Facebook’s latest move is ominous for free speech and other commentary

By Post Editorial Board

August 5, 2018 | 5:52pm

Shutterstock

Tech beat: Facebook’s Move Is Ominous for Free Speech

Facebook announced it shut down a couple dozen accounts, pages or profiles that violated its ban on “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in response to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian troll farms that Moscow used to meddle in the 2016 election. But this time, Facebook was pessimistic about its ability to find the source. At Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky notes that the social-media giant’s “stated determination to make abuse harder predictably led to more diligent obfuscation, not less abuse.” Thus shutting down pages because they seem inauthentic, but aren’t probably so, raises a serious free-speech concern: “How long before politicians and law enforcement agencies start putting pressure on Facebook to take down pages advocating radical causes simply because they look ‘inauthentic’?” It’s a “grey area” that biased enforcers can easily exploit.

Foreign desk: Jew-Baiting Corbyn Vindicates Zionism

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

UK Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called “Hamas and Hezbollah — both constitutionally committed to the destruction of Israel — ‘friends,’ contributed money to a charity operated by a Holocaust denier, and defended a Reverend who claimed Israel was responsible for 9/11,” writes James Kirchick at CapX. Corbyn and allies are working to water down the definition of anti-Semitism as well, institutionalizing Jew-hate in Labor. And yet, the obvious anti-Zionist is thus also “one of the most effective advocates for Zionism,” Kirchick points out. This turn of events was “entirely predictable” because Corbyn “has spent his entire life mired in those precincts of the far left where hostility to Israel frequently blurs into outright Jew-hatred.” The message to Jews is clear: “should Labour win the next election, this country will no longer be a welcoming place for you.”

Advertisement

___

Health wonk: Cuomo Could Destroy NY Insurance Market

Gov. Cuomo has directed the state Department of Financial Services to reject any proposed premium increase from health insurers participating on the New York health-care exchange next year. In part, this is to protect ObamaCare from a provider exodus following the repeal of the individual mandate. But that’s unnecessary, explains Tim Rice at City Journal: “In fact, insurers are planning to expand their presence in Obamacare markets.” And the growth of premium increases is slowing. New York insurers are planning to sharply raise rates because the DFS has artificially suppressed premiums — which it’s trying to do again — which “guarantees” a big increase is inevitable. Cuomo’s gambit, then, is more likely to backfire, by “pushing insurers out of the individual market altogether, leaving New Yorkers to face higher premiums along with fewer choices.”

Advertisement

From the right: Dems’ Silly Reasons To Oppose Kavanaugh

At The Washington Post, Michael Gerson says the initial Democratic arguments against the president’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — he’d protect President Trump from accountability, he was a mere political operative cloaked in judge’s garb — have been debunked. So the left has turned to arguments that have nothing to do with Kavanaugh personally: “Some want payback for the poor treatment of President Barack Obama’s last (and blocked) nominee, Merrick Garland. That is hardly Kavanaugh’s fault. Others on the left are angry because a reliable conservative is replacing a swing vote. Again, not Kavanaugh’s doing.” Now they’ve resorted to delaying tactics. But Gerson has a message for them: If they’re really upset that Kavanaugh would rule in ways Democrats won’t like, “Next time, win Pennsylvania.”

Conservative take: Harris Will Worsen Bay Area Rent Crisis

Rents in the Bay Area continue to skyrocket. In response, Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has proposed what is, essentially, a subsidy for landlords. That’s not how it’s pitched, of course, writes Jibran Khan at National Review. Harris says it’s a subsidy for renters. But because the high rents are caused by housing shortage, and this subsidy won’t change that, landlords will increase rent the amount of the subsidy. Thus renters won’t feel the pain from Harris’ folly — but future renters will, Khan claims: “Harris’s bill could compound the problems facing renters, by reducing the political pressure — currently building from both left and right in California via the ‘market urbanism’ movement — to tackle the lack of housing. Defenders of the status quo will simply point to the Harris plan and insist that something has been done.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s