Facebook’s China syndrome: Censoring fake news

Facebook’s China syndrome: Censoring fake news

Americans did in fact “discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda” by ignoring the major news outlets and the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton presidency. They voted for Trump

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2016 — While on a visit to Germany, a country that is no stranger to strong governments with a burning desire to silence all opposition, President Obama voiced his concern over so-called “fake news.”

He said,

“If we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems… particularly in an age of social media when so many people are getting their information in sound bites and off their phones.

Obama singled out Facebook’s user news feed function as a primary disseminator of “fake news.” The political left – which includes the mainstream media – blame alternative conservative news sites with turning the presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor.


The hive of ‘Fake news’ defeats liberal media’s Borg collective


While attending a conference in Half Moon Bay, California, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg told attendees that claims his social networking platform “influenced” the outcome of the presidential election is “a pretty crazy idea” and that “people vote based on their life experiences.”

To think otherwise, Zuckerberg said, displays a “profound lack of empathy” for Trump’s supporters.

In a post to Facebook users, Zuckerberg said,

“The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically. We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible.”

However, Zuckerberg said that for now the site will rely on its users to “report any link as false, and use signals from those reports… to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation.”

In other words, the social network’s programmers – like China’s societal overseers– will depend on informants to clamp down on political dissent, ah, “misinformation.”

shootchina

Zuckerberg then added this ominous note, “The most important thing we can do is improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.”

Ah, yes, technology designed with authoritarian algorithms to outpace the much slower human snitch.

“The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas,” the New York Times reported. “The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked,” said the Times.

They added that three former Facebook employees said

“Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the [censorship] effort.”

It sounds like the United States may soon join those “geographic areas” whose Facebook users see only what their supreme leaders wish them to see: spoon-fed official “truth’ designed to spare the unwashed masses the mental anguish of having to use their God-given faculties to “discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda.”

Who needs to think when our self-appointed betters are so willing to do it for us?

Programmers busily coding at Facebook's California campus.
Programmers busily coding at Facebook’s California campus.

But Americans did in fact “discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda” by ignoring the major news outlets and their phony polls proclaiming the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Without any help from Zuckerberg’s programmers or the condescending whining emanating from the presidential bully pulpit, they flooded their local precincts, ignored the mainstream media’s “fake news” and made Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States.

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