Heh

Facebook, in an effort to deal with the fake news crisis, has given five news outlets the power to block the spread of articles they deem “false” on Facebook — empowering them, in essence, to act as the social media giant’s censors. They are the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Snopes, PolitiFact, and the Weekly Standard: four nonpartisan outlets and one conservative one.

The idea that the other four are non-partisan is interesting, don’t you think?

23 comments on “Heh

  1. And The Weekly Standard’s definition of “conservatism” is open borders at home, endless war for Israel abroad. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. It won’t work. The minute people notice articles are being killed off, it becomes a story.

    These companies are signing their own death warrants. It’ll all become WhatsApp groups and Mastodon instances.

  3. BoM4 – As we found out with yesterday’s leak from Google, they define “fake news” as “facts that are inconvenient to the leftwing narrative”. Snopes in particular is bought and paid for by the DNC to put out gay “fact checks” of a flagrantly dishonest nature “CLAIM: BLONALD BLUMF said there are hordes of Mexican rapists flooding across the southern border but ACKSHUALLY some of them are Guatemalan!”

    Driving Alex Jones off social media was a dry run for the purges to come.

    They’re begging for regulation or possibly even a full-scale antitrust action, because no right-winger who isn’t fake opposition will stand for a tiny group of Silicon Valley spergs controlling what the world gets to discuss on t’internets.

    Standard Oil and Big Bell had considerably less power than the internet giants do, and look what happened to them

  4. The case they mention, the Weekly Standard made the right call. You might reasonably say he’s a pro-life candidate but he didn’t say what they said he said.

    It’s fun because it kills any bending of facts, if someone just wants to piss someone else off. Anyone says Amazon should pay their taxes gets thrown out.

  5. BiND – The unexamined assumption seems to be that journalists – who drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower mental level than average people according to the Institute of Studies –

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/journalists-brains-function-at-a-lower-level-than-average-2017-5

    – are somehow fit and entitled to set themselves up as the ultimate arbiters of Truth.

    When in fact they’re basically just the modern equivalent of court jesters and minstrels.

  6. BinD,

    And there’s the problem. You start getting into microscopic arguments to support censorship. So let’s not do this. Let’s let all the loons say things.

  7. Problem with regulation, Steve, and here I start getting all NiV, is that you do it with one group so another will do with you in due course. I say, just go with duckduckgo and the tor browser. These ninnies have signed their own death warrant, as stated above.

  8. Edward – Problem with regulation, Steve, and here I start getting all NiV, is that you do it with one group so another will do with you in due course.

    Definitely. OTOH, that’s the world we already live in.

    You can go to jail for refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings, so why should Facebook be allowed to refuse service to, say, Alex Jones? Or Tommy Robinson? Or Nigel Farage?

    These ninnies have signed their own death warrant, as stated above.

    I dunno about that. It’s not the 90’s anymore – Facebook, Google and to a lesser extent Twitter have scaled up to the point where it’s incredibly difficult, and maybe impossible, for new competition to disrupt them (assuming the new competition doesn’t immediately get bought out by the big boys, which is what usually happens).

    Take YouTube, for example. Who can afford to rival YouTube? It has something like $13Bn in revenues and (probably) still runs at a loss.

    Maybe BigTech will eventually wreck itself, just as Murray Rothbard proved correct about Soviet Communism eventually exhausting itself. But that happy prognostication wouldn’t have been much comfort to a Finnish bloke circa January 1940.

    BTW, speaking of regulation, Labour MP Lucy Powell wants to make it illegal to have private conversations on the internet:

    https://reason.com/blog/2018/09/12/british-lawmaker-wants-to-ban-your-priva

  9. “When in fact they’re basically just the modern equivalent of court jesters and minstrels.”

    You are too generous there, Steve. I’d place most of them somewhere between a town crier and a prostitute…and closer to the latter, frankly.

