29 May 2019

Mueller Made One Thing Clear: Democrats Must Impeach

When (now former) Special Counsel Robert Mueller went before the cameras to issue what he hopes will be his only statement on his report to Attorney General William Barr, he summarized his investigation into Russian "collusion" thus:
We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the Attorney General — as required by Department regulations.
As Mueller further stated, that was all he ever intended to do, based on the presumption that Department of Justice policy precludes indicting a sitting US President:
It explains that under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view — that too is prohibited.

The Special Counsel’s Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.
Mueller investigated as he was asked to do. Mueller reported as he was required to do. And Mueller's position now is that his report is everything he has to say about his investigation.
The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
Whether Mueller truly has no information to provide beyond the report is problematic. As I have noted before, Mueller's handling of the case against Lt. General Michael Flynn is riddled with controversy and questions not only of legality but of basic fairness. Nor has Mueller provided any information or insight into whatever appraisal he made of the FBI activities that preceded his appointment as Special Counsel, and which formed the basis for his investigation, activities that raise their own questions of legality and propriety.

Yet while Mueller's statement was curiously short of clarity on these important points both of fact and law, his statement does make one thing absolutely clear: The Democrats must now formally impeach President Donald Trump.

Yes, I am saying the Democrats now have a duty to impeach the President.

To understand why I say this, let us remember the Constitution, in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5, explicitly gives the House of Representatives "sole power of Impeachment". Only the House of Representatives may impeach. That is the Constitutional order.

Moreover, impeachment is what Mueller meant when he said "...the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing." The Constitution actually does more than just require such a process, it spells out what that process is: The House impeaches, the Senate conducts the impeachment trial (Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7), and the impeachment of the President shall be for "...Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" (Article 2 Section 4).

Mueller, however, pointed out a crucial aspect of our system of justice: "It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge."

The Democrats have done exactly that: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has done so publicly (emphasis added):
We do believe that it is important to follow the facts, we believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up.
If Democrats believe this to be true, then they have a duty both to the Constitution and to the American people to begin impeachment proceedings. If the Democrats believe the Mueller Report contains evidences the President obstructed Justice, they have both the legal and moral duty to make their case formally, by voting articles of impeachment and having the Senate adjudicate them in an impeachment trial. They have the legal and moral obligation to follow through on their accusations, and to do so in a forum where President Trump may defend himself against those accusations, and where there may be an actual resolution of those accusations.

Unlike Mueller, I can be clear on one point: Having read his report, I do not see a case for either collusion or obstruction against President Trump. As I stated when Mueller submitted his report to the Attorney General, Mueller's investigation ended as it began: no facts, no evidence, no case. That has been my admittedly layman's opinion, and that opinion has not changed.

Still, I also agree with Mueller's expert opinion on the matter of fairness. If the Democrats are going to accuse the President, the President deserves a chance to defend himself and he deserves an opportunity to have the accusations properly adjudicated. If the Democrats believe Donald Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, the Constitution and simple justice demand they impeach him. If the Democrats are unwilling to impeach, simple justice demands they speak no more of Russian collusion or obstruction, and turn their attentions at last to the business of governing the country.

Impeach. Or move on. Do. Or do not. There is no third choice for the Democrats. That is the one thing Mueller's statement has made abundantly clear.

17 May 2019

Speech Or Silence: Will You Choose Or Will Big Tech?

We must acknowledge a simple truth: Free speech is not just a civil right, but a moral imperative. Free speech is not merely permission from government to give voice to our ideas, but the acknowledgment that our ideas--our beliefs, our hopes, our dreams--are the most important parts within any of us. We cannot have a free society, we cannot secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, if we are not free to speak however we will. Free speech is the first freedom, from which all other freedoms flow.

In my last post, I called attention to the successful campaign by Canada's National Observer's Caroline Orr to arbitrarily have a Facebook page for "Summit News" banned simply for hosting content by Paul Joseph Watson, a journalist recently exiled from Facebook. This week, we see the unwisdom of that banning: That self-same Summit News appears to have been the principal news source to document the suspension of activist and commentator Candace Owens from Facebook for the Orwellian "crime" of stating empirical facts. As Paul Joseph Watson reported:
Owens was hit with a 7 day ban for posting, “Black America must wake up to the great liberal hoax. White supremacy is not a threat. Liberal supremacy is.”

