May 26, 2019
Following a massive fake outrage campaign started by The Washington Post over a joke video of Nancy Pelosi that was slowed down to make her look even stupider than she already does, the media is absolutely swarming, demanding that no one but them be allowed to post on the internet in the run-up to the 2020 election.
It is clear that this outrage was created out of thin air – there are all kinds of joke videos that the media could have singled out as the reason that there is a need for a widespread mass-censoring of anyone who isn’t a liberal. The Pelosi vid is simply the random item they chose.
From an article entitled “A doctored video of Nancy Pelosi shows social media giants ill-prepared for 2020” in the LA Times:
Kat Lo, a researcher at UC Irvine who studies content moderation, said companies like Facebook and YouTube have improved since 2016 — but not enough.
“The changes are incremental. It’s not like they’ve solved anything, but they’ve made progress,” she said.
She believes YouTube’s approach in this case was more effective than Facebook’s strategy of including a disclaimer and reducing the video’s presence in the News Feed.
“The best way to counter disinformation is to deplatform it. To make it not visible and not shareable,” Lo said, adding that research indicates fact-checking measures aren’t always effective.
It’s well-documented that Twitter has not been able to sufficiently manage hateful content on its platform, Lo said, and while the company has been hiring teams to combat this problem, it has not proved it can successfully intervene when content that contributes to radicalization and disinformation is circulated.
Facebook and others are still not well equipped to manage complex targeted manipulation campaigns, Lo said, citing Russian efforts to spread disinformation ahead of the 2016 election and the way that members of Myanmar’s military used Facebook as a tool to instigate genocide, spreading propaganda that vilified the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority group.
UC Berkeley computer science professor and digital forensics expert Hany Farid, who studies methods for detecting “deep fakes” — more advanced false videos that use sophisticated software to create realistic clips fabricated from whole cloth — noted that social media’s broad reach aids the spread of disinformation, no matter the format.
“The threat of manipulated video of any form remains significant because of the declining level of discourse, particularly on social media, the public’s seemingly inability or lack of interest in distinguishing between real and fake news, and our willingness — in fact eagerness — to believe the worst in people that we disagree with,” Farid said in an email.
While it’s always a challenge to correct the record when false information is widely distributed, the task has only become more difficult when prominent figures use their position of “extraordinary power” to amplify false information, Farid added.
Pelosi, for her part, has stayed quiet. In a statement to the Washington Post, her deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said, “we’re not going to comment on this sexist trash.”
If the public has no interest in distinguishing between real and fake news, then why should such a people be allowed to vote?
Can anyone answer that question? Has anyone ever attempted to answer it? Has anyone other than me ever even asked it?
There is no body that is capable of fairly judging what is or isn’t fake news. This is why we have free speech and a free press in the Constitution in the first place – because it is impossible to find a completely objective person who is capable of telling the truth without any bias.
Even if all of this bullshit about Russians electing Trump by posting “false memes” on Facebook were true – and it isn’t – the New York Times created an entire fake news fantasy to justify the Iraq war.
Surely, the Iraq war was worse than the election of Donald Trump.
Furthermore, the entire media, as a collective body, hoaxed that Donald Trump was a Russian agent. That was three years of nonstop fake news, which they were just making up whole cloth. No social media shitposter has the ability to do as much damage as they did – and I doubt that any individual on social media is as malicious as the journalists who hoaxed the Russian kookspiracy hoax.
The kind of total censorship program these people are talking about is grotesque and nightmarish. What the media is demanding is a return to the time before the internet when they had absolute control over everything the public had access to. It is to be expected that they would demand such a thing. But in the age of the internet, what exactly will this look like?
If you still have social media, you’re still going to have individuals that are allowed to participate in the public discourse, but you’re going to tell them that the only way they’re allowed to participate is if they agree with absolutely everything that the establishment says. They cannot, for instance, make fun of Democrat politicians. Because that is pure sexism. And it is fake news. And it is a manipulation of elections. And probably, you’re a Russian bot if you make fun of Nancy Pelosi.
This is going to create a situation that is difficult to even comprehend. During the era of TV, everyone understood that they couldn’t all have their own TV show or newspaper column. But now everyone understand that they can have their own TV show, or newspaper, or whatever. So you’re going to have to tell 100 million or more people that they simply aren’t allowed to participate because their views are evil.
How are people going to react to that?
The first people they censored were the far-right, but we tend to be intellectual and highly engaged with politics, and understand why it is that we’re being banned. What are normal people going to think when this really comes down on them hard?
And what kind of false reality are you creating for the people who are allowed to engage, and go online and only can see other people who agree with them 100% that everything that the government and media say is precisely true?
It is truly incredible that Donald Trump continues to refuse to do anything about these people violating our First Amendment rights.