Social not-working behemoth Facebook has been up to its old tricks again. The company decided to ban ads for Just Say Now’s pro-use marijuana campaign, as well as blocking web platform Power.com from being mentioned by users.
In a commentary, Richard Esguerra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) rightly reminds users that “social networks like Facebook — while useful, interesting, and pretty — are “walled gardens” with overseers whose interests can overwrite free speech, open communication, and in this case, essential political debate.”
And he is rather right. Despite Facebook currently losing in court to Power Ventures, the company providing Power.com, and the EFF, it should not hinder users posting a link to the website.
Neither should it nonsensically bar ads from a political campaign group, especially in light of California’s upcoming Proposition 19 vote, which will allow voters to decide if dope should be legalised in the USA once again.
A site like Power.com which allows people to use various social networking sites certainly doesn’t have Facebook’s well-being at heart, in contrast to its users. Proactively censoring links to such a service and trashing a political campaign however is thoroughly bad behaviour and reeks of the ancient block-out practices companies such as Microsoft and Intel were once known for.
Perhaps Facebook ought to add a clause for the surrender of first amendment rights to its terms of service.