For Your Own Good

May 16th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 30 comments

I appreciate warnings. When I’m a guest at a meal and my hostess tells us that one of the dips is super spicy, I appreciate knowing that before setting my mouth on fire. When a friend suggests that I skip reading a popular book because it is filled with profanity, I appreciate taking it off my reading list. When my phone alerts me about an accident up ahead and re-routes me, I appreciate saving the time I would have sat motionless on the freeway.

But what happens if I find out that the dip wasn’t actually spicy at all. There simply wasn’t enough to go around and my hostess wanted to save it for her other guests. Or my friend knew that I would love the book which was actually unobjectionable, but wanted to write about it on her blog before I wrote about it on mine. What if the developers of my traffic app only wanted to route me so that I would pass a certain coffee shop that was giving them a kickback on each beverage sold?

I no longer appreciate the warnings. Instead I feel manipulated.

This is exactly what is happening on Facebook and other social media sites today. I was aware that years ago already, Google and YouTube restricted videos from Prager University warning that they were “inappropriate” for young audiences. If you have seen these videos you will understand that the translation of “inappropriate” is worry that young people might be exposed to conservative ideas and the fear that they may be intrigued to learn more about them.

Recently, however, I’m seeing more of this type of slanting of information masquerading as concern for viewers. Not by silencing  entities like Prager University, which at least has other avenues in which to disseminate its ideas, but by playing liberal extremist nanny to the interactions between individuals. This week, Facebook masked a photo that was posted by a contact of mine. Facebook feigned concern that the post might offend me, so that they wrote, “We covered this photo so you can decide if you want to see it.” There was an additional warning: “This photo may show violent or graphic comment.” Now, there are a lot of inappropriate picture that I wish I did not have to see. Many of them are on the covers of newspapers or magazines that are hard to avoid as you walk through an airport or check out from a supermarket. However, although, I don’t personally know this contact, I do know that she has never posted anything I would consider inappropriate. I proceeded to click on the “uncover this photo” tab.

If you have your smelling salts at hand along with a teddy bear to cuddle if your blood pressure begins to climb, here is the message I uncovered.

Welcome

You came here from there because you didn’t like there, and now you want to change here to be like there. We are not racist, phobic or anti whatever-you-are, we simply like here the way it is and most of us actually came here because it is not like there, wherever there was. You are welcome here, but please stop trying to make here like there. If you want here to be like there you should not have left there to come here, and you are invited to leave here and go back there at your earliest convenience.

I do hope you have survived this graphic encounter with words that are so out-of-bounds that social media know-it-alls will shield you from them. My first thought was that this should be sent to all those white, wealthy, liberal individuals leaving states like California and moving to states like Texas.

May I humbly suggest that you be careful whose invitations you accept, whose book reviews you respect and whose driving directions you follow. Most importantly, treat concern for your well-being from any politician, academic or media outlet as a clarion call to research more and make up your own mind. 

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30 comments

Pamela Ann Moore says:

Dear Susan, I enjoy your musings so much, but this one in particular. This is like a breath of fresh air. I receive emails from you and your husband on my Kindle since I can’t at to get to my computer. Thank you for the encouraging words you send. God bless you in your work.

Susan Lapin says:

Pamela, we arrived home last night after a very busy week of TV taping. I came close to not posting a Musing just because I was so busy and tired. Your words and the comments of others mean a lot and make me glad that I did get a Musing out. Thank you.

Don Gher says:

Unfortunately, the Facebook double standard of censoring Conservatives but not Liberals/Progressives with diametrically opposed thought pieces is a direct hit on freedom of speech…yet, we have little ammunition to combat them.

Susan Lapin says:

Don, I am hoping that just a talk radio became a new and powerful platform, other means will arise to combat today’s uber-powerful platforms.

Terry Sterling says:

I had a bad feeling from the beginning when Facebook came on the scene. I know I am missing out on some good things, but I think the bad outweighs the good. Much of our world has always been deceitful, (since Adam and Eve committed the first sin), but it seems with technology it has been taken to a new level. I hate having to be on guard all the time, but I dare not let it down. I ask the Master to hold us up with His Mighty Right Hand and take pleasure in the good honest folks I meet.

I have been a “Devotee” and try my best to be a “Happy Warrior” since last summer. I look forward to your wisdom everyday! You and “My Rabbi” are priceless to me!

Thank You,

Terry Sterling

Susan Lapin says:

Terry, we can’t put the genie back in the box and new technology, whether it is cars and airplanes or a social media platform is always a mixture of good and bad. That is the story of humanity since the Garden of Eden.

Suzanne says:

Your points, as usual, are spot on, especially concerning the flight from California to Texas. I made the comment to my husband, after watching two recent films that were filmed in Georgia, that I was happy to see them being made outside of Hollywood. He quickly pointed out that if too many film industry types relocate to Georgia, it could change the political landscape of the state. To my knowledge there are already two studios established there.