She then included a screenshot of a tweet which pointed out that the poverty rate amongst married blacks is 7 per cent, compared to 22 per cent for blacks generally.

In true activist fashion, Ms. Owens did not take this suspension lightly.  Using her still-active social media presence on Twitter, Ms. Owens hit back--again by simply stating the facts:

Within a day of her being suspended for stating statistics, Facebook recanted, claimed a "mistake" had been made, and restored her access. Mark Zuckerberg's minions did not mean to censor her, it was just an accident of algorithm.  Seriously.

That is their story and they are sticking to it.

Consider: But for Ms Owens' own tenacity and the reporting on Summit News, would anyone have known that she was being silenced for posting simple facts? 

Her statements about married vs unmarried poverty rates are verifiable--here are the statistics for the poverty rates for married couplessingle mothers, and households in general among blacks. Facebook asserted--or tried to assert--that these facts violate their "Community Standards". Basic statistics are apparently now classified as objectionable content on Facebook. Cite facts that some Facebook censor dislikes, and you may be silenced. Dare to protest Facebook's decisions and you will be silenced.

Sadly, this is not an exaggeration. This is reality. This is what happened to Paul Joseph Watson, to Summit News, and now to Candace Owens. This has happened to you as well, and without your knowledge or your consent. Candace Owens right to be heard was violated, but so, too, was your right to hear. Your right to choose which content, which thoughts, which ideas you find meritorious was suppressed by the same action that suppressed Candace Owens' right to put forward her content, her thoughts, her ideas.

By what right does any corporation arrogate to itself the power to decide who may and may not speak in the public square? 

We must be clear on this point: Facebook, and the whole of social media, are the public square of the 21st century.  This reality was acknowledged and ensconced in case law in 2017's Packingham v North Carolina (582 U.S. ___ (2017)). As Justice Anthony Kennedy observed in writing for the court (and not merely the majority, as the decision was unanimous):
A fundamental principle of the First Amendment is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more. The Court has sought to protect the right to speak in this spatial context. A basic rule, for example, is that a street or a park is a quintessential forum for the exercise of First Amendment rights. See Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U. S. 781, 796 (1989) . Even in the modern era, these places are still essential venues for public gatherings to celebrate some views, to protest others, or simply to learn and inquire. 
While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace—the “vast democratic forums of the Internet” in general, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 868 (1997) , and social media in particular. Seven in ten American adults use at least one Internet social networking service. Brief for Electronic Frontier Foundation et al. as Amici Curiae 5–6. One of the most popular of these sites is Facebook, the site used by petitioner leading to his conviction in this case. According to sources cited to the Court in this case, Facebook has 1.79 billion active users. Id., at 6. This is about three times the population of North America.
Even Justice Alito's more nuanced concurrence acknowledges the First Amendment ramifications of restricting people from access to various social media platforms: 
Placing this set of websites categorically off limits from registered sex offenders prohibits them from receiving or engaging in speech that the First Amendment protects and does not appreciably advance the State’s goal of protecting children from recidivist sex offenders. I am therefore compelled to conclude that, while the law before us addresses a critical problem, it sweeps far too broadly to satisfy the demands of the Free Speech Clause.
Facebook is, in effect and in law, a "digital commons"--as is the whole of social media. 

As proof of the reach and relevance of social media, one merely need consider another set of empirical facts: Candace Owens has 1.3 million followers on Twitter and, as of this posting, another 1,040,812 followers on Facebook. When Facebook suspended her account, the rights of all her Facebook followers to view her content and absorb her ideas were summarily abrogated, despite not having violated any of Facebook's guidelines of "Community Standards".

By what "Community Standard" does Facebook justify suppressing simple--and in the context of public policy, highly relevant--statistics merely because of some distaste or disdain for them? By what "Community Standard" does Facebook arrogate unto itself the right to suppress Candace Owens' conclusions drawn from these statistics? 

There is no violation of Community Standard readily discernible to the objective reader. Certainly no violation that I am able to discern (if anyone out there can articulate one, I sincerely invite them to do so).