  10. Steve,

    “The unexamined assumption seems to be that journalists – who drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower mental level than average people according to the Institute of Studies –

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/journalists-brains-function-at-a-lower-level-than-average-2017-5

    – are somehow fit and entitled to set themselves up as the ultimate arbiters of Truth.”

    That’s so true and why the MSM is dyeing. I’ve started listening more and more to podcasts because they get really interesting people on to explore ideas. I’ve just been listening to a Rubin Report with Eric Weinstein, quite a lefty, and Jordan Peterson. Three hours and they managed to explore some controversial issues without falling out and throwing hissy fits including discussing research about the differences in sexes that the MSM would rather you weren’t aware of.

    Long form journalism such as Quilette is also on the rise and again they provide insights that the MSM could never do because they use subject experts.

    BoM4

    “And there’s the problem. You start getting into microscopic arguments to support censorship. So let’s not do this. Let’s let all the loons say things.”

    I agree, I just follow links out of curiosity and end up in places like there, that one came from Christine Sommers, as a way of finding out what’s exercising SJWs.

  11. I see the solution as simple.

    “Platforms” are exempt from liability from things that others say on their platform. The problem is:

    They are no longer platforms! They actively manage content. Ipso facto, they are publishers, not platforms. As publishers, they are subject to libel laws.

    These publishers could be subject to libel lawsuits today. But to make it cleaner, the Congress should define exactly what “platforms” can interrupt and still be platforms.

    I.e., Congress should make a law saying that platforms can intercede with criminal posts and pedophilia posts, for example. Define EXACTLY what they can edit. EVERYTHING ELSE must be left alone, else they become publishers and can be sued over content. They must be compelled by law to stay out of the content business.

    https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

  12. Yeah, the whole “we’re just a platform” claim is no longer tenable. Facebook, Google, etc are clearly engaged in editorial activities. Disapproving posts, shadowbanning, demonetizing, shutting off accounts based on whether or not they find the content in question congenial. Clearly they are publishers and not platforms.

    Whether the distinction would change anything, I don’t know. Libel is pretty damn hard to prove in the US.

  13. Tim,

    Where’s the login button gone on Cont’s? I can find my account but not how to login and I’ve used a couple of different browsers.

  14. “four nonpartisan outlets and one conservative one.”

    What’s the betting that the one conservative one, on this appointment, rapidly gets co opted by extreme leftists?

  15. “I dunno about that. It’s not the 90’s anymore – Facebook, Google and to a lesser extent Twitter have scaled up to the point where it’s incredibly difficult, and maybe impossible, for new competition to disrupt them (assuming the new competition doesn’t immediately get bought out by the big boys, which is what usually happens).”

    Not really. Running huge scale is off-the-shelf now. You used to have to maintain your servers, size your databases, deal with load-balancing. If you thought you had a billion user idea you had to build for that long in advance. Make sure you had hardware and a huge team. Today, I can log onto the Azure console and upgrade my needs from 1 to 10000 instances and it’ll be there in 10 minutes. It’s like turning on the tap.

  16. “Not really. Running huge scale is off-the-shelf now. You used to have to maintain your servers, size your databases, deal with load-balancing. If you thought you had a billion user idea you had to build for that long in advance. Make sure you had hardware and a huge team. Today, I can log onto the Azure console and upgrade my needs from 1 to 10000 instances and it’ll be there in 10 minutes. It’s like turning on the tap.”

    We used to call those Learjet problems, i.e. if we face that problem it’s not really a problem because we’re doing so well.

    Technically scaling your system isn’t as simple as throwing more hardware at the problem (no one ever designs a system for millions from scratch in a start up) but you’re missing the point, how do you create enough demand for a competitor to Google etc? Gigantic firms like Microsoft couldn’t fully manage it, why should the rest of us be able to? Who would even be crazy enough to finance such an endeavor and what kind of return would they expect faced against a behemoth like Google?

    I’m in agreement with Steve, every day that goes by these firms get more and more entrenched and real competition becomes less likely. If it’s as simple as you make out in scaling a solution up then where are all the replacements for Google, Apple and Facebook?

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