Susan Lapin says:

Suzanne, I wrote about this a few week’s ago in https://rabbidaniellapin.com/is-venezuela-coming-here/. This is a real concern.

David Morgan says:

Thank you for that info, Susan and, no, I’m not offended, lol! I subscribe to Prager and was wondering if what they said about FB blocking them was true, but you definitely confirmed it. Thanks again!

Susan Lapin says:

David, I’m afraid it is very true. The charges are laughable, but the power is in poor hands.

Edward Rubinsteinq says:

Susan, I think the social media mavens (at least they’d like to think of themselves that way) have lost their collective minds. Unfortunately, they control so much of what is now being consumed that anything other than complete openness (less a direct all to violence and/or straight-out profanity) could easily be considered censorship.

What has happened to Dennis Prager is abominable, and whether you agree with him or not, banning him needs to be fought.

So, next time I’m at a party and am “warned” about the jalapeño dip, I’ll take my chances. Shabbat Shalom.

Susan Lapin says:

I should have made clear, Edward, that none of my hostesses or friends have actually ever acted in this way. 🙂

Barbara says:

As usual, brilliantly written, provocative and important to get the word out. But perhaps in a perverse (and unintended) way this “obscene” conduct by Facebook might have titillated readers and increased readership. (The forbidden fruit theory). The L-rd works in strange ways. Gd bless.

Susan Lapin says:

Barbara, that is certainly looking on the bright side! Another graphic I was sent that received the same treatment showed Christian women mourning after their church was attacked by Moslems in Asia. That does need to be seen.

Al Hoffman says:

Mrs. Lapin, In regard to your topic, you are right. A Dado-ism, from a grandfather. “With friends like this, who needs enemies,!”
The old book culture, and custom rhetoric comes handily from the type found in Emily Post, and Ann Landers ,and Eleanor Roosevelt’s ,”Book of Common Sense and Etiquette.” We have been told niceties are weakness, yet a president said, “Speak softly,and carry a big stick.” The need for us then is to be picture books.

I’ll get off my soapbox.

Susan Lapin says:

We each are a “picture book,” Al, as our behavior is what influences people.

Mark says:

Facebook thought they had to protect you from the possible danger of that message? Wow. This is the kind of thing that triggers my misanthropic tendencies and frequent pessimism about social media. . . while not forgetting that I’m using the internet to communicate with you.

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, cynicism yes, misanthropy – absolutely not. There are so many wonderful people, including too many who are being misguided by their so-called educational institutions. We need to embrace them and open their eyes and minds.

Pat says:

So true Susan! I’m not a social media expert but I do follow many conservatives (including Rabbi Lapin) on Twitter. More and more these large audience conservatives like Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson and others are publicizing the tactics Twitter is using against them to hide content or remove followers. I’m sure they are doing the same for Facebook and Google. The positive thing is that the blatant liberal bias of these platforms is helping to grow movements like Blexit and WalkAway.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, that is certainly looking on the bright side, Pat. But, you are right. The extremes of intolerance are sending more people to these movements.

Mark Z says:

Susan, Thank you for your Welcome musing, I found it amusing.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Mark. Though not, I hope, in the sense of a-tonal or a-moral. I’ll take it as its modern usage.

Mark Z says:

Please do.

Susan Lapin says:

🙂

Lori says:

A wonderful part of Facebook is the large audience it enjoys (for no cost). Do you have a social media outlet recommendation? I used to be on Facebook but deleted my account years ago. I am now, however, considering it again (or something similar) for a couple of businesses I’m starting…and the advertising budget is very low.

Susan Lapin says:

Lori, I am aware that people are seeking ways to move off Facebook. I’m not aware of anything that is of a decent size yet, but I do hope that someone else can chime in.

Brian F. Tucker says:

Dear Susan,
I have many good freinds who have bugged me from its inception to get on face book. However since I have no wish for the world to know when I am going to be running an errand or on vacation or any other various activity politely declined. That is like giving thieves an open invitation. My mantra is, I don’t do Facebook and Tweeting is for the birds.
God bless,
Brian

Susan Lapin says:

It took me a long time to get on, Brian, but aside from business reasons, I realized that many people now share information through FB, such as of deaths or births (that I do want to know) as the quickest way to let a lot of people know of something. I do understand your hesitation.

MG says:

Thank you for this. I deleted my Facebook account after reporting an offensive ad that appeared in my timeline as something that might interest me. It was a group named, “F##k God” (my edit) with an upside down cross as its logo. The words were spelled out as you would imagine them. I reported it to Facebook and the response was that the language did not violate their terms of service. I’m no fan of the cross as a physical symbol of worship, but I was offended with the open and profane disdain of God and those who revere Him.

Appreciate your post.

Susan Lapin says:

MG – I didn’t see that particular offense, but I have seen other similar things that I know were reported as offensive – and which certainly were and pro-violence as well – and they got the same message that you did.

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