Moreover, how are they "Community Standards" when no sanction of any kind was meted out by Facebook to Pennsylvania state lawmaker Brian Sims as consequence for his video, now taken down, in which he offered money if people would "dox"--publish the personal information of--three adolescent women peacefully protesting outside an abortion clinic? 

If ever an example of speech automatically meets the "Brandenburg Test" for when speech crosses into criminal illegality, surely it is Brian Sims' threat to destroy the privacy of minor children for political disagreement. If there is any content on Facebook that clearly violates Facebook's "Community Standards", it is the clear, immediate, and unequivocal threat by Brian Sims against three minors. Yet Brian Sims has been given no suspension, no sanction at all other than the removal of the offending content--despite posting content that clearly violates Facebook's stated prohibition against "violence and incitement" (emphasis added):
We aim to prevent potential offline harm that may be related to content on Facebook. While we understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in non-serious ways, we remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence. We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. We also try to consider the language and context in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety. In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information like a person's public visibility and vulnerability.
Candace Owens' account was disabled despite no such violation, and Brian Sims' account was left undisturbed despite clear violation.

The only extant standard at Facebook, apparently, is "Free Speech for Me but never for Thee"--a standard that practically begs for comparison to George Orwell's classic ending to Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." That is not a standard at all, but the complete absence of standards. It is the displacement of standards by arbitrary whimsy and caprice.

Why does this matter? The answer was stated succinctly by Justice Kennedy in Packingham: social media ranks at the forefront of important places where views and ideas are exchanged. Facebook, by far the largest of the social media sites, has presumed to dictate to Candace Owens and her 1 million followers what ideas and views will be permitted, and which ideas and views will be condemned.

This is not right. This is not just. This certainly is not okay.

Far more important than Candace Owens' particular views on poverty in America is the importance of the broader discussion and debate about poverty in America. We cannot, not as individuals nor as a society, take meaningful steps to better the conditions of the less fortunate among us if we do not discuss the issue, contemplate its dimension, and assess courses of action.  We cannot perfect this Union if we do not first debate its defects and its challenges. Facebook tried to deny not just Candace Owens of her right to be heard, but of her one million Facebook followers to hear, and to think, and to decide for themselves what to make of her words. 

Facebook further decided that debate over that denial was also to be denied, by banning Summit News from its environs.

This is not right. This is not just. This certainly is not okay.

Mark Zuckerberg decided, unilaterally and in all arrogance, to decide for you whether the issue of poverty in America would enjoy speech or silence. Mark Zuckerberg also decided, unilaterally and in all arrogance, that there would be no debate on the elimination of poverty discussions as a topic for discussion by Facebook.

This is not right. This is not just. This certainly is not okay. This must not stand.

Hopefully, it will not stand.  In at least one state, my own state of Texas, a bill--Senate Bill 2373--has been introduced into the state legislature to preclude social media sites from censoring, silencing, or suppressing political or religious speech. This bill is still mired in committee, but it is at least a start, an attempt to push back against this Big Tech trend of groupthink and censorship. 

While as a rule I am skeptical of government interventions as a means of preserving civil liberties, where the Big Tech firms are concerned there is little meaningful alternative. We cannot trim the market power of Big Tech without prying them away from their patrons within Big Government, and that requires laws be passed.  As Will Chamberlain noted in Human Events, after the deplatforming of Paul Joseph Watson, et al:
Free Speech is more than the First Amendment, which only protects you from the government infringing on your rights. In 2019, that is woefully inadequate. Access to the large social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – is a prerequisite to meaningful free speech in 2019. 
Social media companies certainly will strenuously object to this formulation, but they can hardly complain, given that the federal government has underwritten and undergirded their development. 
The vast majority of serious public debate takes place there. Thus, access to large social media platforms is a civil right. 
When private companies violate civil rights, we pass laws to stop them from doing so. 
That’s what we should do here
Chamberlain's argument is worth serious consideration: he proposes to extend the virtues of the First Amendment fully into the realm of social media, in recognition of their status as the "digital commons" of the 21st century. Moreover, he correctly points out that laws precluding the suppression of speech work in only one direction; a ban on suppressing religious and political speech intrinsically protects both liberal and conservative speech, Democrat and Republican speech--and this is the chief virtue of SB2373.

