- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Facebook, in just-released guidelines, announced it would no longer allow videos deemed hateful in content to become monetized.

Only problem is: What defines hate?

“Fostering an ecosystem where creators and publishers of all sizes can connect with their fans and earn money for their work is a critical part [of our business],” Facebook’s Vice President of Media Partnership Nick Grudin said in a statement about the company’s new “Standards and Guidelines for Earning Money From Your Content on Facebook.” Basically, these standards are aimed at supporting those “creators and publishers who are enriching our community,” Grudin said. It’s the family-friendly the company’s after, apparently.

But that’s so broad.

If family-friendly is the standard — really, what’s family-friendly these days?

No nudity? No cursing? No blatant promotion or glorification of drugs?

Or is it more no offensive material — with offensive, as deemed by left-leaning censors?

“To use any of our monetization features, you must comply with Facebook’s policies and terms, including our Community Standards, Payment Terms and Page Terms,” Grudin wrote.

And that means: no fraudulent activity, including the theft of intellectual property. OK, so far so good.

Now, for content specifics — and for that, there’s a different link to look over.

This is what may — or may not — be eligible for monetization, according to the list: Content that shows family entertainment characters in “violent, sexualized or other inappropriate behavior.” Content “that focuses on real world tragedies, including but not limited to depictions of death, casualties, physical injuries, even if the intention is to promote awareness or education.” Content “that is incendiary, inflammatory, demeaning or disparages people, groups or causes,” including that tied to news. Content “that is depicting threats or acts of violence against people or animals.”

There’s more — plenty more.

But already, it’s easy to see where these guidelines could lead. For starters, say goodbye to any monetization of videos that show the truths about Islam — that showcase the ugly side of when radical Islam attacks.

Facebook’s a private company and can allow or disallow what it wants, of course. But it’ll be interesting to see how these new standards are applied. It’ll be interesting to see if, say, a video from a jihad-watchdog site showing an Islamic bombing of a tourist spot is stripped of its monetizing — while a video shot by antifa or Black Lives Matter activists showing selective and out-of-context clips of MAGA-cap wearers supposedly engaging in violence are given the A-OK for money-making.

Facebook, not exactly a bastion of conservative thought, or supporter of conservative causes, ought to be careful the new guidance doesn’t come off more as political censorship, and particularly, as political censorship against only those of conservative, Judeo-Christian or traditional view. But this is probably too optimistic. The writing is really on the wall.

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