I've heard of the Electronic Frontier Foundation for years now, but never knew much about them. I was in a discussion forum and saw a link to their
website, so I went and started reading some of their recent articles to get some insight to them. Before I tell what I found and the impression I
got, does anybody know much about them? Even over on the page dedicated to them on Wikipedia, I see users on the talk page saying that the page is
suspiciously absent of any criticisms about them. So, what is the EFF like? Are there some criticisms about them floating around? And now for the
impression I got.
After perusing a dozen or so articles, I began to get a sense of where they were coming from. The first article I read was entitled "Censorship Can't
Be The Only Answer to Disinformation Online." The article spoke of, quote, "With measles cases on the rise for the first time in decades and
anti-vaccine (or “anti-vax”) memes spreading like wildfire on social media...." and in the next paragraph blatantly accusing the so-called
"anti-vax" crowd of spreading, quote, "disinformation" online. I read the whole article and there was no mention of what I guess should be termed the
"vax" crowd doing the same thing; spreading disinformation. Wasn't NBC called out for using Photoshopped pictures of measles victims to lend a scare
factor to the story? I haven't heard of any deaths from measles so far, so it seems their efforts to scare people are only a tactic. To me, I
thought the premise of this particular article was fairly biased.
Another article I read was called "Courts to Government Officials: Stop Censoring on Social Media." The gist of the article was, quote, "Thankfully,
courts are stepping in to make sure that long-established protections for speech in physical spaces apply to speech on the Internet." But to make
their point, in the very next sentence we read, (and to me, this seems a very biased example to use), "In the most notorious case, the district court
in New York found that when President Trump blocks people on Twitter, he violates the First Amendment because he is discriminating against certain
viewpoints (mostly critics) and preventing them from participating in debate on his Twitter page." The very last line of the article said this: "The
trend has become clear, when a government official or office creates a page on social media, they’re tasked with upholding and not infringing on the
public’s free speech rights." Here's my feelings on the slant of that article. There was not one single mention of when ordinay citizens speak on
social media and their comments get censored, or removed, as actual incidents with Facebook or Twitter have shown to have happened, not one mention is
made of defending their rights to free speech. Aren't all citizens of America guaranteed the right to free speech, whether they be the President of
the United States or just your average person? They should be.
And the third item I found in another article entitled "Content Moderation is Broken. Let Us Count the Ways." There is one point some paragraphs down
from the top of the article that we read "That’s why the president of the United States can tweet hateful things with impunity, but an ordinary user
can’t." The phrase "tweet hateful things with impunity" is underlined, leading to an article about it from the Washington Post. In my opinion, the
phrase they used, namely, "tweet hateful things with impunity" could have been worded differently to be a little less biased.
Does the Electronic Frontier Foundation have a left-leaning attitude that they barely try to disguise? If so, why are they masquarading as a defender
of free speech, or as this line from their about page describes it: "EFF uses the unique expertise of leading technologists, activists, and attorneys
in our efforts to defend free speech online." Somehow, I don't think they would go the extra mile to defend somebody praising President Trump on
Facebook, and who has had their posts deleted by Facebook for some "dubious" reason. Shouldn't the rights to free speech be protected for everybody
on the internet?
Here are some links to the pages I spoke about:
Censorship Can't Be The Only Answer to Disinformation
Courts to Government Officials: Stop Censoring on
Content Moderation is Broken. Let Us Count the
edit on 17-5-2019 by TrulyColorBlind because: Formatting came out all wrong when I cut and pasted.