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Snowflake America

As many of you likely know, I share each day at Facebook my daily “Quotation of the Day.” And so this morning I shared at Facebook today’s “Quotation of the Day,” which is accompanied by a famous photograph – black and white, of course – of some dead soldiers after the 1862 battle of Antietam. Some decision-maker (or decision-makers) at Facebook decided that this photograph is so “violent or graphic” that it must be covered, although people can take action to choose to view it.

Facebook is owned by a private company; it has, in my view, the right to do whatever it peacefully wishes with its property and can insist upon whatever peaceful contractual terms it wishes to its customers and suppliers. And so by covering this photograph, Facebook violates no law, legislation, or moral code. But it nevertheless is acting annoyingly. It pains me to imagine what goes on in the head of the Facebook employee who, upon seeing this photo at my page, worries that other people seeing it might be so disturbed by the experience that Facebook is wise to protect its users from stumbling upon this famous photograph. And it scares me to realize that I live in a country in which such people vote.

I quickly add that this previous sentence is not a suggestion that the franchise be somehow denied to such stupid or officious people. Stupid and officious people have every bit as much right to vote as I do. But I can still fear the consequences that the ballot-box decisions made by such people have for my life, liberty, and happiness.

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