Joy Behar: Facebook’s biggest crime is “spreading hate speech”

Behar agreed with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's call to censor social media.


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For those not up to speed with daytime TV: Joy Behar is an icon to many in that particular realm, as are her castmates on ABC's long-running daytime show, The View.

The formula of this TV show, where Behar, a comedian by trade, has reigned supreme for many years, has been to pit a number of dubiously qualified people discussing current affairs against each other, often all talking at exactly the same time, while all too often being well out of their depth. A lot of the time they are simply parroting whatever the talking points of the day might be.

In addition to The View's many key, liberal-leaning hosts – comedians like Behar, actors like Whoopi Goldberg, and showbiz journalists and personalities – there have also been token conservatives, like Meghan McCain, whose one feature has been her anti-Trump stance.

With that in mind, it's a special treat to have none other than The View weigh in on what global social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter should, and should not be doing regarding fundamental issues like free speech.

Behar's performance on Monday was inspired by a fellow comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. He recently addressed the Anti-Defamation League describing Facebook a “one of the greatest propaganda machines in history” and called for real-time social media censorship.

Behar – who has been a proponent of banning political ads ever since that became a Democratic talking point in October – did not flinch. She was on board with the idea that Facebook's biggest crime has been “spreading hate speech.”

Whoopi Goldberg was there to play the Cohen clip and ask her fellow panelists – what to do about Facebook?

“Just as there are limits on the Second Amendment, there are limits on the First Amendment too,” Behar said.

But it's not all bleak and surreal for the First Amendment on The View. Two co-hosts Abby Huntsman and Sunny Hostin disagreed with Behar, suggesting free speech, even the ugliest of speech, was still important to protect as the consequences could be too dire if not defended.

“I also think it's really up to Americans to fact check. It's up to us to determine what the truth is for us,” Hostin said. “I don't think someone else should be the arbitrator of that. I think we get into this slippery slope where you have Facebook determining what we should hear. What we should hear and read and listen to. I think that's very, very dangerous. More dangerous than the reverse.”

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Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovich is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovich is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]
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