The Washington Post reports that back in November – after the election – Obama met with Mark Zuckerberg to warn him about the spread of fake news on Facebook. Obama reportedly pleaded to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news seriously and spoke on the implications fake news would have on the upcoming 2020 election if Zuckerberg left it unchecked. As WaPo puts it:
Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama that those messages weren’t widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy.
Either Zuckerberg is clueless or willfully ignorant. Without a doubt, fake news dominates Facebook – ripping through scores and scores of users worldwide on a daily basis. Last week, Zuckerberg even admitted that Facebook sold over $100,000 in ads to Russian companies and fake Russian accounts. To say there is “no easy remedy” to fake news, however, is true. Still, fake news is only a danger to a dullard populace, which the U.S. is undoubtedly faced with.
Ever since the topic of “fake news” exploded during the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, it has been worked as a guise and vehicle for creeping censorship and corporate autocracy. Out of the $100K in ads that went to Russian companies or accounts, Facebook is only turning over “3,000 politically themed advertisements that were bought by suspected Russian operatives” to Congress. A great write-up on ZeroHedge exposes how all of this is simply BS:
…[A total] $26.8 billion in ad revenue that Facebook generated in the U.S… If $50,000 [of Russian influence] can swing an entire presidential election can you imagine what $26.8 billion can do? Of course, not all of that $26.8 billion was spent on political advertising so we took a shot at breaking it down further. We… found that political advertising represented ~5% of the overall ad market in the U.S. in 2016. We further assumed that political share of the overall ad market is roughly half of that amount in non-election years, or 2.5%… Using that data, we figure that Facebook may get ~3.5% of their annual revenue from political advertising in an average year, or nearly $1 billion per year…give or take a few million. Unfortunately, this still does little to support Zuckerberg’s thesis that the $50,000 he keeps talking about is in any way relevant to the 2016 election.
3,000 politically themed Russian ads are a drop in the ocean compared to the potential Facebook could have had at influencing the election. Suggesting that 3,000 ads influenced an election only makes the hypocrisy of Zuckerberg’s $1 billion a year from politically-oriented advertising shine brighter. If you believe that Facebook had your best interests at heart during the 2016 election, consider that site co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, donated $20 million to various groups supporting Clinton. For Facebook to front and act as if they’re saintly battling a plague of fake news is egregious, especially when they likely had a hand in manufacturing some as well.
Concerning a globalist elite like Zuckerberg and a vague, monolithic effort to rail against – the fight against fake news is a slippery slope.
With Facebook allegedly “combating fake news”, we also have to take a look at tech giants YouTube, Google, and Twitter. To preface – yes, I know Facebook, et al are all private corporations so freedom of speech doesn’t exactly apply but when giant corporations start to impose what thought and speech is correct – you have to ask yourself, where will the line be drawn?
You may remember, back in August, Google fired James Damore, an engineer who penned a document and circulated it internally on cultural taboos and gender diversity at Google and in technology. Once the memo hit the online sphere and went viral, Damore’s employment was terminated for no other reason than his espousing of thoughts deemed to be “wrong”. Instead of debate or discussion, discourse was instead quashed by Google. Speaking on Google and their progressive echo chamber, Damore hit the nail on the head:
If you’re a progressive, sometimes you don’t even see a progressive echo chamber, because you just think, ‘oh, that’s how it should be.
To answer my previous question, an echo chamber prevents any line from being drawn. Were it up to the progressive liberals at Google, free speech and thought would be stamped out until it were extinguished, simply because that’s how they believe it should be. No dissenting voices, no wrong opinions, no “wrongthink”; just a progressive platform for liberal ideals and thought. Truly, fascism is not found on the conservative right, but instead the liberal left. Creeping censorship and thought policing slowly creeps into our society, seemingly to no one’s alarm.
Google, an immense and huge corporation, should be unable to fire someone based on their beliefs. In Damore’s case, it isn’t discrimination because it isn’t a liberal belief.
YouTube is by far the worst offender as of late. Bear in mind, YouTube is owned by Google. Not only does Google fire employees with unacceptable ideas, their child company also strips “offensive” channels of their ad-earnings. Infowar’s Paul Joesph Watson had all of the videos on his channel demonetized. Independent reporter, Tim Pool’s channel was mass-demonetized. Pro-Trump YouTubers Diamond & Silk were also demonetized for merely supporting the President. Dave Rubin exposed, along with his own channel being demonetized, just how many channels were hit…
Along with demonetizing channels, YouTube also introduced a new “feature”: Limited State.
Videos labeled “offensive” or not ad-friendly enough for advertisers are to be put in a “limited state” – digital purgatory. Videos with any triggering or dissenting views will be quarantined and isolated away from the main thoroughfares of YouTube. Videos in a limited state will unable to be liked, commented on, or searched for. Boy – any conservative, anti-SJW YouTubers better watch their mouth or their platform will be yanked out from under their feet. That’s what they get for not conforming to the acceptable type of thinking! YouTube – as a private company – is allowed to pull this kind of behavior. As YouTube continues to silence and eliminate any voices they don’t agree with, what do we do in the meantime? Do we willingly use a website that is staunchly against conservative, right-leaning opinion? As of yet, there is no real alternative to YouTube. To continue using YouTube – after their numerous abuses of power – makes us the fool. It’s only a matter of time before you say something that YouTube doesn’t agree with, and then what?
Twitter has proven time and time again that they are willing to ban users based on their opinions alone, no matter who they are. Right-leaning, conservative voices have been banned and pushed off of Twitter en masse. Milo Yiannopoulos, most notably, and a smattering of other users – names big and small – have been banned from Twitter for doing nothing more than holding beliefs and thoughts that deviate from the progressive norms of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO.
It’s obvious that U.S. tech giants are molding and decreeing what thoughts and opinions are acceptable. Through a digital platform, their actions can and will have real world consequences. No viable alternatives exist for the wide and all-encompassing reach of Google and YouTube; though thankfully, Twitter slowly fails and loses value as more and more conservatives are banned. This brazen thought policing and censorship only highlights the complete autocracy of the field of U.S. technology. Gigantic, powerful corporations sit as judge with a gavel and decide what thought is right and what thought is wrong. It simply shouldn’t be this way. Any healthy and free market not only encourages competition but practices it as well.
Ask yourself a simply question: when you go online, what websites do you use? Overwhelmingly, the answers will be Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter – the same corporations limiting freedom of speech and expression for their users… Coincidence? I think not.
Already, the line has been drawn for me. I stand up against all of the censorship and unethical business practices becoming the unedifying norm. Discourse, debate, and intellect are traits of a dying era but if YouTube or Google has anything to say about it, they’ll make sure it never returns.