One law in one state will not stop the Big Tech giants from pursuing their censorious quest of thought policing. But one law in one state is enough to demonstrate that legislation can be brought to bear to constrain Big Tech, binding them to refrain from actions injurious to the body politic. 

Candace Owens' experience is all the proof needed--if indeed much proof were ever needed--that it is not merely a question of choosing speech or silence. Candace Owens' experience is the clear demonstration that, regardless of how we answer that question, whichever choice we desire will be overruled by the arrogance and smugness of Big Tech unless there is concerted effort within government to protect our capacity to choose. We accomplish little by championing free speech without also championing laws and mechanisms that defend free speech.

We not only face a binary choice of Speech or Silence. We face the equally binary reality that if we do not defend Speech right now, at every turn, in every circumstance, we will be left with the Silence sought by Big Tech.  If we do not demand from our legislatures the means to fight back against the thought policing of social media by its Big Tech stewards, we validate Big Tech's ambition to be the ultimate thought cop of the 21st century.

Speech or Silence--will you choose, or will Big Tech choose for you?

11 May 2019

Speech Or Silence: Which Do You Prefer?

In the wake of Facebook's banning Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Louis Farrakhan, advocacy for censorship is on the rise. Not content with the silencing of the aforementioned individuals, Caroline Orr, writing in Canada's National Observer, crows about having taken another censorship scalp, instigating the summary removal of the Facebook Page for "Summit News", which had committed the unpardonable sin of hosting some of Paul Joseph Watson's content:
The now-removed Facebook page is associated with a website called "Summit News," which is run by Paul Joseph Watson, editor of the controversial website Infowars. Summit News hosts all of Watson's content, much of which is cross-posted verbatim on Infowars.
A bit of full disclosure: In keeping with my standard posting practice there are links to every news and content site mentioned, including sites banned by Facebook. Readers are encouraged to visit all of them and form their own opinion about what they find.

The rationale for banning Paul Joseph Watson as well as the Summit News page is that they are, in the eyes of Facebook, "dangerous individuals and organizations", and thus contrary to official Facebook policy:
In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow any organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence, from having a presence on Facebook.
As I noted in my last posting condemning the Facebook bans, the only person who arguably runs afoul of this Facebook policy was Louis Farrakhan--and even his speeches have never been linked to any acts of violence in the real world. Despite the insistence of many, his speeches have never been found to violate the "Brandenburg test" of when speech crosses into criminal conduct.

Paul Joseph Watson, on the other hand, not only has never called for violence, but has repeatedly condemned violence and condemned the purveyors of violence. If anyone can point to a single piece of content by Paul Joseph Watson (or, for that matter, any of the people banned with the exception of Louis Farrakhan) that calls for violence or promotes hatred I will be among the first to condemn it--but good luck finding any such content.

Sadly, the solution for many is to simply establish alternative social media platforms and "let" dissenting voices post on them:

We should desire a multiple of social media platforms, for competition among the platforms is the best way to prevent any one platform proprietor from gaining the market power of a Mark Zuckerberg or a Jack Dorsey of Twitter.  We should desire a multiple of social media platforms because that is the way to ensure conversations are varied, textured, informative, and inspirational.

Thankfully, there are a growing number of alternate sites (and I make use of several):
However, I have not abandoned Facebook and Twitter. I do not wish to leave those platforms. I should not have to leave those platforms. Rather, I wish to be active on all platforms. I want to engage with the broadest audience, and to encounter the maximum of disagreement with my views. Without disagreement there is no debate, and without debate there is no value in public commentary.

It is not enough that we each have a platform where we may post and comment unmolested. There is little gained from preaching to one's own choir.  Rather, we need to be able to comment to and with those who do not agree with us.  We need to post our disagreements and put forth our advocacy in full view of those who would challenge us; we need to be challenged, and we need to challenge.  That is the essential value of free speech in a free society.

Giving each ideology its own social media platform ensures not spirited debate but stark silence. Confining each ideology to its own corner of cyberspace precludes any and all debate over even the tiniest of issues.  That would be the end of free speech in our society--and might even presage the end of our society.

