A few weeks back, I argued against a narrow conception of free speech which is unduly restricted to government interference alone, with no regard given to the innumerable non-governmental entities which mediate, influence, and control our speech on a daily basis. Today, I bring you yet another example of a non-government actor shutting down speech: Facebook.
Seth Andrews' FB account shut down. pic.twitter.com/6L3YnvXIer
— Texas Freethought (@TxFreethought) April 16, 2016
You can read more details on Reddit:
Facebook has disabled the accounts of J.T. Eberhard, Seth Andrews/The Thinking Atheist, and Sarah Morehead https://t.co/Ep9AmxmaaY
— /r/atheism (@r_atheism) April 15, 2016
The basic upshot here is that someone has taken to abusing an automated system to in order to shut down someone else’s speech, even though that speech was well within the parameters of Facebook’s stated Terms of Service. This is not a government issue in any sense, but it is plainly unethical behavior nonetheless. If such lighthearted criticism of religion can be so easily removed from Facebook, every other unapologetically anti-theistic page is endangered, including our own.
Here is the archive link to The Thinking Atheist page, which as of this writing remains offline.