NY Times: Social Media Sites Really Need To Censor More

Does anyone else think it’s rather reckless, and dangerous, for the editorial board of one of the world’s leading newspapers to call for censorship, even of things they call disinformation?

The Poison on Facebook and Twitter Is Still Spreading
Social platforms have a responsibility to address misinformation as a systemic problem, instead of reacting to case after case.

A network of Facebook troll accounts operated by the Myanmar militaryparrots hateful rhetoric against Rohingya Muslims. Viral misinformationruns rampant on WhatsApp in Brazil, even as marketing firms there buy databases of phone numbers in order to spam voters with right-wing messaging. Homegrown campaigns spread partisan lies in the United States.

The public knows about each of these incitements because of reporting by news organizations. Social media misinformation is becoming a newsroom beat in and of itself, as journalists find themselves acting as unpaid content moderators for these platforms.

It’s not just reporters, either. Academic researchers and self-taught vigilantes alike scour through networks of misinformation on social media platforms, their findings prompting — or sometimes, failing to prompt — the takedown of propaganda.

Funny, they aren’t worried about the disinformation coming from the actual news media. Regardless, they spend a lot of time on the subject, even patting “journalists” on the back for “exposing” this stuff.

The companies have all the tools at their disposal and a profound responsibility to find exactly what journalists find — and yet, clearly, they don’t. The role that outsiders currently play, as consumer advocates and content screeners, can easily be filled in-house. And unlike journalists, companies have the power to change the very incentives that keep producing these troubling online phenomena.

In other words, they want the platforms to censor the hell out of the content posted to the sites.

But throwing light on the coordinated misinformation campaigns flaring up all around us is a matter that is much bigger than the death of print — it’s essential to democracy. It can change the course of elections and genocides. Social media platforms are doing society no favors by relying on journalists to leach the poison from their sites. Because none of this is sustainable — and we definitely don’t want to find out what happens when the merry-go-round stops working.

But, what happens when they constantly censor the content? Is not free speech essential to democracy?

In fact, the Times’ editorial mentions Alex Jones, and was upset that Twitter refused to ban him initially. People should be very, very careful when they start calling for bannings and censorship, because they could be the next target.

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10 Responses to “NY Times: Social Media Sites Really Need To Censor More”

  1. Jethro says:

    Don’t private companies such as facebook and Twitter have a right to determine their content? What does the Constitution say?

    If someone wants spread falsehoods or misinformation aren’t there sufficient avenues?

    Does Breitbart? HotAir?

    Do you want the gov’t to force these private companies to publish everything they receive?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    • formwiz says:

      They’ve become public carriers. Like railroads or airlines, they can be subject to regulation. Especially in the realm of the First Amendment. Kinda like the time you CVommies wanted Nazis to march through Skokie.

      And spreading falsehoods seems to be what the Lefty media does.

      Breitbart’s gotten it’s act together and pretty much tells the truth.

      Do you want the gov’t to force these private companies to publish everything they receive?

      In case you haven’t heard, media does not receive, it reports on events.

      Something else where little Jeffery is ignorant.

      • Jethro says:

        Our Dumb, Belligerent Little Buttercup…

        Do you advocate that your “public carriers”, facebook, Twitter et al, publish all content they receive?

        Twitter and facebook report on events, and receive nothing to either reject or publish?? Really?

        Speaking of spreading falsehoods… Your presinit. We rest our case.

        • gitarcarver says:

          The problem is Jeffery that these sites are playing both sides of the fence when it comes to their actions.

          When sued over content on their sites, the companies claim they cannot be held libel under Section 230.

          Courts have ruled that as long as sites do not censor or moderate user generated content to the site, the site cannot be held accountable.

          But now the sites are “censoring” content. That would seem to indicate that the sites are willing to lose their protection under Section 230. However, the social media sites are still claiming that exemption.

          The sites cannot have it both ways.

          Secondly, if the sites can ban or delete content based on their standards, doesn’t that mean that a cake shop should not be forced to back a cake that is against their standards as well?

          There is case law that says that a private company cannot ban or restrict the exercise of speech because they don’t like the content of that speech. There is little doubt that these social media sites have become the “town square” of the day, so the question has to be “when can a private company that is acting as a town square ban speech they do not like?”

        • formwiz says:

          You really are that thick. That’s what they’re in business to do, Mr Entrepreneur. Last I looked, they were begging people to stay after news of all the data leaks.

          Twitter and facebook report on events, and receive nothing to either reject or publish?? Really?

          Twat and Zuck Sucks are not newspapers. They are paid for subscriptions to publish on their website. No mention of political orientation is mentioned.

