‘Be careful what you wish for’. To all those calling for more censorship of “the Other’s” voices – urging Big Tech companies to become managers in the ministry of truth to rescue the world from dissent, disagreement, and dissolution – there is a simple message – it will ultimately backfire in ways even Huxley and Orwell could not imagine.
As Evan Greer argues below “we need to address the problem of viral disinformation at its root.”
In the United States, progressive groups and lawmakers rightly concerned about the rise of far right online activity, and attempts by state actors to manipulate elections, have increasingly turned to calls for Internet censorship, deplatforming, and more aggressive moderation by companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
These calls are well intentioned but ultimately misguided.
These comments come just hours after controversy was exposed about the sudden and purely coincidental deletion of numerous Hong Kong dissident Twitter accounts after Li Fei-Fei was appointed to Twitter’s board.
As Liberty Bltizkrieg’s Mike Krieger noted so perfectly, “everything about this is insane.”
“The tech giants are out of control, actively laundering national security state talking points via mass media “fact checker” censorship. It’s only gonna get worse.”
Okay I’ll admit it. I still use Facebook. When I logged on last night I saw something I had never seen before: a notification that read “Partly false information found in your post by independent fact checkers.” I was surprised, but figured maybe it was a glitch or related to some joke meme I had posted or something like that. I clicked it to learn more.
Screenshot of the notification Facebook sent me.
It turned out that “Independent fact-checkers” at USA TODAY had flagged a VICE article that I shared, and am quoted in, about the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and the ongoing fight around amendments to rein in mass government surveillance.