State Government, Facebook, and the Constitution

Well, it’s not often that Nebraska gets grouped in with New Jersey and California, especially involving Facebook (or Farcebook, as many of my friends have it) and denial of the 1st Amendment. Then again, I suspect Pete Ricketts, our governor, had much the same reaction as I did, best classed as WTF!

Emily Jashinsky at The Federalist seems to have it sorted.

At first, the company seemed to be bragging about its work with state governments to remove posts promoting protests of lockdown guidelines. After state governments disputed that characterization, Facebook said it had only consulted the local officials for information on the scope of their guidelines.

On Monday evening, a Facebook company spokesperson clarified the platform’s approach to The Federalist. “Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook,” they said. “For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”

Speaking on background, the Facebook source added, “We review content about the protests against our policies and whether the protest calls for social distancing where that is required. We require protests to make calls for social distancing clear in their event in states where that is required for protests.”

“State officials can contact us to inform us on their guidance as it relates to social distancing in their state,” they continued. “We reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders, not about removing specific protests on Facebook.”

Several news outlets reported early Monday that a Facebook spokesperson sent a statement claiming the company removed posts that promoted quarantine protests from its website at the direction of state governments.

The gist of the story seems to be that Facebook wants us to think they are an official gatekeeper working with our often overzealous governments to suppress our rights. Well, OK then. Facebook is convenient, but no one concerned with their constitutional rights should consider them an ally, or even a very good channel. They have far to often shown themselves to be susceptible to pressure, especially from the left. Simply not to be trusted. Never, not ever.

Meanwhile, over at Townhall, Katie Pavlich tells us that the US Attorney General Bill Barr reaffirmed that our constitutional rights don’t go away just because some new strain of flu shows up, saying:

But it still has the obligation to adapt to the circumstances. Whatever powers the government has, whether it be the president or the state governor, still is bounded by Constitutional rights of the individual. Our federal Constitutional rights don’t go away in an emergency. They constrain what the government can do. And in a circumstance like this, they put on the government the burden to make sure that whatever burdens it’s putting on our Constitutional liberties are strictly necessary to deal with the problem,” he continued. “They have to be targeted. They have to use less intrusive means if they are equally effective in dealing with the problem. And that’s the situation we’re in today. We’re moving into a period where we have to do a better job of targeting the measures we’re deploying to deal with this virus.

And that is fair enough. Americans have always been pragmatic enough to understand that sometimes rights have to give way to common sense. We still do. The problems start when the government gets pushy, without enough justification, or tries to hold on longer than common sense indicates, or goes too far. All of which is happening now. Then the government (state and/or federal) gets pushback, and it tends to be rather blunt. Governor Ricketts is unlikely to be harmed by this, he’s a pretty good man, and he did the right thing when Facebook misrepresented itself. But it too is a warning, it’s time to be getting back to work, this particular threat is diminishing, but the threat to the economy is very real, and getting worse.

About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

15 Responses to State Government, Facebook, and the Constitution

  1. Scoop says:

    This situation will be milked for a long time . . . and they haven’t given up on their real goal which is total control of the people by Big Government. I was surprised at how easy they have done this but then again if you look at all the players it isn’t so astonishing:

    UN . . . CDC . . . WHO . . . NIH etc.
    Politicians worldwide
    Leftist Elites: Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Hollywood and Musical Icons
    Pretty much all of the News channels
    Big Pharma, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Tesla, et al.
    Our doctors who have come to accept the models of #1 above and are as duped as the rest of us.
    Our neighbors and friends who are panicked to distraction.
    The new paradigms being spouted: as to what the world will look like after this is “over” as if they will ever let it go if continues to work its magic: after all, it has worked better than anything they have used before, like Manmade Global Warming, and is successful beyond their wildest dreams.

    What, if anything will bring an end to this foolishness? Human nature. Man was not made to be alone, or to be dominated by tyrants and restricted in their lives such that they must ask permission to go outside or visit a park or the beach, Freedom will triumph eventually even it is won by those of us that are hoarding brass rather than toilet paper,

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Scoop says:

    Oh, and if you have not been reading Wm Briggs, you should. Here is his latest: https://wmbriggs.com/post/30429/?doing_wp_cron=1587509699.0315699577331542968750

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    Gosh, I’ve gotten 270 X viral load of headlines today.
    Some articles I have to pay to read…270 X my change pocket load. So I didn’t.
    Sample: “What the Hell Happened to Drudge”, “You Have Every Reason to Be Angry At Communist China…and Liberals Defending Them.” My non Twitter and non FB ideas, which are so far private, suffice for my angeriest ASI! 🙂
    P.S. I have been careful for long time to keep my distance. Never been in Neiman Marcus or Macy’s yet. And right across the corner from Tom Thumb, which used to be 7-11. Well, they didn’t have gas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Never much like Neiman-Marcus, all show offy nonsense. Macy’s owns most of the stores I used to buy from, Marshall Fields, Strawbridge and Clothier, Hudsons, probably some more. Good quality (if a bit upscale, but not overly showy. Macy’s not as good as any of them.

      Yeah, there so much on the subject, I’d guess they have the sameproblem as me, right now it’s seems to be all there is.

      Like

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