Monday 26 July 2021

The Overton Window



The Overton Window is a phrase taken from Joseph Overton’s argument that public debate should take place within an ‘acceptable’ frame. Anything outside that frame is not allowed. I have written about this in International Times.


The result is a bias to the right, so right-wing ideas are defined as ‘moderate’ and are inside the window while left-wing ideas are defined as ‘hard-left’ and are excluded.


After visiting my friend Merilyn Moos the other day, I posted a blog on my personal Facebook, (No Pasaran is more than a lifetime's struggle). I wrote about her years as a trade union activist and how she had been influenced by the political strruggles of her radical parents.


Facebook rejected the post with this message: “your post could not be shared because this link goes against our community standards.”


One friend emailed me that, “Sometimes it is how the algorithm functions. It can pick up a word like ‘Nazi’ and assume the opposite of what’s true.”


Another friend commented, “It is significant that FB won’t allow it. I notice the establishment won’t use the F word these days - Fascism. I recently complained to the BBC that they would not use the Fascism word on National Holocaust Day - and this while dwelling on images of Bergen-Belsen. Fergal Keane blamed it on extremism. And here are the politics. The equation of fascism with communism, even socialism.”


Decide for yourself what is going on, but I managed to post it by removing the word ‘Fascist’, ‘Nazi’, ‘Trotsky’ and ‘Palestine’.


We are not only living in troubled times, but it’s all so weird. If it turns up on The People’s Campaign for Corbyn FB that will be confirmation of that. Talking of whom, is he in or outside that window frame?


The original ‘out of the window’ blog about my friend Merilyn Moos can be read here: