The Facebook Fiasco: Censoring “Fake News”

facebook-censorship

The Coddling Culture Continues

“Hillary Puts Out Hit on FBI Men!!!”

You’ve probably seen a title like this pop up on your Facebook feed; especially after your crazy old uncle, or that cousin of yours (with the slightly below average IQ) shared a link from an obscure “news” site that, upon opening, hits you with an avalanche of ads and an article where all facts seem to be MIA.

Well, now the left (out of denial at how horrible their presidential candidate was) is lashing out at these fake “news” sites, claiming they are in fact a large part of what drove president-elect Donald Trump to his triumph. Google and Facebook are now reacting to these claims by rolling out a new censorship campaign against such misinformation sites.

Just when you think that the left couldn’t possibly get any worse, they seem to find a way.

This censorship will likely lead to the incubation of the largest slippery slope that the Internet has caused us to create so far. The “Hillary’s Hit Men” story sites, I’m sure we can almost all agree, are fake. while censoring them will bother those of us who care about freedom of speech (and expression) on a philosophical level, it is in all practicality not likely to be effective in curbing damaging content. What happens, however, when they begin to expand the scope of their censorship campaign? It will inevitably happen; history, you should read it!

What if the censorship expanded to include “conspiracy” sites; for example, Alex Jones and Infowars.com?

His website often straddles the fine line between truth (albeit exaggerated) and outright unsupportable accusations and theories. Would such a well-known source, regardless of quality, be eligible for the chopping block? The fact that we even have to ponder the question should be chilling to all intellectual libertarians.

Maybe, instead, we should try to convince Facebook of something that, in the coddling culture of today, is considered a radical ideal. The ideal that Facebook should just act as information sharing site for all content. In this way its users (instead of having a cyber world version of Big Brother imposed upon them and doing their thinking for them) can finally be encouraged to use that often underutilized organ in their skulls: their brains.

They can think, and then find the truth themselves.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

– John 8:32

This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Bric Butler, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC

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Bric Butler

  • Censorship is the restriction of speech or expression by legislative fiat. It is something governments do. It involves the use of force. Private entities like Facebook do not censor. They use editorial discretion which is their right. A private person or entity has the right to govern terms of use of their products. It is part and parcel of their property rights. I think it is a big mistake philosophically to call actions by Facebook or any other private entity to control how their product is used censorship.

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