Skip to comments.Carson Fights Discrimination On Facebook And The Democrats Who Advocate For Big Tech
Posted on 04/14/2019 4:50:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under the direction of Dr. Ben Carson, is taking aggressive legal action against social media platforms for enabling online housing discrimination. Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing flawed legislation that would only increase the power and influence of their Big Tech allies.
The contrast highlights just how beholden Democrats have become to support Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Google.
Last August, HUD launched a Fair Housing Act complaint against Facebook based on its advertising practices. Facebook is the worlds largest social media company and, together with Google, forms the great internet duopoly that controls the majority of online advertising.
The key product that Facebook offers advertisers is user data. Through its Facebook and Instagram platforms, the companys algorithms collect data that allows advertisers to target customers with incredible degrees of specificity.
When it comes to housing, this presents a serious legal problem, because it gives landlords and developers a powerful array of tools to ensure that only the right kind of people see their ads for, say, a new apartment building or real estate development.
The law has something to say about that, because many of the interests that Facebook lets its advertisers target are very close proxies for federally protected classes such as race, religion, and family status.
Dont want families with kids? Just exclude Facebook users with interests in baby clothes or parenting tips. Dont want Christians? Uncheck the boxes about Bible verses and church.
Worst of all, Facebooks current system effectively lets landlords engage in digital redlining, making sure their solicitations dont go to people from the wrong neighborhoods, even down to the specific block.
Exploiting this and other close proxies for race are the essence of what the Fair Housing Act is in place to prevent. Facebook has a responsibility to make sure its tools arent used that way, but its essentially been doing the exact opposite by promising landlords that its advertising services will help them find the perfect homeowners."
So, at the conclusion of HUDs investigation late last month, Secretary Carson announced that he is moving forward with a formal charge of discrimination against Facebook. Fellow tech giants Google and Twitter are reportedly in his sights, as well.
Democrats have historically been at the forefront of the fight against housing discrimination, which is why its so discouraging to see that instead of rallying behind Secretary Carsons laudable efforts, some on the left are more interested in using their political capital to conflate the Facebook discrimination issue with net neutrality, a defunct Obama administration FCC policy that has nothing to do with housing discrimination.
Net neutrality regulates the pricing schemes of internet service providers (ISPs), which would greatly benefit Facebook and the other Silicon Valley firms being investigated for facilitating discrimination. In fact, net neutrality is what the Big Tech companies want more than anything from the Democratic politicians whose campaigns they fund.
Democrat presidential hopeful Cory Booker did appear to take Secretary Carsons action seriously, tweeting that Social media giants like Facebook (the largest advertising platform in the nation) can NOT be allowed to encourage & enable discrimination on their platforms, and calling for new legislation to address the issue.
Like other Democrats though, Booker who has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from both Facebook and Google parent Alphabet is just running interference for Big Tech.
After throwing his weight behind Nancy Pelosis attempt to legislatively resurrect net neutrality which is utterly irrelevant to housing discrimination Booker unveiled a pie-in-the-sky bill based on the concept of racist algorithms that has been championed by freshman democratic-socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The bill has no chance of becoming law, but if it did, all it would do is cement Google and Facebooks online advertising duopoly, because those enormous companies would be the only ones able to afford the compliance costs of having all their code pre-cleared as not racist by the Federal Trade Commission, as the bill demands.
Its become impossible to consider Democrats actions on the issues of tech and discrimination without reference to their increasingly cozy relationship with Silicon Valley. If Democrats were truly concerned about stopping online housing discrimination, theyd be enthusiastically supporting Dr. Carsons legal action against the firms that are enabling it. Instead, theyre just using it as an excuse to advance the interests of their Big Tech donors.
The Democrats have Orwell down to a science:
Some pigs are more equal than others.
If you don’t parrot their every whim you are guilty of hate speech.
So do geofences.
This is what’s keeping many UK rentals down.
Zuckerberg, Hillary, Soros, Pelosi, Bezos, AOC ruler wannabes all. Megalomaniacs. Trouble.
I like Carson. I hate the censorship and political bias of Google and Facebook.
HOWEVER, the Marxists and Progressives (with the advent of the “Civil Rights” movement) have managed to morph the Constitutional understanding against THE GOVERNMENT discriminating, into a mandate against your freedom to choose your private associations and private dealings with others.
The latter was never the founders intent nor the original intent of the Constitution.
The tool was the insertion of the term “public acomodation” as a legal wedge that turns anyone or anything that can said to be a “public accomodation” (serves “the public”) as an agent of the government. They made the legal framework where the Constitution says THE GOVERNMENT cannot “discriminate” into a legal mandate saying no “PUBLIC ACCOMODATION” can discriminate.
They deleted from the matter the two most important facts. ONLY the government has the power of the law to compel an action and the individual does not have that power. The DOJ is an agent of the government with the power of the law to compel an individual to make a choice the DOJ demands the individual make. An operator of a motel has no legal power to mandate anyone use its services, and is supposed to have the Liberty to choose to whom it offers it services. No more. A motel is no longer a free agent. It has, by “virtue” of the “civil rights” laws, become a government agent, instituting with legal force, policies of the government. It no longer has true Liberty. So much for “civil rights”.
The mandate against GOVERNMENT discrimination is that government can have no right to discriminate because (1) government action comes with the power of the law to COMPEL AGAINST actions it does not want or FOR actions it wants to demand, and (2) as the government is everyone’s government it therefor cannot act in concert with only some against others, based on “race”, religion or national origin.
But the individual has no legal power to compel anyone to either agree with them, or agree to act in concert with them. The individual has only their free choice and the free choices of others to agree with them, or to not agree and go freely in concert with a different choice. The individual lacks the power of the law to compel their choice. The individual is not mandated by the Constitution to agree with others, to make the same choices that others make, in their private associations and dealings.
“Discriminate” in its essential meaning means to choose, and it usually implies choosing by a set of values.
Though it becomes a negative term when applied to the ability of the government to compel others, if the government discriminates based on “race” religion or national origin, it is not an essentially negative term left in its essential meaning - to choose - and in your state of Liberty under the Constitution. You have the “right” to “discriminate” within the value set you seek to adhere to in the choices you make.
Is this a MORAL right to be ignorantly prejudiced against persons by “race”, religion or national origin? No. That is not what I am suggesting. I am only referring to the law, what the law should or shouldn’t be able to compel you to do, by law. Morally, I think discriminating based on “race”, religion or national origin is an ignorant choosing; choosing based on values warped by ignorance.
The founders, unlike the Marxists and the Progressives were able to separate the mandates they were putting against GOVERNMENT from the Liberty they were trying to protect for the individual. They had more faith in the individual to choose well, than for the government. They had more faith in the society - the “social life” - of the nation being built by a “FREE PEOPLE” than being directed by the government. The design for a limited government was to keep government OUT of directing everything in our lives, so that in our Liberty, and over time, our Liberty would develop a moral and a just society.
Therefor, I do not agree with Carson. What he is doing sounds good, and the near monopoly of Facebook and Google - almost like a government - makes their actions suspect.
But if a person is seeking to advertise their real estate interests only to Christians and no one else, and Facebook’s tools help them do that, I have no problem with that - or with any other free choices any other interests have.
I reject the idea of “protected” classes altogether when it comes to all activities outside of the specific actions of the government. If Facebook was a government entity, I would agree with Carson. It isn’t.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.