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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

No, Twitter should not censor Fake News

The New York Times in one of its news stories-disguised-as-an-editorial called rumors Fake News in a story today.

With its circulation, advertising and influence at 30-year lows, the Times and the rest of the dinosaur media want Congress to censor social media.

The Times story did not mention its own Nobel-wining economist, Paul Krugman, spreading the Fake News that President Trump brought cholera to Puerto Rico.

Krugman advised Enron.

But Nobels like Pulitzers are political.

Also left out of the story on rumors about the Las Vegas massacre, Newsweek lying about the suspect's girlfriend.

The media covers for its own.

From the New York Times:
When they woke up and glanced at their phones on Monday morning, Americans may have been shocked to learn that the man behind the mass shooting in Las Vegas late on Sunday was an anti-Trump liberal who liked Rachel Maddow and, that the F.B.I. had already linked him to the Islamic State, and that mainstream news organizations were suppressing that he had recently converted to Islam.
They were shocking, gruesome revelations. They were also entirely false — and widely spread by Google and Facebook.
In Google’s case, trolls from 4Chan, a notoriously toxic online message board with a vocal far-right contingent, had spent the night scheming about how to pin the shooting on liberals. One of their discussion threads, in which they wrongly identified the gunman, was picked up by Google’s “top stories” module, and spent hours at the top of the site’s search results for that man’s name.
In Facebook’s case, an official “safety check” page for the Las Vegas shooting prominently displayed a post from a site called “Alt-Right News.” The post incorrectly identified the shooter and described him as a Trump-hating liberal. In addition, some users saw a story on a “trending topic” page on Facebook for the shooting that was published by Sputnik, a news agency controlled by the Russian government. The story’s headline claimed, incorrectly, that the F.B.I. had linked the shooter with the “Daesh terror group.”
Google and Facebook blamed algorithm errors for these.
A Google spokesman said, “This should not have appeared for any queries, and we’ll continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Rumors are almost as old as language.

The media — unable to compete with social media  — wants Congress to intervene.
On Monday, Facebook handed congressional investigators 3,000 ads that had been purchased by Russian government affiliates during the 2016 campaign season, and it vowed to hire 1,000 more human moderators to review ads for improper content. (The company would not say how many moderators currently screen its ads.) Twitter faces tough questions about harassment and violent threats on its platform, and is still struggling to live down a reputation as a safe haven for neo-Nazis and other poisonous groups. And Google also faces questions about its role in the misinformation economy.
Of course, the First Amendment forbids a law. Congress instead will lean on Zuckerberg and other billionaires to censor.

And yes, they are censoring people. The companies have become the public square.

Given that Google and the like already caved to China, we can expect what another cave-in to Congress.


I don't know the answer.

I do know that there is no cholera in Puerto Rico.


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  1. Gee, I'm old enough to remember Sarah Palin suing the New York Times for the editorial blaming her for the Giffords shooting in Arizona.

  2. For the Times and other legacy media it is who gets to lie that is important. They of course want themselves to have the same monopoly they enjoyed from their glory days of supporting Stalin's mass murders ( he killed as many people in his own country as all that died in WWI) because he was a communist , like them. Today its Komsomol cadres labor in the same spirit.
    The Scion pretended alerting Osama to the SWIFT codes sweeps was of no importance merely so he could brag to his Hamptons friends that he faced down GW in the Oval. His editors let Krugman, who Trump made into a complete fool with his economic recovery, smear Trump's valiant efforts to supply help to a corrupt incompetent bankrupt third world country that would vote 1000% for Dems if it could become a state and in fact its citizens do so in NYC and so they hope in FL. .
    There is a lot of lying on the internet now, and the left is right up there, always first in line with well funded and often ornate Goebbelsian propaganda. But the internet is known to be deceptive so most users of it are on guard now.
    Yet for many this is not the case. Scores of newspapers in the USA rely on prestige liars like NYT or the Bezos Blog in DC to tell them what to think. Amazingly their age and geography are taken for gravitas by unsure but always liberal editors and readers who still secretly consider themselves hicks because they don't live in NYC. (you laugh, but it is true)
    Nothing can be done to guarantee what one reads or hears is truth, not even the historians can make it so, often at a distance of decades or even centuries. But why hand power today to one Hamptons laird who hates your deplorable guts, instead of to rude elves of all stripes, wicked as many might be.

  3. Paullie "The Beard" Krugman: First in my reasons to disbelieve anything the NYT prints.