Facebook board: free speech is not an “absolute” right & they decide what it is


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


A Facebook Oversight Board member said that free speech is not “an absolute” right and should be weighed against “other human rights” when determining if content should be censored by the tech giant.

In other words, they think it’s very fluid and they will get to decide what we are allowed to say or not on their platform based on speech rights globally.

Since they communicate with all other platforms and, now the government, it will greatly limit the First Amendment.


Board member Helle Thorning Schmidt, who is also a former Danish Prime Minister, said Thursday that “free speech is not an absolute human right.”

“It has to be balanced with other human rights,” she said.


Facebook’s oversight board has 20 members from around the world and other countries don’t have the right to free speech to the degree Americans have. some countries give their people no rights.

The board was formed to remove CEO Zuckerberg and his staff from scrutiny. He wanted another layer of protection from his actions as a censor.

FB is a private company, protected from lawsuits by section 230, and he can basically come up with any excuse to censor. It’s especially easy since all his censors are left-wing. They are not bound by the First Amendment.

The First Amendment bans the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” But now that Jen Psaki was kind enough to let everyone know FB acts as a government agent, it should help Donald Trump’s lawsuit against FB, Twitter, and Google.

The problem is the reach and power these companies have. They are banning so-called hate speech and misinformation based on their personal and political beliefs. They are redefining the First Amendment.

Working with the government makes them government agents. They are turning enormous power over to the government. It takes the private out of the private company.

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A Crack In the Foam Column
A Crack In the Foam Column
2 years ago

First Amendment is a construct of the white male capitalist patriarchy.
Be careful what you wish for comrades of the burn it all down collective.
No one said that it would be easy or an improvement on the other side.

2 years ago

FB is spending far too much time in China and needs to be stripped of All protections American Companies have. They act like a Communist Chinese Company and I will nothing to do with them. Both my daughters have realized how dangerous FB after someone used one of their FB information for Identity Theft.

Tim Kuehl
Tim Kuehl
2 years ago

“A Facebook Oversight Board member said that free speech is not “an absolute” right and should be weighed against “other human rights” when determining if content should be censored by the tech giant.” That sounds like Hillary Clinton when she said our rights are not absolute and subject to regulation by th government.
Every right listed in our Bill of Rights is an absolute right. If they could be modified, restricted or denied then they are not rights but privileges and privileges are not what our founding fathers gave us, they gave us rights. Fight for them or lose them; PERMINATELY. But our problem is who is in charge of protecting our rights is our government which our rights protects us from and the people currently in charge are the very ones who are trying to modify, restrict and outright deny us our rights.
As far as the anti American social platforms denying our freedom of speech, it is true they are private entities and protected by section 230 but by restricting users speech they violate the terms of section 230 and essentially become publishers subject to lawsuits. President Trump tried to remove that protection from them for their violations but the establishment R&Ds blocked him. And there is no way Biden will try. Furthermore, the social platforms are working in lockstep going so far as attempting to block others from entering the market and that puts them in violation of anti trust laws and monopolies subject to regulation and may not deny users their free speech rights.