Facebook just put me on the naughty step for a piece I wrote defending the future Rector of Glasgow University. (aka Milo).
I’d love to repost it here so that you can see how harmless it was, how totally not in breach of a single one of Facebook’s “Community Standards”. But because Facebook deleted it before I could save it you’re just going to have to take my word that it did not contain “direct threats”, encourage “self-injury”, promote “dangerous organizations”, enable “bullying and harassment” or involve any “attacks on public figures”. Nor did it engage in “criminal activity”, “sexual violence and exploitation” or have anything to do with “regulated goods”.
But I got landed with a 24-hour ban, all the same – together with a threat that if I carried on doing whatever I hadn’t done wrong then next time the ban might be permanent.
For some of you this won’t matter because Facebook. You think Mark Zuckerberg is a weird sociopath, that it’s a cesspit of festering left-liberalism, that social media is a waste of time. Yes I get that – but you don’t work in the media, whereas I do and for all of us in the communications industry whether we’re writers, entertainers, journalists, bloggers, vloggers or podcasters Facebook is a big deal because so much of our audience is on it. And it’s as important to those of us on the right as it is on the left. Breitbart, for example, gets a lot of its traffic via Facebook. Milo – never knowingly left-wing has a huge Facebook presence. The idea that we on the conservative side of the argument can afford to ignore a market of one billion potential readers because Facebook is run by liberals is just dumb.
If you accept – as logic and facts dictate you should – that Facebook matters, then you should be very, very worried about the direction in which it is headed. That’s because the people it’s going to hurt most are people like us: Brexiteers, Trump voters, climate sceptics, conservatarians, lovers of offensive memes involving cartoon frogs or gorillas, anti-feminists, piss-takers, anyone in fact who dares to set themselves against the politically correct values of liberal elite types like the guys who run Facebook.