Home Civil Liberty The Problem Isn't People Being Racist On Facebook

The Problem Isn’t People Being Racist On Facebook



Well, OK, people being racists is a problem but it’s not a society destroying one. It’s the usual fringe of any liberal society, if we are to have freedom of conscience, speech, action, then there will be people who end up believing in nonsense and woo. That there are some out there saying racist things is the same problem that there are people out there shouting about reiki or insisting upon the coming end days because we’ll run out of minerals. People having freedom includes that freedom to be howlingly wrong or it ain’t freedom.

But that there are groups out there in Facebook being racist isn’t the problem. We’re told that:

Facebook groups – like any social capital – can just as easily be used for ill as good. And social capital is not an unalloyed good. A 2013 study by New York University political scientist Shanker Satyanath, Bowling for Fascism, found that dense networks of social organizations and clubs in Germany helped promote the spread of nazism.

No, that’s not the causality, Instead, the Nazis took over the extant social groupings and forced them to conform. As did the Soviets when they steamed into central Europe. Anne Applebaum has written extensively on the point. The Scouts, for example, were subsumed into the Young Pioneers and then anyone who tried to be a non-Young Pioneer Scout was locked up. This happened to every portion, sub-sect and miniscule of society, every social grouping, from chess clubs to famine relief systems.

This is where fascism and communism meet in totalitarianism:

Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.

Any grouping of people must be subservient to that central order.

Which is a much more accurate thing to say about today:

While we do not take down content simply for being untruthful, many posts that deny the Holocaust often violate our policies against hate speech and are removed. From Facebook

And many posts that deny the Holocaust do not violate Facebook’s policies and are not removed. I’ve seen this myself: I’ve given up reporting Facebook hate speech, including posts containing Holocaust denial videos, because every time I did Facebook came back and said that the content did not violate their community guidelines.

When historians write about our era, they will conclude that Mark Zuckerberg was one of the bad guys.

D’ye see? The insistence is that only those things that are approved of may be said. That all social groupings must conform to the new powers in society. We don’t call them the Woken SS for nothing.

Yes, of course holocaust denial is the preserve of pinheads but if we’re not free to be pinheads then what is freedom for?



  1. I can only agree. Freedom necessarily includes the freedom to be wrong. Which I of course define as disagreeing with me, just like the woke.

    • I certainly don’t claim that I’m always right. Why, I distinctly remember being wrong in 1975; and in 1997, blow me down if I wasn’t wrong again.

  2. It’s something I don’t get about many of my fellow humans. There is an unpleasant desire to ban things that are in decline anyway. Smoking, racist attitudes to mixed marriages, greyhound tracks. Just examples of course but all way down on a few decades ago.
    But people seem to think that if they don’t move in to ban what is left of these activities and attitudes that they are going to make a comeback.

  3. Bongo,

    What they really don’t get is yes, they can ban things like smoking and greyhound tracks and even spend billions crushing any black market when they are in decline. You can’t you can’t ban attitudes and ideas, even those in decline* no matter how much you spend, as the Soviets and any number of authoritarians have found through the centuries. That was the point behind V, which seems to have escaped many.

    I’m currently listening to a very long podcast series called Revolutions that started with the English revolution and I’m now up to the Mexico revolution via America, France (3 times), South America, Haiti and 1848, the whole point of those revolutions was that the authorities tried to ban ideas and it just exacerbated the problems and they eventually failed.

    * What it comes to trying to ban ides it just gets people’s backs up and makes them more resistant to change, especially when they are bad ideas like opposition to mixed marriage.

  4. “’Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. ‘”

    George Orwell, “1984”

  5. “Quentin Vole
    I certainly don’t claim that I’m always right. Why, I distinctly remember being wrong in 1975; and in 1997, blow me down if I wasn’t wrong again”

    The only time I’ve been wrong was that time I thought I was wrong but it turned out I was right.


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in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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