In today's digital age, headlines scream about “disinformation” as a pervasive threat that threatens the very foundations of our constitutional republic. It's a phrase often used to justify restrictions on speech, sometimes used wholeheartedly (but mistakenly) for the noble cause of defending the truth, but more often to consolidate power. used for such despicable purposes.
During our time at Parler, we saw firsthand the consequences of overusing this term. We believe Parler was unfairly scapegoated and deplatformed precisely because it refused to “fact-check” content at the behest of its “trusted partners.” After this experience, I realized that what we should be wary of is not disinformation, but the lengths some people will go to to maintain control of the narrative.
Yet, as a society with a government whose legitimacy depends on the consent of the governed, we face a significant challenge: the prevalence of “low-informed voters.” Social media platforms have played a key role in shaping this landscape, benefiting from an environment that actively reinforces those who like more than a bit of misinformation in their feeds.
But big government, mainstream media, and the recently joined crony establishment, a monopolistic cabal of big tech, big pharma, and various NGOs, have a vested interest in keeping the population underinformed. have. Because if these voters encounter facts or arguments that challenge their crony's preferred narrative, it can disrupt the power structures they have carefully constructed.
So while cabal members often complain about low-informed voters, their actions reflect their true preferences, that is, “misinformed” people who can be persuaded of something by someone on the outside. They are betraying voters with less information, who can be easily manipulated, than voters who are “informed” or “misinformed.” Control of the cronies.
At least initially, social media platforms capitalized on the spirit of the digital frontier known as the open internet. They have made this book accessible to millions of people looking to improve their lives by learning about the world we live in. Share your creations, discoveries, products and ideas. Connecting and building relationships with people around the world.
But nationalist and cronyist governments resent competition, especially when it threatens their firm control over the narrative. The open internet puts a world of information at our fingertips, allowing us to research, create our own stories, and make our own choices. It is the nemesis of the manipulative tyrant.
As the old saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them. If the government had adopted this approach, we would have seen politicians and government agencies using social media to share their achievements. to announce their preferred policies and defend them when necessary. To address the questions and concerns of the people they govern. But the results achieved with traditional approaches have not been able to keep up with governments' desire for ever more power, so governments instead seek to force the participation of those they can't win against, and more. I chose to politely call it “urging” or “seducing.” First the mainstream media and then social media companies were induced to help spread the preferred narrative, silencing all challengers.
For power-hungry politicians and bureaucrats, it doesn't really matter whether voters are “low information” or “high information.”What matters is that they are selectively I was informed. And that government and its cronies are making the selections.
Therefore, in an election year, there are calls from all sides to suppress “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and sometimes “misinformation,” or inconvenient truths. Unfortunately, the extent to which coronavirus-era “disinformation” later turns out to be true has not affected the volume or advocacy of these demands for censorship.
This problem has a simple solution. Our government has seduced online platforms, effectively treating them as agents of crony information gatekeepers. Section 230 allows platforms to be exempt from liability for user-generated content, even if the platform's algorithmic operations significantly expand the reach of that content.
We propose a different rule. Algorithmic operations that expand the scope of user-generated content relative to other content should subject the platform to potential legal liability for that content as if the platform were its publisher. With this amendment, users' freedom of speech will once again be fully protected. Because platforms will no longer be able to claim that the right to free speech includes immunity from liability when they take steps to ensure that selected users speak on their behalf. .
After all, if a platform favors content that supports a particular narrative with respect to “disinformation” that challenges it, then the claims implied and supported by such manipulation are fraudulent; Isn't it fair to be held legally responsible if it is fraudulent? Defamation?
Whether this change requires a narrower interpretation, amendment, or complete repeal of Section 230 is debatable. What's not up for debate is that platforms will no longer want to manipulate users into outsourcing critical thinking to “fact checkers,” “trusted partners,” or opaque algorithms.
The real battle in this election year is to ensure that the consent of the governed is achieved by voters who have truly free minds and have every opportunity to be fully informed.
Jeffrey and Amy are Strategic Investor and Chief Policy Officer, respectively. bit shootis a video service provider that puts creators first and facilitates and facilitates the exercise of users' fundamental rights wherever possible. bit shoot We are committed to fighting hate through debate, rather than relying on algorithmic manipulation or censorship.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.