Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a lengthy post that “Left unchecked, people will engage disproportionately with more sensationalist and provocative content.”
Gee, it’s almost as though humanity’s nature is not basically good, but basically evil. I mean seriously, I am kind of surprised to see Zuckerberg using this kind of language about people.
But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s look over just exactly what Zuckerberg is talking about.
Zuckerberg, in his post, shared the following images:
As you can see, the new changes Facebook intends to implement work towards limiting the traffic a “sensationalist and provocative” piece of content gets, even if it does not explicitly violate Facebook’s rules and guidelines. Of course, this can be taken as nothing more than yet another attempt at censorship.
What needs to be understood here is that, according to Breitbart: “A crucial distinction between this new announcement and previous ones is that the use of ‘sensationalist and provocative’ does not imply that the material Facebook intends to censor isn’t true or factual.”
In other words, anything relating to stating the scientific fact that men are men and women are women and that one cannot be a man one day and a woman the next will be subject to less traffic, if not an outright prohibition of the content.
Now, an argument could be made that such a thing happens now. But here’s the thing, this new change implies Facebook doesn’t even care to try and b.s. things as being “hate speech”.
According to Breitbart: “Facebook’s own research found that posts which were ‘offensive’ but not ‘hate speech’ ended up getting more views. Zuckerberg admits that such ‘offensive’ posts will have their engagement artificially limited in [the] future.”
So with this new change, Facebook doesn’t even have to pretend something is “hate speech” even when it isn’t. Granted, the whole charge of “offensive” could be equally as subjective as a charge of “hate speech”, but still.
Speaking of “offensive” being subjective, Zuckerberg does not reveal much about how Facebook determines what is considered “offensive” content.
But considering history, one would be naïve to expect equal treatment of “offensive” content. If a Christian man shares his views in a post, is that considered offensive? If a Christian man points out the sins of another, is that offensive? If a Muslim man attacks Christianity, is that offensive?
We have our own ideas of what is considered offensive and what is not, but it’s likely Facebook has their own ideas that greatly differ from ours.
For example, though this is Twitter, a feminist blogger tweeted these two tweets in response to some people: “Men aren’t women tho,” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” And although she is right, Twitter deemed that offensive and Twitter notified her that such content is in violation with their rules against “hateful conduct”.
Though she is 100% factually correct (and although this is Twitter and not Facebook), the tech giant has their own definition of hateful conduct and such truth is in violation of it. When NYT columnist Sarah Jeong makes it known to people just how much she abhors white people and enjoys it when white people suffer, that’s not offensive or hateful at all. But speaking the truth about men and women, Twitter responds with such a notification. Not an outright shadowban, but still a ridiculous reprimand.
And Facebook is not all too different from Twitter in regards to what they consider offensive and hateful speech.
Now, allow me to get to the main point of this article. Aside from the fact that this is a clear announcement of further censorship covering a wider area, albeit with a relatively lighter punishment (if content is offensive, it can still be seen, but will suffer in terms of traffic), let me return to the original quote I shared with you in the first paragraph.
“Left unchecked, people will engage disproportionately with more sensationalist and provocative content.”
That, to me, sounds like an admission from Zuckerberg that humanity’s basic nature is not good, but rather evil. After all, if Zuckerberg were to say that people are basically good, then there would be no need for such measures. With that post, he admits that humanity’s nature is not good, but evil.
If humanity were basically good, Facebook would not subject anyone to censorship largely because there would be no need for it at all (arguably, there’s little need for it now). As he says, when left unchecked, people will tend to go down morally questionable roads. It’s in our nature to do so.
Why? Because it’s in our nature to sin. The only beings in all of existence who were born without sin were Jesus Christ and Adam and Eve. Christ because, well, He’s the Christ, and Adam and Eve because they were created from God’s own hands and didn’t sin until they disobeyed God.
Everyone else who has ever walked this Earth has been born in sin and, for those who have not been saved, died in sin. As a result of the original sin, the basic nature of humanity has been evil. That isn’t to say we all constantly perform evil acts, and that isn’t to say we are all equally evil. Obviously, I would not say I am just as evil as Hitler was. However, what makes all of us, including you and me, basically evil is the sin we commit and the sin in our hearts.
To be apart from God means to be unholy and tainted. Humanity is tainted. As such, it cannot possibly be basically good.
Objectively speaking, Zuckerberg is right. It’s in our nature to do such things. When we become Christians and become saved and redeemed by Christ, we have a desire to limit such sin in our lives. For example, in that discussion regarding sensationalist and provocative content, he talks about (apart from “hate speech”) content that is sexually suggestive, such as “revealing clothing and sexually suggestive positions”.
I find that people who don’t tend to be Christians tend to be more interested in sexual things that, honestly, go further than even that. I remember, back when I had first created my Twitter account and following back everyone that followed me, some occasions when I would follow back accounts from sexual accounts (that I would immediately unfollow upon learning what they were) and would sometimes see flat-out nudity and porn (mostly cartoon porn, for some reason). As a Christian, I became disgusted by it and immediately unfollowed such accounts. But the fact that such accounts exist (or at least existed at that time) is indicative that there are people who make sex a big part of their lives and love seeing such things. That’s not necessarily something that surprises me, knowing the nature of humanity, but indicates the difference between someone who tries not to sin (even though they fail) and someone who is more than okay with such sin.
So while the main takeaway from the announcement should be that Facebook is going to implement new algorithms for censorship and regulation of people’s nature (you can’t regulate evil, otherwise there’d be no need for laws that punish murder because there’d be no murder), another thing that may honestly go unnoticed by people is Zuckerberg’s admission that humanity is evil.
Sure, it’s not the main point of his post, or the biggest takeaway from it, and it’s not the main point of the Breitbart article either (although I understand why that is, all things considered), but I really felt that it needed to be pointed out.
Humanity is basically evil, and that’s a concept even Zuckerberg seems to understand, which really differs from the stance many people tend to have, even those on the Right and those who might consider themselves Christians.
And that is the reason I say that it's ironic that that is what he cites as the reason for these censorship models. A lot of people, particularly on the Left, think we are basically good. So I find it funny and ironic that Zuckerberg, a Leftist, would say we're not.
1 Corinthians 2:14
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
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