Facebook Vs the 1st Amendment

So, I just got banned on Facebook for the 9th time. It wasn’t for hate speech, Nazi support, or foul language. It was for an opinion in general, not even anyone in particular. Was my 1st amendment rights violated?

For anyone that follows my political group on Facebook, sees my comments, or knows me personally, I would be considered a liberal even though I have and do [at times] support some conservative positions.

So my latest indiscretion on Facebook was commenting to a “friend” that “Americans are extremely ignorant — everyone on social media seems to be experts on topics that they have zero experience in or knowledge of. But they have opinions!”

Years ago while in New York City, a friend of mine had harsh things to say about the French. I noted that that wasn’t my experience, but that I lived in the south, in Cannes, so maybe it was different there. “Where were you in France?” I inquired. “Oh, I’ve never been there” she answered. “It’s just my opinion.”

I’ve traveled abroad extensively, and since 2000 I’ve lived for extended periods offshore in India, Mexico, France, and Argentina. A combined 7 years, and my opinion is drawn from that experience: seeing my homeland and fellow Americans from a distance.

Whether you agree or disagree, that is simply my ‘opinion’ based on my observations.

So, considering that I didn’t make racial slurs to anyone, one might wonder what all the fuss is about? I had an opinion that people who have opinions on things with no knowledge of the subject or experience in the industry or business they’re discussing are — ‘in my opinion” — ignorant. And America has many of those.

Were my 1st Amendment rights violated? No. They weren’t. No more than if I wrote an article and its submission was not published.

In an article entitled “First Amendment Perversion”, Dr. Bart Rossi makes the case that the First Amendment is being cited more and more without people really understanding the protections it provides.

Facebook, like any other business, is free to moderate the content on “their” platform; just like it was Parlor’s right to allow hate speech that incited violence, but also Amazon’s right to no longer host the Parlor platform.

We’ve seen an outcry in America about “rights and liberty.” Republican politicians have complained of ‘cancel culture” as Twitter banned former President Trump, and many GOP lawmakers have lost followers on the platform; the discontinuing of 6 books by Dr. Suess [that weren’t selling]; the canceling of Pepe La Pew; the renaming of Mr. Potato Head. According to them, liberty is under attack.

But you can’t whine about businesses enacting their rights simply because you don’t like the result, while at the same time chanting “we support capitalism” — you can’t have one without the other.

A career entrepreneur & traveler, he comments on society, travel, and business. https://www.linkedin.com/in/btdugansr

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