It appears that Facebook is using paid censors (in third world countries, no less) to censor politically incorrect content. CofCC reports on it here.
It seems that the censors are becoming more heavy-handed; there's scarcely any attempt to disguise what is being done, and the one-sided nature of it.
Personally I don't use Facebook, never have, and certainly never will now. Will this censorship discourage the many people who use it? I have my doubts. From what I've observed, people are as heavily addicted to Facebook as some are (or used to be) to television. For many people, especially women, Facebook is becoming a substitute for real-life, face-to-face interaction, and it is keeping some users (apt word, there) from attending to real-life responsibilities. Of course, the same charges were made about the Internet in general in the earlier days of its existence. There are always those who will abuse things, rather than use them responsibly.
Still, the 'social media', including blogging, seem to be a way for TPTB to harvest personal information, and those of us who have made use of the free speech that still exists here and there on the Internet may find that we are being painted into a corner; our politically incorrect speech may be used against us, as in other countries. It seems we are moving toward a more tightly-controlled Internet and more flagrant attempts by those who control the media to limit and ultimately end politically incorrect speech.
How do the Internet gatekeepers and censors justify their gathering of personal information from users? Generally they cite 'security concerns' as the reason for their 'need' to collect information and to monitor users. Their close connection, in many cases, with the powers-that-be should be cause for concern.
Maybe it's excessive suspicion, but it almost seems as if the social media are a means to harvest information and facilitate monitoring of users. What use this will be put to remains to be seen.
So are the social media, like Facebook and like sites, a bane or a boon?
What are the alternatives for dissenters who are being banned or shut out of the system?