It is entirely true that a private economic actor can carry – or not carry – whatever information it likes on its website. We here can, for example, can continue to insist that free markets are a pretty shit hot manner of organising the world whatever Owen Jones and his cohorts of Looney Tunes might think. The Tre Professori can continue to ban anyone who has the temerity to disagree with the pronouncements that constitute the Sagacity of Ely.
That’s how we gain free speech after all. Yet there’s still more than that soupcon of a whiff of concern over this:
Facebook has removed a page belonging to David Icke after social media platforms came under pressure for giving a platform to the conspiracy theorist, whose bogus messages about Covid-19 have continued to gain viewers.
A page belonging to the former footballer was removed for repeatedly violating Facebook’s policies on harmful misinformation, the company said on Friday.
Of course Icke is a loon and no, this is not some grand truth being suppressed which we’ll all find out later should not have been.
And yet there is still that soupcon – certain things are now not sayable in the public square. While it remains Icke, or the idea that Hillary is a viable candidate, that can’t be said then, well, pretty much so what, right?
But who is deciding what may not be said? Actually, it’s the usual group of lefites and statists. Us rightie types don’t join the sort of committees that advise the peeps at Facebook. That is, the things that can’t be said are at least beginning to include things that don’t meet with the approval of that liberal and progressive consensus.
It wouldn’t surprise at all to find that, soon enough if not already, statements like “higher minimum wages cost jobs” or “grievance studies degrees are not investment” are statements that are misleading and so may not be said in that public square.
Given that it’s private property Facebook can indeed publish whatever the hell it pleases. But there is still that whiff that we’re getting censorship by intellectual fashion through this back door.