          If they say the Conservatives violate a “code of conduct” they allow Lefties to violate with impunity, then they’re censoring because of the political stance and that’s a civil rights violation.

          • Jethro says:

            Conservatives are a protected class now?

            Race – Civil Rights Act of 1964
            Religion – Civil Rights Act of 1964
            National origin – Civil Rights Act of 1964
            Age (40 and over) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
            Sex – Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
            (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets ‘sex’ to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity)
            Pregnancy – Pregnancy Discrimination Act
            Citizenship – Immigration Reform and Control Act
            Familial status – Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: (Housing cannot discriminate for having children, with an exception for senior housing)
            Disability status – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
            Veteran status – Vietnam Era Veterans’ ReTeadjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
            Genetic information – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

            TEACHs post also contained that a liberal org was banned.

  2. Dana says:

    Our esteemed host (rhetorically) asked:

    Does anyone else think it’s rather reckless, and dangerous, for the editorial board of one of the world’s leading newspapers to call for censorship, even of things they call disinformation?

    Freedom of the Press is for me, not for thee.

    The editors of the Times and the other ‘credentialed media’ long for a return to the 1970s, before talk radio was big, and before Al Gore invented the internet. Back on the Good Old Days, the professional media were all of the media, and the editors exercised a ‘gatekeeping’ function; what they didn’t want to see the light of day never saw the light of day. If you wrote a 750-word piece on, say, ratification of the proposed SALT II treaty, it was still only published if the editor where you hoped to have it published approved; if not, you got a “sorry, but this does not fill our current needs” form letter, thanking you for your submission anyway.

    Alas! Rush Limbaugh had too much talent, and he ruined talk radio for the left. Then, Mr Gore’s unfortunate invention allowed the plebeians to self-publish. When Powerline and Little Green Footballs exposed CBS’ attempt to use forged documents to torpedo the younger President Bush’s re-election campaign, the credentialed media began to see the graffiti on the wall: if they published fake news, there were now going to be people out there to check them on that.

    My schadenfreude meter was pegged while watching Dan Rather implore Ed Bradley for just one more scenario under which John Kerry could pull out the 2004 election. https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    And now comes the latest outrage: the Patricians were somehow unable to convince the Plebeians that they simply had to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. It seems that the Plebeians were able to communicate amongst themselves, and ignore what their betters told them to do.

    The editors of the Times, highly edumacated people all, have read Plato’s Republic, and the idea that the Philosopher-Kings should be the first class, the citizens who ruled, backed up by the second class, the Soldiers, who would enforce the Philosopher-Kings’ dictates appeals to them very much, as they see their rightful role being that of the Philosopher-Kings.

    The Patricians have always been the smaller class; the commoners always greatly outnumber the nobles. Thus, the Patricians must have tools to control the Plebeians, and control of the media of the day has always been vitally important. Herr Goebbels and der Führer made that clear to them, but they were predated by the Bolsheviks. With the opening up of communication to Plebeians like you and me, people were able to push for answers on Mrs Clinton’s e-mails, and WikiLeaks was able to point out that she was a lush.

    • dachs_dude says:

      Or we finally found out about Stalin’s 1930’s Russia starvation, (no Thank You NYTimes). Or we finally found out that FDR was paralyzed. Or that (Democrat) FDR placed thousands of United States Citizens of Japanese descent into internment camps after stripping them of their homes and businesses during WWII.

  3. formwiz says:

    Notice little Jeffery thinks in terms of protected classes.

    No, moron, American citizens – First Amendment.


    • dachs_dude says:

      Lefties ALWAYS think in these terms.

      You’re either a member of one or more protected classes, or you’re an oppressor.

      As a white, heterosexual, Christian, middle-aged male, who isn’t in a union nor am I on welfare, (OMG — I’m “Wealthy” according to the SJWs!!); my only real concern, according to the libbies, is what group should I be actively oppressing today.

      Thanks to Facebook’s Occupy Democrats page, I usually know which oppressed group should be my main focus early in the day. But as go-getter, I don’t let the other groups feel like they’re not oppressed.

      Since there are so many oppressed groups, I try to split up the day and oppress some groups in the morning and the others in the afternoon.

      Today, I’m supposed to be “oppressing” a US Citizen Journalist, who was a high school classmate of Osama bin Laden and who advocated for terrorism against The West, by not caring that he was killed by the Saudis.

      The other group that I’m supposed to “oppress” today are the Honduran “refugees/migrants” who are ALL men in their 20s and 30s marching up to and hoping to cross into the USA waving their country’s flag. (If that doesn’t sound like an invasion, please let me know what I’m missing).

      Of to “oppress” some more people. Busy. Busy. Busy.


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