Simply proposing that conservatives and dissidents should (or must, depending on your perspective) develop alternate social media platforms on which to commentate is not a solution. That proposition does not right the wrong that is censorship on social media. If we endorse the power of the Big Tech Barons to censor the digital commons of social media, then establishing "conservative" sites merely leads to a balkanization of social media, creating not a platform for robust debate but a set of hermetically sealed echo chambers, each with its own ideas and ideologies, which never interact with any other thought.

Balkanization is exactly what we are seeing now. What we are experiencing is a breakdown in the public discourse.  Ideas are not being debated, dissected, and discussed. Rather, people are becoming content to merely shout past each other, to tweet and post their particular opinions while giving no thought, no regard, to the ideas and opinions of others.  Everyone is speaking their mind and posting their ideas, but no one is listening.

This is dangerous--dangerous by far than any presumed "harm" that plausibly follows from any particular ideology or belief.  We are replacing debate with silence, raucous discourse with random noise, and we are diminished as a result. Ideas are evaluated not on their merits but on their proponents.

We can stop this decline in free speech--and we must. We can, if we choose, decide not to be triggered by the next offensive post we see. We can, if we choose, interrogate ideas we dislike, engage with those with whom we disagree and give them free rein to explain themselves, all the while giving full throated defense of those ideas we hold dear.

We can confront the false notion embedded in Facebook's policies that there are "dangerous individuals and organizations" whose thoughts must never be allowed to gain a public audience--as Paul Joseph Watson has pointed out, this is the argument of the totalitarian, the neo-Stalinist. We can confront this on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and everywhere censorship is practiced, promoted, or defended.  We can, if we but choose, embrace free speech as a civic virtue, and resolve to be virtuous.

We face a simple binary choice. Speech or Silence. We all may speak, or we all may be silent. There are no third options available.

Speech or Silence--which do you prefer?

04 May 2019

Defending Louis Farrakhan. Because All Speech Matters

It has come to this.

Louis Farrakhan is a vile racist, an anti-Semitic purveyor of some of the most hateful rhetoric around. There is no defense for any of the evil words that regularly come out of his mouth.

Yet he is also a victim of Big Tech censorship, when on 2 May, 2019, he, along with conservative commentators Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Milo Yiannopoulos, was banned from Facebook.

Facebook claimed these people were banned for repeated violations of its policies against "dangerous individuals and organizations." Of the people banned, the strongest case can be made against Louis Farrakhan as being "dangerous."  Of the people banned, Farrakhan is the one who arguably has created dangerous situations and called for violence against others--in a 2015 speech at Mt Zion Baptist Church in Miami, Farrakhan uttered the following:
“The Koran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breaths of those whose children have been slain,” Farrakhan said.

“So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling,” he added.
These are not defensible words. These are detestable words. Indeed, many at the time marveled that Farrakhan was not arrested for inciting violence against whites, and in particular white police officers. Yet he was not, and no violence attended upon his speech. 

That was a detestable speech. Yet, no matter how detestable it was, it was and is speech. It was and is fully deserving of the protections afforded by the First Amendment, wherein laws regulating speech are presumably forever banned.  Certainly, a superficial reading of the text of the Amendment would lead to that presumption (emphasis added):
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.
These words are categorical, and need no interpretation.  Any law which curtails a person's right to be heard is forbidden under the Constitution.

Why am I composing a defense of Louis Farrakhan and not Paul Joseph Watson or Laura Loomer? The reason is simple: I generally agree with what Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer have to say. Defending their rights of free speech is easy. 

Yet it is not just the agreeable speech that needs protection, but the disagreeable as well.  It is not just the popular idea that we have the First Amendment, but for the unpopular idea as well.  No matter how unpopular Farrakhan' ideas might be, no matter how disagreeable his words, he retains the right to speak his mind freely.  In light of the simultaneous banning of Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Louis Farrakhan, I rise first in defense of Louis Farrakhan, not because I agree with his words or support his ideas, but because I despise his words and condemn his ideas; I rise first in defense of Louis Farrakhan because, for me, his is the offensive speech wherein the true purpose of the First Amendment is realized. With full appreciation of the irony in such defense, Farrakhan gets top billing among these latest victims of censorship.

