Mark Zuckerberg may be a master of the universe, but there are two things even he shouldn’t have done — one, allowing Facebook users’ private information to be shared with Cambridge Analytica, and two, getting on the bad side of Diamond and Silk.
Error No. 1 is what brought Zuckerberg, the baby-faced founder of Facebook, to the halls of Congress last week to be grilled by politicians who can condone any political sin except the cardinal one —getting caught. Cambridge Analytica supposedly used its analysis of Facebook data to help Donald Trump get elected president. If we are being honest, most politicians’ first thought on hearing the news was probably, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Their second thought apparently was how can we use this news to make ourselves look morally superior in nationally televised hearings?
That explains why for hour after hour on Tuesday and Wednesday, the nation was gripped with insomnia as we listened to 70-something-year-old senators shame 30-something-year-old Zuckerberg for doing what he’s been doing publicly for 14 years — collecting our most private and intimate thoughts and broadcasting them to the world for all to see.
Watching all those preening and precious senators and congressmen searching for some way to capitalize on billionaire Zuckerberg’s distress was yet one more reminder of how quickly a politician will turn into a block-sucking leech if there are news cameras on hand to record the feast.
The highlight though had to be Zuckerberg being grilled about Facebook deciding to label “Diamond and Silk” as “unsafe for the community.”
Now, most of you probably never heard of Diamond and Silk before last week, which probably tells you everything you need to know about how “dangerous” they are. But for the record, they are a couple of middle-aged African-American sisters from North Carolina who became famous during the last presidential campaign for posting YouTube videos to defend “their man” —Donald Trump. They went viral when they savaged then Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly for daring to question Trump about insulting women. Rosie O’Donnell had it coming, they assured Megyn Kelly (“or Kelly Megyn whatever your name is”) for daring to start a feud with Trump in the first place. Clearly these were two women who were willing to turn the heat up on liberals and self-important news anchors … but does that make them “unsafe for the community”? Really?
That’s what Facebook accused Diamond and Silk of being after the political comedy duo complained that the social media giant was restricting traffic to their page. Here was the message from Facebook, as reported by Diamond and Silk:
“The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community. This decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way.”
The bad news for Zuckerberg was that this story broke just a few days before he was scheduled to appear before Congress. That means he had to answer the tough questions everyone wanted resolved:
Exactly what “brand” was unsafe? The brand of being black women who proudly and loudly support Trump? And what exactly is “the community”? Is it everyone on Facebook? Is it white people who are afraid of black conservatives? Is it liberals?
Whoever it is, they obviously don’t have much of a sense of humor.
Of course, Zuckerberg back-pedaled away from the official Facebook statement, claiming that there had been an “enforcement error.” The official response from Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack said the message was “inaccurate and not reflective of the way we communicate with our community.”
Actually, as anyone who has tried to get an answer out of the nameless, faceless behemoth known as Facebook can tell you, the company doesn’t really communicate at all … they just share their “terms of service” with you and use them as a cudgel to force you back into line.
If you are outspoken conservatives like Diamond and Silk, that means you are supposed to shut up and, well, shut up … in order to protect the “safe space” that Zuckerberg built.
Fortunately, “outspoken” when applied to Diamond and Silk means that “the community” had better get used to being “unsafe” because these two women clearly have no intention of shutting up. You go, girls.