As a Christian conservative, it concerned me greatly how the mainstream media has pushed their liberal anti-faith agenda. So, when social media began taking action against conservative or faith-based posts, I was not a happy camper.
Some of my conservative posts 'went missing' from time to time and, during the whole Diamond and Silk debacle, I was rooting for them and ecstatic to see them back on Facebook!
Last year, Facebook rolled out a new procedure for those of us with "large audiences" on our fan pages or groups. I had a page for purple lovers that was almost 9000 strong! Purple isn't a conservative topic nor does it have anything to do with God (other than the God invented it! :D) But I digress...
Facebook decided to make it a bit more difficult on page owners with a large audience to keep their pages. They said it was to make sure nobody "took over" a large page...so it was for our protection. I believe they were trying to make it difficult for pages with a large audience to speak out on conservative and Christian issues. While I don't know if they did this deliberately, I do know they took virtually no action to rectify the issue for quite some time.
First, they demanded that you prove, in essence, that you (the page owner) were still you. However, there was a glitch in their system (I'm not convinced it was planned that way--only that it worked out that way) that didn't ALLOW you to do that. I (and many others like me) petitioned Facebook but on June 3rd of last year, my admin status was taken away and I was no longer allowed to post on a page I had been building for almost ten years.
[UPDATE: After getting so many reports of issues for their verification process, Facebook reinstated me (and I believe many others) to their large fan pages. I got mine back after, literally, a year and a day!]
During this time there were many other social media platforms like Facebook (Twitter, YouTube) that began deleting conservative posts. Some page owners or users were reinstated and Facebook, in particular, was beginning to get pushback.
While I feel that targeting conservatives is wrong both morally and for their business, my opinion was a bit different from most. While free speech protects the individual's right to speak out against the government, a business owner has the right to conduct his/her business as he/she sees fit. And Facebook IS a business.
Free Speech vs Free Enterprise:
I generally think that the government should NOT get involved in the affairs of citizens or businesses. Their mandate under the constitution is to protect our rights and our citizens. The federal government has only those powers specifically granted to it in the constitution. Other laws may be enacted at the state or local levels.
Facebook is in the business of making money from advertisers. It is NOT generally making money from the users as Facebook and most social media platforms are free to use. They couldn't exist unless they made money. And as a business, they have the right to conduct themselves as they see fit. We, the users or consumers or customers then have the right to go elsewhere if we don't like their product/service.
I believe what is being argued now is that social media is more than just a business, but a way in which citizens communicate. That argument puts a bit of a public slant to things. I'm a bit leary of this wide interpretation even if it does mean that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube are forced to allow different points of view to be expressed which would include a conservative, Christian voice like mine.
My fear is that, while the government is NOW trying to allow conservative voices to be heard, this precedent may be used at some point in the future to force my business to do things that would go against my conservative, Christian beliefs. Just because something works in your favor, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Just because something works out well, doesn't mean it won't, at some point in the future, be used against us.
We were all outraged when a Christain who owned a bakery was sued for not making a cake for an occasion that went against their beliefs. Should a Christian website be forced to allow things that are clearly against the Bible? But then, Facebook isn't saying it is an anti-Christian or liberal media platform, are they? It gets a bit tricky here, but my fear is that any give on this can be used against us.
Freedom of speech is a right every American citizen is afforded, but so is free enterprise. Where do you stand?