Contrary to what many conservatives and libertarians might say, Facebook's banning of these individuals is not merely a private company exercising their rights over their private property.  Law is very much at play here.  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 USC 230) shields Facebook from legal consequence for these actions--yet the First Amendment, which is superior law, precludes the possibility of Congress delivering such protections. Without the protection of Section 230, Facebook would presumably be unwilling to contend with the legal exposures that would arise from banning these (or any) individuals. Thus Section 230 is, to borrow from John Marshall's historic Marbury decision, repugnant to the Constitution and therefore void.

Moreover, Judge Naomie Reice Buchwald just last year ruled (17 Civ. 5205 (NBR), 302 F.Supp.3d 541 (2018)), with regard to President Donald Trump's Twitter account, that Twitter itself was a public forum, and that therefore the President's decision to block certain users was an infringement upon those users' First Amendment rights:
...we conclude that the blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment. While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the President's personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him.
Judge Buchwald goes on to articulate the relevant legal standard, "... the First Amendment recognizes, and protects against, even de minimis harms". There is no "minor" infringing of one's right to free speech.  All Speech Matters.

In Packingham v North Carolina (582 U.S. ___ (2017)), the Supreme Court very explicitly extends the public forum view of Twitter to the whole of "cyberspace" generally, and to Facebook specifically. If it is an infringement upon a person's First Amendment rights for the President to block him or her from viewing the Presidential Twitter postings, it is equally an infringement for Mark Zuckerberg, et al, to impose a similar blockade by denying individuals access to their platform.

The legal and technological reality of the 21st century is that social media platforms are the public square of the 21st century.  Banning social media users on the basis of their ideas is no less a violation of civil liberties than banning black people from hotels, restaurants, and public bathrooms was prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As Will Chamberlain, writing in Human Events, eloquently states, "We, as a society, do not have to allow private companies to violate Americans’ civil rights."

Yet that is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has done. Acting unilaterally while shielded from consequence, Mark Zuckerberg has arrogated to himself the role of arbiter of public thought.  He will decide what opinions, what political perspectives, what ideologies are suitable for the public domain and which ones are dangerous.  Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson frames Facebook's execrable decision perfectly:
Alex Jones’s company, Infowars, was banned as well, and described as a “dangerous organization.” How dangerous is Infowars? So dangerous that you can be banned from Facebook just for sharing its content, unless you also denounce it. Think about that for a moment. Mark Zuckerberg isn't just censoring opinions. He is prescribing which political opinions you're allowed to hold, which conversations Americans can have about their country. Keep in mind, nobody voted for Mark Zuckerberg. 
How dangerous is Louis Farrakhan? There were no reports of violence against white police officers in response to his 2015 speech. As reprehensible as his words are, and as vile as his rhetoric has been since, no one has died from his words. No riots have ensued. His rhetoric has not, thus far, been found to have met the "Brandenburg test" for speech which incites violence  It is accurate and appropriate to denounce Farrakhan for his bigotry. It is inaccurate and inappropriate to silence him for being "dangerous". It is unconscionable for Mark Zuckerberg to decide for everyone whether or not Farrakhan, or Alex Jones, or Paul Joseph Watson, or Laura Loomer, are dangerous.

It is unacceptable that Facebook could ban my Facebook page as well, once I share this blog post there (which I will). 

It is irrational to contend, as Zuckerberg does, that one cannot defend the right of people to speak their minds while at the same time utterly opposing every word they speak. As Voltaire once wrote, "...I detest what you write but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

Thus tonight I rise in defense of Louis Farrakhan. I rise in defense of Paul Joseph Watson. I rise in defense of Laura Loomer, and Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos. I rise in defense of them because Facebook will not allow them to defend themselves.  I rise in defense of them without regard to whether I agree or disagree with things they have said, or things they might say.  I rise in defense of them because, as people, as citizens of these United States, they have as much right to speak as you, or I, or President Trump. I rise in defense of them that I might defend free speech for thee as well as for me. I rise in defense of them because, agree or disagree, their speech matters. 

Tonight I rise in defense of Louis Farrakhan, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos because All Speech Matters.