On Monday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg finally made the very brave, incredibly difficult choice to ban people from denying the Holocaust happened in posts on his hate-filled social media platform, scaling what is quite possibly the lowest bar in the world. In a note that he shared on Facebook (of course), Zuckerberg wrote that his “thinking had evolved,” influenced primarily by a rise in anti-Semitic violence.
“Drawing the right lines between what is and isn’t acceptable speech isn’t straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance,” he wrote, somehow managing to make his attempt to pat himself on the back more aggravating than usual. It really should not have been a difficult decision, Mark, and it really shouldn’t have waited until real people got hurt and killed! (And it doesn’t go far enough—as Bloomberg News noted, this new policy does not extend to the denial of other genocides.)
Zuckerberg has long couched his unwillingness to ban hate speech and disinformation as his desire to support the free expression of ideas, no matter how false or dangerous. But of course, Zuckerberg’s goal at the end of the day is something more quotidian. As the New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz wrote in a recent feature on the company’s refusal to take hate speech and disinformation seriously, “The company’s incentive is to keep people on the platform—including strongmen and their most avid followers, whose incendiary rhetoric tends to generate a disproportionate amount of engagement.”
As for another reason why he possibly made this move now? Well:
As Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court hearings began today, most American voters still think it should be up to the next president to fill the seat vacated after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. But when have Republicans ever cared about listening to the will of the majority of the American people? Their whole political project is to steamroll over what the majority of Americans want, so!
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52 percent of registered voters would like for the winner of the election to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. (It should be noted that an earlier, different poll found the opposite, though the vast majority of surveys done after Ginsburg’s death indicated that people would really like the next president to fill her seat.) And while Republicans are committed to appointing someone who will further gut Roe v. Wade, this is unsurprisingly also not a popular opinion. Via the Washington Post:
Voters hold more lopsided views on the court’s ruling in the 1973 landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, with 62 percent saying the Supreme Court should uphold the decision that guarantees a woman’s right to abortion, while 24 percent say it should be overturned and a sizable 14 percent have no opinion.
In case you need any reminder that this “mother of seven” is just as power-hungry and cynical as Mitch McConnell and the rest of those goons.
- ICYMI: Dr. Anthony Fauci is very upset, rightfully, that Donald Trump used his words out of context in a campaign ad. “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” Fauci told CNN. Also, please—we all know who he’s going to vote for and it’s not Trump! [CNN]
- Water is wet and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a big freaking baby.
- Joe Biden has big leads over Donald Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan. :) Also, I would like to shoutout my sister Grace who is a poll worker in Wisconsin this year! [New York Times]
- It’s the first day of early voting in Georgia and of course there are incredibly long lines, a result of both huge turnout and also Republicans doing everything they can to make it extremely annoying and difficult to vote.
- And huge numbers of Democratic voters are voting early this year across the country. [New York Times]
- Donald Trump’s proclamation on Christopher Columbus is about as racist as you’d expect. [White House]