Popular fitness company CrossFit has decided to take its pages off of Facebook and Instagram.
In an announcement made on May 23, 2019, the fitness company expressed its dissatisfaction with Facebook’s security policies and growing thought policing.
CrossFit has built a reputation over the years for disseminating contrarian views on topics concerning fitness and nutrition which it highlighted in its statement:
“This website—and, until recently, CrossFit’s Facebook and Instagram accounts—has long cataloged CrossFit’s tireless defense of its community against overreaching governments, malicious competitors, and corrupt academic organizations.”
The fitness company cited one move, in particular, which raised red flags about Facebook’s integrity as a platform:
“Recently, Facebook deleted without warning or explanation of the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.”
These violations of the public trust spurred CrossFit to remove itself from Facebook’s platform.
On top of that, CrossFit cited Facebook’s data collection programs, its collaboration with the U.S. government in mass surveillance programs such as PRISM, account censorship, leftist bias, lackluster security protocols, and its favoritism towards the food industry as reasons for its departure.
This move makes CrossFit the largest company leave Facebook to date.
Facebook has received major pushback lately for its decision to ban right-wing figures such as Paul Joseph Watson. Whether people agree with Watson or not, this is a rather troubling cultural trend emerging in social media.
Although state censorship is categorically different from the actions of a private company, the 21st century has seen a blurring of the lines between the private sector and the political sector. For example, government-funded think tanks like the Atlantic Council colluded with Facebook to fight so-called “election interference” during the 2018 elections.
The would-be authoritarians of yesteryear are now using corporations to enforce their political correctness agenda. Henry A. Wallace astutely observed that “The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.”
This reflects a new shift in strategy that the Left has taken since the collapse of the Soviet Union when top-down centrally planning fell apart. Now, statists have had to pivot in their strategy by promoting public-private partnerships or pressuring or infiltrating corporations to change policies that reflect politically correct norms.
The good news is that as market actors, we still have considerable power in keeping politicized corporations in check. CrossFit shows that businesses with tremendous clout can stand up to dubious social media practices without having to get the state involved. The fitness company could very likely lead the way in a new movement for social media accountability.
And the good news is that the state won’t have to be involved. This is a win-win for any freedom advocate.