I often wonder how super large companies like Facebook operate in terms of publicity.
Today there was an announcement by Reuters, which is supposed to be a respectable media source, that is supposed spokesman of Facebook who, nevertheless, declined to be identified, announced the Facebook has closed at 200,000 people public group called Q Anon for supposed hate speech and spreading misinformation, and for other violations of company policies.
No examples were given, no links, no scans, no evidence at all. Apparently, the level of journalism even, in Reuters, is sinking through the floor.
How can an honest and borderline competent journalist, in a giant international respectable media source publish something without evidence from a spokesperson for giant company trading publicly on the securities market who nevertheless declines to be identified?
This is not fake information? This is not fake news?
So, Facebook, through its spokeswoman who refused to be identified, has publicly defamed each and every one of the over 200,000 people who are members of that group, cleaning without a bases in evidence that they are spreading false information and hate speech.
Now I wonder, where are the minds of public relations people who allows such announcements, and especially by spokespeople of the company who decline to be identified.
Facebook has fought and won many lawsuits based on first Amendment freedom of speech, claiming it is a private company, and freedom of speech requirements of the US Constitution do not apply to it.
True, but there are other ways Facebook is exposing itself, badly, to litigation, and it does pay do sometimes hire lawyers not because of their connections, but because of their brains and knowledge, which obviously Facebook does not do.
I'm looking forward to the 1st lawsuit against Facebook for violation of user agreements.
By this agreement, private users, including those in the qanon group, agreed to allow Facebook to use their personal information to peddle it to certain advertisers, based, supposedly, on those private users' interests, as expressed in their posts on Facebook.
I can personally testify under oath as to Facebook violating that particular Clause of the agreement, by suppressing political advertisements according to users interests and instead pulling into the users ' feed aggressive unsolicited political advertisement from political opponents of the user, which is contrary to the terms of the agreement.
Also, in return for Facebook's permission for users to specifically create communities on Facebook's platform, users agree to abide by Facebook company policies.
And here comes a glitch, and a big one.
A contract like that is a contract of adhesion, once people are sucked in and create that community, Facebook, while continuing to use private information of those two hundred thousand people in the group as eyeballs for advertisers, creates company policies, ever-changing, vague and arbitrary to the point that it is impossible for a private user not to violate them, if Facebook wants to arbitrarilily censure their activities.
So, it is fraud on behalf of Facebook and failure of consideration, pure and simple, no first Amendment claims needed.
So yes, the user may choose to quit Facebook, before he does so, he may demand Facebook disgorge, or give back to him, the money improperly gained through using that user's information on Facebook, while blocking, for no good faith reasons, communities that the user has created, thus, denying the user the benefit of the bargain.
Again, I'm looking forward to when this claim is made in court, because it will be made in court, just a matter of time.
And, it concerns any and all speech of a Facebook user, political or not, and if political, liberal or conservative, doesn't matter.
It is a breach of a private agreement and fraud, nothing to do with constitutional law, which, correctly, does not apply to private companies, with the exception of discrimination by private companies providing public functions, which Facebook does provide, allowing account to public officials and public organizations and interaction on those accounts with users.
Facebook blocks the user - Facebook blocks and direction of the use of with a public official or public organization, which is a first Amendment violation of the petitions clause, not freedom of speech clause.
Not to mention that Facebook has recently stopped to peddle its pledge of neutrality (which is far as I remember is contained in its user agreement) and stated to a court of law, in a lawsuit, under oath, but it is now a publisher, and as a publisher, has discretion, absolute discretion percent sure anything it wants in any way it wants, no merit or lack thereof for the censure needed.
Yay, good for them.
With the only exception that with such a claim comes publisher liability - which can also be sued upon.
So, the future litigation against Facebook is going to be pretty entertaining, as their left hand does not seem to know what their right hand is doing and vice versa.