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But, but, there must be control!

Closing the Stanford Internet Observatory will edge the US towards the end of democracy
John Naughton
The organisation responsible for monitoring digital falsehoods is reportedly being wound down after pressure from Republicans and conspiracy theorists

As ever, the problem with the answer to “What is Truth?” is “Who defines what is true?”

The only answer anyone’s ever come up with that does not descend into an authoritarian dystoopia is “No one does”.

The moment there’s someone who can say “You can’t say that” – absent such general restrictions as libel and calls to immediate violence – then people with a script for society will struggle and take power at the people with the power to censor. Which is why we can’t have the censorship.

This is true whether it’s darkies are stupid, climate change totally is happening so or Biden’s a doddery. As it happens the answers are no, yes, yes – but the moment there’s someone with that power to state that these are “true” with all the concommitant well, people shouldn’t lie so therefore they can’t be allowed to say yes, no, no, then there will be people struggling for that power to determine what people will say.

So, we can’t have that determinant of truth. Not one with any actual power that is.

14 thoughts on “But, but, there must be control!”

  1. They were probably saying “Biden is suffering from senile dementia” was a falsehood and should be suppressed.

    Until it was obvious and their prior view was memory holed. That’s why such places need closing down. It’s just more power to the state to control us.

    As someone else says. Lions with Piano wire are next.

  2. “This is true whether it’s darkies are stupid, climate change* totally is happening so or Biden’s a doddery. As it happens the answers are no, yes, yes”.
    *The belief that it’s man’s fault that is)……….

    You may have drunk the Kool Aid** Tim, but for us grown ups answer two requires empirical evidence.

    **Pendant alert, it wasn’t Kool Aid, it was ‘Flavor Aid’ – grape.

  3. @Addolff
    There’s empirical evidence climate is changing.* It always is. It’s the anthropogenic needs evidence & degree.

    *For instance:
    Which could easily be an explanation for current warming. Before the event, climate was in a general warming phase. The event causes rapid cooling. But 12,000 years could easily be the delay to recover the warming. It took a long time to get out of the previous ice age. That abrupt build up of ice cover in northern latitudes enhanced reflectivity & thus cooling & it dissipating requires a lengthy period. And yes there could be a point in the warming process where feedback mechanisms rapidly accelerate it. So no need for the anthropogenic explanation.

  4. ‘You can’t say that’ is pretty much a proof that it’s true. The proper response is ‘Let’s discuss the accuracy of your statement.’

    And the answers: It depends, no, yes. Or, show me, show me, I told you so.

  5. I do like the concept of the “Stanford Internet Observatory”. The usual university tossers staring into the wrong end of a telescope.

  6. The earlier post which refers to“fact checking” by some tranny protest group is a great example of how that exercise can be entirely twisted and disingenuous.

  7. BiS, that was the point behind my clarification.
    Whenever the econutters say global warming / boiling / crisis etc etc they always mean ‘it is changing and it is man’s fault’. No argument.
    When we know that it is (changing) but there is no evidence it is (mans’ fault).

  8. Until recently, the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) in California was one such outfit. Among other things (it was the first to out Russian support for Donald Trump online in 2016)

    Falsely smearing the President of the United States as some sort of Russian asset is fact checking, bigots.

    One is the Republicans’ obsessive conviction that academic studies, like those of DiResta and her colleagues, of how “bad actors – spammers, scammers, hostile foreign governments, networks of terrible people targeting children, and, yes hyper-partisans actively seeking to manipulate the public” use digital platforms to achieve their aims is, somehow, anti-conservative.

    Why do these evil, insane racists we’re trying to smear think we’re against them? Reeee! Culture war!

  9. The first time anyone said, “You can’t say that!” to me subsequently, decades later, became a high commander and drug pusher in South Africa’s Covid response, which fortunately most ignored despite the hyperbole. Also completely humourless.

  10. Even if the climate emergency is real, the proscribed solution is unworkable. There isn’t a technical solution that doesn’t make us very much poorer than we are now, and politicians can’t magic one into effect with retarded legislation despite their best efforts.
    In reality, what we have is too many people, but who is going to vote to be culled first? Not the billionaire in a luxury bunker who are assuming their security detail are too stupid to kill them and take the lot for themselves.

  11. Joe Smith,

    Even if you’re generally trusting the scientists, there is no “climate emergency”. If the science is right and we did nothing, we would barely notice the difference by 2100. Kent becomes more like Reims. A few marginal areas of central America and North Africa become inhospitable, some parts of Norway become more liveable. A relatively small number of people have to move 250 miles, and we have 75 years to deal with that. Ragnarok, it is not.

  12. Regarding libel/slander – in the US we don’t even say ‘you can’t say that’. Only that if you do say that you had better be able to back it up;)

    ‘no prior restraint’ is a rare legal principle that is upheld by the vast majority (sadly, not all) of the judiciary here.

  13. Did I see an idea floating about over in France at the mo?

    Politician tells a lie and is banned from standing for office for four years.

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