the rebels being ISIS, links to Mint Press articles, “false flag” conspiracy crap, and vicious attacks on the Kashmir Muslims. I probably should have just deleted his friend request and moved on but since I have such a short fuse, I posted about 5 or 6 over the top Islamophobic comments written as way of holding up a mirror to this jerk.

Evidently, Facebook’s software is not capable of detecting irony. Instead of being threatened with job loss like George Ciccariello-Maher or James Livingston for their own outrageous posts on social media, I was called on the carpet by an electronic monitor.

This was not the first time this happened. On October 22nd, I lost posting privileges for 24 hours because the electronic monitor had detected that almost a year earlier I had written an article on my blog that featured a picture of Adolf Hitler. A real human being would have figured out that the picture was not put there by a neo-Nazi but someone trying to explain how he came to power and what had to be done to prevent the rise of another Hitler. A real human being might have also figured out that I was trolling an Islamophobe on December 31 but there’s a good chance that the people in Facebook’s Community Standards enforcement division that is probably as big as a large town in the USA probably would have been just as clueless as the software and Mark Zuckerberg himself.

The fact is that no software could ever track down the real hate speech on Facebook, which is incubated in places like 21st Century Wire, Grayzone, Consortium News, Global Research, Off-Guardian, et al. Lately I’ve gotten wind of an Eva Bartlett article that is making the rounds on social media. With RT.com likely being the original source, probably hundreds of thousands of people have been exposed to an article titled “Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns”. You see the words “UN Panel” and you might assume that this panel was convened by some official body of the UN. Nope. It was a panel organized by the Russian Mission to the UN and Bartlett. Using their clout, the Russians had the whole thing recorded and part of Bartlett’s typical lobbying for the Assad dictatorship. Like Blumenthal, Beeley and other scoundrels, you cannot help but believe that they are making money doing this work.

This junk starts on RT.com or Sputnik and then gets spread across the Internet by conscious and unconscious tools of the Kremlin. There is little doubt that when a lowlife like Max Blumenthal attended the RT bash in Moscow, he made connections there that were far more beneficial to his career than piddling jobs with Alternet. It gave him the leverage he needed to speak for the left on Tucker Carlson’s show.

All this Russiagate crap is besides the point. There is Russian interference in American politics but not through Facebook ads. Instead, it is tailored to the “anti-imperialist” left that has come to dominate American politics. Across the board, you see people like Oliver Stone, Stephen F. Cohen, Max Blumenthal sharing the talking points of Ann Coulter, David Duke, and Lyndon LaRouche’s cult. White helmets, sarin gas, the USA supporting ISIS in Syria, “false flags” in Ukraine, and all the other bowel movements the drainage pipes cannot process. It is Facebook and Twitter that is facilitating this Red-Brown alliance whether they understand it or not.

Like Pandora’s Box, social media cannot be closed. Its ills are part of the political terrain today, just like the positive contributions being made by the left. For every jerk like the guy who sent me a friend request, there are others who understand that the White Helmets are nothing but first responders trying to rescue people from the buildings that Putin and Assad bomb.

In my view, there will come a time when print publications and leaflets will begin to be the primary means of communication on the left for the simple reason that the state can easily crack down on us just like is done in Iran and China. But nothing can get in the way of a leaflet being handed out in a working-class neighborhood calling for a general strike, except maybe a cop’s revolver. That day will come, I’m sure. Be prepared, as they say in the Boy Scouts.


Blog at WordPress.com.