Social Question

ragingloli's avatar

Do you agree with this right winger that fact checking is censorship?

Asked by ragingloli (49927points) October 31st, 2020

Or is this just another transparent attempt at gaslighting, constructing excuses to bring about the desired destruction of an independent press, and the Gleichschaltung of mass media?

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27 Answers

jca2's avatar

I say if anybody doesn’t like what is being done on Facebook, there’s no requirement that they use Facebook. Don’t use it. Go to Breitbart and post stuff there, or Fox News and post on their blogs or comments sections, or make a personal blog and blog away.

hmmmmmm's avatar

The whole concept of “fact-checking” is problematic. It has historically served power and is a tool of the right. I’m quite hesitant to endorse the exercise, given its history and given the fact that the “fact-checkers” are not fact-checked themselves, and unaccountable entities.

Yeah, yep, and yes – corporations can print whatever they want, etc. But when an entity ends up functioning as public communications channel, it acts more like a utility. It should be neutral. And yes, a lot of shit will (and is) being said. But it’s really the only means for dissident voices and information to get through.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ’ – Newsweek: “A Cult of Ignorance” by Isaac Asimov, January 21, 1980

gorillapaws's avatar

I have certainly seen fact checking abused to silence or attack legitimate arguments. I think these organizations do have an obligation to fact-check claims made by ads on their platforms, but I’m hesitant to green light them pulling content they disagree with on their platforms. The fact that these companies have grown into monopolies gives them tremendous power to influence the outcomes of policies and elections. I have good reason to believe they will abuse this power and no confidence that they won’t do so in the future. The temptation is too great and their business models highly incentivize them pursuing abuse.

Remember that the advertisers on these platforms are the real customers and the users are the products.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just the opposite @hmmmmmm.’s Fact checking is used by the liberals to debunk what the crazy right tries to claim.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is censorship, but necessary at this point.

The false information is treasonous and destructive to the physical health of the citizenry; something has to be done. If Facebook has chosen to work with the FBI and CIA to eliminate false information that is their prerogative, not any different than a periodical picking and choosing what it allows to go to print.

I posted a few videos recently and they immediately went into review. I couldn’t see the video right away.

It’s uncomfortable as an American to be ok with limiting speech, but at this point the democracy is threatened.

As far as I can tell discussion between user are not being modded, it is only memes and videos of people claiming to be experts and stating false information.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@JLeslie: “I think it is censorship, but necessary at this point.”

There it is. Wow.

kritiper's avatar

Fact checking is just that, and there is no harm in that. Calling it as censorship is to invite fake facts into the mix.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm Took me a while to get to this point, believe me.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Out of curiosity – I know that we’re coming from a different perspective in many ways*, but if you favor censorship or even the current practice of so-called “fact-checking”, who do you trust to do the censoring or “fact-checking”? And do you wish for there to be “fact-checkers” for the “fact-checkers”? If so, who would you trust to do this?

* I don’t think there is getting around the issue that the left has always seen corporate “official/traditional” media as a right-wing force in service to global capital and western imperialism. So, holding up “official/traditional” media as a standard in any way is problematic. If you’re coming to the whole issue of “fake news” via Trump, etc, we are likely to have very different perspectives on the function of media.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm Of course, that is the problem. Who does the fact checking and the controlling of speech? That’s why I have been reluctant, but I see what is happening among acquaintances and friends of mine. They are brainwashed, and it is so much more dangerous now that we have social media.

I might change my mind in a month, but for now, I think something had to be done. Facebook focuses on where the information is coming from. Like I said it doesn’t seem like facebook is limiting free discussion of opinions from users.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@JLeslie: “I might change my mind in a month”

Fair enough.

JLeslie's avatar

When I say brainwashed, I mean literally brainwashed. I have friends who are Q at his point. It is insane.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fact checking is not censoring! Preventing someone from fact checking would be censoring.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Unfortunately, the concepts have merged a bit (Twitter NY Post story, banning of certain sites/pages, for example)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Fact checking may indeed be censorship, but so what? Along with the boon the internet has proven itself to be has come the great lesson on just how pervasive appalling ignorance and idiocy can be in defining this country. And nothing serves to more vividly illustrate this deplorable fact than the show put on by the current President who has singlehandedly pole vaulted fact checking to a front rank profession regarding even the most mundane or basic of facts.! And the conservative disinformation mill is churning crap out with such profligacy that our very language is being distorted as words lose their meaning, and concepts reversed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How is fact checking censorship????

Jeruba's avatar

Censorship is systematic suppression of content considered by the censor to be morally or ideologically objectionable. “Censorship” is a scare word like “discrimination” and “sexism”: it has its legitimate applications, but it is sometimes used to alarm and manipulate and bully.

If a given medium or outlet, privately owned, declines to give a platform to some particular view or expression, that is not censorship. They are not doing anything to prevent the author or originator from putting their views before an audience; but they are declining to provide their own platform for that purpose.

They can’t do a thing to stop the author from presenting those views elsewhere. If they could, that would be censorship. They’re not muzzling the speaker. They’re saying “You can’t use my bullhorn.”

A government or other comprehensive institutional structure has the power to censor, but in practical terms, a private enterprise does not.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba Agreed, but what if facebook is working in concert with the government? They work directly with the FBI and CIA for a lot of this trying to weed out foreign and domestic sources who are infiltrating social media.

Demosthenes's avatar

It does seem to be the case that social media companies hold conservatives to a higher standard. What they’re doing isn’t “censorship” exactly, but that brings up the whole debate over whether social media companies should be treated like the private companies they are by law or the public platforms they have become in practice.

Social media sites are in a lose-lose situation. If they don’t take down an uncited story, they’ll be accused of spreading false information and influencing the election. If they do take it down, they’ll be accused of censorship and bias against conservatives. Either way they risk government regulation. So what should they do? This is one of those problems, like homelessness, that we’re all well-versed in pointing out but there is little offered in the way of solutions.

As I’ve asked before, if we don’t trust the government to decide what’s factual, why should we trust corporations like Facebook and Twitter?

ragingloli's avatar

“It does seem to be the case that social media companies hold conservatives to a higher standard.”
They just lie a whole lot more, is all.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As I see it the internet platforms as well as the responsible media are forced to crack down. Newspapers certainly must seek to authenticate the truth of what they publish. Otherwise, they become mere purveyors of rumors and gossip. Several so called outlets have distinguished themselves for serving exactly that purpose. They can call themselves newspapers, but everyone’s in on the joke.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

It does seem to be the case that social media companies hold conservatives to a higher standard.

Meaning they take down white supremacist hate speech but leave Greenpeace alone. How unfair.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think that’s a very important point. The perception that conservatives in general catch more flak is unquestionably true. The question then becomes whether or not they provoke and deserve the response. More often than not the subject of champion fact checking necessity and just condemnation for misconstrued falsehood is our illustrious President. When it comes to Trump, no misstatement or outright lies can be invented in quantities to pace his talent for dissembled and garbled facts. It is just plain stupid to accuse the media of bias against your party, when the head of that party is renowned principally for the utilization of his office to entrench lying as the nation’s signature art form.

JLeslie's avatar

What I see being taken down is Q garbage and fake doctors saying masks will make you sick and memes with completely false statistics and accusations of Gates injecting people with trackers. Totally crazy shit that people believe.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes @stanleybmanly. That’s why the right seem to be convinced that Snopes, and other fact checking sites, are left leaning….they can’t grasp that they really aren’t. They’re neutral.

cheebdragon's avatar

“Republicans argue that liberal voices are ‘censored’ more than liberal ones”

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