Community standards

Dear poor oppressed demagogue, sobbing that Facebook censored your latest diatribe yet again: Facebook’s moderators are people, paid low wages for long shifts in poor working conditions to sift through the detritus published on the platform by people like you, on the Left and Right, Conservative and Liberal, religious and atheist, nationalist and globalist.

Many of these people have been afflicted with trauma as a result of being forced to moderate violent and explicit content for hours on end, day after day. These men and women — some local, some working in digital sweatshops on the other side or the planet — are tasked with combatting the spread of propaganda, hate speech and grotesquely harmful content. If they happen to err on the side of caution when faced with your latest screed, flagged up by the virtual friend of one of your followers when it fleeted across their news feed, who could blame them? I would probably do the same. It is not a conspiracy against you or your kind.

Let’s face it, oh poor oppressed demagogue: without social media, you are nothing. Without these platforms to bring your daily tirades to the world, you would have to get yourself a proper job, working nine to five to put food on the table for your family. So a little humility, please. If social media provides you with the freedom to reach out to the world in pursuit of your ambitions, the least you could do is acknowledge that behind the networking opportunities there sits an army of men and women — individuals like you, with their own beliefs, biases and aspirations — who must read the utter shite you publish day after day and decide whether it violates the platform’s community standards or not.

It is precisely because you have no self-control — no ability to weigh up whether your words are good, beneficial or kind — that others must step in to censor you. Be grateful for small mercies.

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