From John Ray's shorter notes
July 17, 2018
Facebook and conspiracy theories
The Leftist talent for seeing only one side of an argument -- their side -- is on full display below. There is no doubt that Alex Jones of "Infowars" puts the worst possible interpretation on many political events -- getting to the point where he could be called a "conspiracy theorist". And the Leftist writer claims that such speech is not entitled to free speech protection and should be banned from Facebook.
Facebook do have a reasonable argument against such banning but, be that as it may, the amusing thing is that a ban on conspiracy theories would hit the Left hardest. Leftists are great conspiracy theorists. In the aftermath of the attacks on the twin towers in 2011, no evidence could convince many Leftists that that attack was anything but a put-up job orchestrated by George Bush II. And on some surveys, about a third of Democrat voters believed that the whole thing was a conspiracy of some sort.
Now that we know about FBI attempts to derail Trump's election, it is clear how politically compromised and corrupt the FBI became over the years. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect some FBI collusion with Osama bin Laden. They could simply have sat on warnings they had about him. But that is all wisdom after the event. It is certainly not what the 9/11 conspiracy theorists had in mind.
And what do we see today? I think I need to mention only one word: Russia. Despite a total lack of evidence almost all Leftists seem to think that Russia had a hand in electing Trump. The nearest we have come to evidence for that theory is that the man charged with investigating it -- prosecutor Mueller -- took over a year to come up with something and then charged 12 Russians -- all of whom live in Russia -- with conspiring with HILLARY, not with Trump. Mueller's writ doesn't run in Russia so even that is an empty gesture. The 12 Russians will never face trial.
So I would be quite pleased if Facebook banned conspiracy theories. I could bear hearing less from Jones and it would be amusing to have the chief Democrat talking point largely silenced
As Facebook doubles-down on thwarting the spread of disinformation on its website, recent tweets from the company’s official Twitter account belie its promise to be better at moderating specious content shared by Pages.
At a press event hosted by Facebook’s New York office this week, reporters questioned John Hegeman, the head of News Feed, and Sara Su, a product specialist for News Feed, about its plan to stop hoaxes and conspiracy theories from propagating on Facebook.
According a report on Wednesday from CNN’s Oliver Darcy:
"When asked by this reporter how the company could claim it was serious about tackling the problem of misinformation online while simultaneously allowing InfoWars to maintain a page with nearly one million followers on its website, Hegeman said that the company does not "take down false news."
To that, Hegeman said: “I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards. [And InfoWars has] not violated something that would result in them being taken down.”
When Darcy later tweeted the story, Facebook was provoked to reply, citing a counterargument embraced by the right that moderating problematic content is a matter of free speech—taking down conspiracy theories, so the argument goes, would violate an ever-moving but also inviolable boundary of what is and isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
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