Truly, the big tech giants are making a move to control the world or, at least, as much of it as possible, now that they’ve collectively cornered the social media market and have bought and paid for enough bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C.
As reported by Russia Today, of all news outlets, Facebook-owned WhatsApp believes the company has the right to threaten users with lawsuits who violate their community rules — even if the behavior allegedly occurs on someone else’s social media platform.
“WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse … even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform,” the company said in a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ entry that was posted Monday.
Russia Today noted further:
Off-platform evidence of ban-worthy behaviors, including “automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use,” could trigger not just “technological enforcement” but legal repercussions, the post warned – and woe betide those users caught bragging off-platform about their ability to evade the rules. WhatsApp boasted it can ban users “based on machine-learning classifiers” alone, and will continue to do so.
The announcement repeatedly referenced spamming and bulk messaging as specific behaviors considered to be abusive under the company’s rules. However, as RT notes, users have been tossed off the platform for much less, including just adding people that aren’t on a user’s contact list to a group chat or sending out messages to unknown users.
So in other words, like all the other social media behemoths, rules are really rules of the day, and subjected to the enforcer/speech Nazi who just happens to be on duty.
WhatsApp officials did not bother to inform users and others how the company planned to enforce its ‘off-platform’ violations — will its editors and speech Nazis be scouring the web for user activity to find violations? — but parent Facebook has many surveillance tools available to WhatsApp, thus giving the messaging program many options.
RT noted that WhatsApp bragged that it boots more than 2 million accounts every month, with the vast majority — three-quarters — tossed off without user complaints, allegedly for “bulk or automated behavior,” or spamming.
And there’s no doubt that a lot of that goes on. But threatening to sue users for behavior not taking place on the WhatsApp platform is what has really raised the eyebrows of civil libertarians.
Incidentally, the searching for such behavior is already done via the platform’s much-touted “machine learning classifiers.”
Interestingly, WhatsApp isn’t the first social media giant to claim to have the right to punish/sue users for behavior committed, allegedly, on other platforms. In 2017, RT noted, Twitter “announced it would begin surveilling users’ activity ‘on and off the platform’ and give them the boot if they associated with violent organizations,” the site noted.
In fact, this kind of enforcement, sans the legal action, has been occurred for some time now. Notable conservatives and pro-Trump supporters like Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams and Infowars founder Alex Jones have been censored, banned, and deplatformed simply for voicing opinions and views on their own websites and radio programs and podcasts.
The platforms, as they gain influence and power, are increasingly acting as authoritarian masters who claim the right to censor and ban anyone who does not toe the globalist line.
As Adams noted in a Tuesday column, Natural News was banned by Facebook for “off-platform” behavior:
Just days after being banned and deleted by Facebook, Natural News has now learned that Facebook banned Natural News because of an opinion article that Natural News never posted to Facebook. The article in question — “LGBT progressivism horrors” — warned against children being physically and chemically disfigured by parents pushing an LGBT indoctrination agenda onto their own children.
Facebook now says the existence of this article is the reason Natural News was de-platformed from Facebook. This means Facebook is banning channels for “off-platform” content.