The Washington Post is upset that Facebook isn’t censoring a perfectly legitimate point of view presented by some Republican politicians — that Joe Biden’s immigration policies are contributing to the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. The Post accuses Facebook of allowing elected Republicans to indulge in “hate speech,” spread “coronavirus misinformation,” and raise funds in the process.
The Post asserts that the “central claims” of the ads in question have “been rejected by doctors and fact-checkers.” Post reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker declines to identify these doctors and fact-checkers and fails to show that the claims in question are false in any respect.
Here’s the first example of content the Post would like Facebook to censor. It’s from Sen. John Barrasso, a doctor:
The CDC & Joe Biden are telling Americans to MASK UP but are letting THOUSANDS of COVID-19 positive illegal immigrants into our country!
Here’s another example, this one from Rep. Ted Budd:
If Joe Biden really wanted to get COVID-19 under control in our country, he would address the crisis at our southern border. Letting unvaccinated ILLEGAL immigrants come into our country is a threat to American citizens.
What’s false about these statements? Nothing. There is no dispute that Biden is letting unvaccinated illegal immigrants into the country and that doing so presents the very real threat that they will transmit the coronavirus to Americans.
Late in the article, when Stanley-Becker finally gets around to addressing the truth of what the ads say, the best he can do is this:
[B]order authorities are denying entry to people more easily than is possible under ordinary immigration law because of an emergency order put in place by Trump in March 2020;. . . people crossing the border are screened more rigorously for the coronavirus than are members of the general population; and. . .the positivity rate among migrants in McAllen, Tex., which is at the center of the outcry, is lower than in the surrounding county.
All of this may be true. However, none of it contradicts the reality that many unvaccinated illegal immigrants are being let into America by the Biden administration and that they pose a health threat to Americans.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the positivity rate among illegal entrants is lower than the positivity rate among citizens in the area. So what?
Citizens who test positive have a right to be here. Illegal immigrants don’t. No American should become ill because of exposure to someone who is here illegally. By permitting such exposures, and on a large scale, Joe Biden is putting the health of Americans in unnecessary danger.
So far, Facebook has rejected efforts by the Post and other leftists to censor statements like those of Barrasso and Budd. Stanley-Becker claims that this is inconsistent with the company’s practices of censoring conservative views about the immigrants and the virus.
Such censorship is deplorable. In any case, there is no inconsistency.
The ads the Post doesn’t like are directed against Joe Biden, not against illegal immigrants. And although they do point out that unvaccinated illegal immigrants are putting Americans at risk, they don’t criticize the illegals based on their nationality or immigration status, but rather for not being vaccinated.
The unvaccinated aren’t a group protected by Facebook policy. If they were, an awful lot of Democrat talking points would have to be censored under a consistent application of such a policy.
What we see here is yet another attempt by the left, with the assistance of organs like the Washington Post, to pressure big tech to censor legitimate conservative speech. Yesterday, I wrote about another such attempt — one directed at Google.
Media outlets like the Post no longer have the power, acting alone, to keep conservative views from gaining currency. Do they have the power to accomplish this indirectly, by pressuring tech companies like Google and Facebook?