It’s becoming obvious on which side of the age-old debate about sheltering children Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey fall. Zuckerberg’s Facebook has taken a position that the people who use its social media platform have brains and should use them to determine the truthfulness of political ads. Dorsey’s Twitter decided to shelter everyone like a helicopter mommy and ban political ads from its platform.
It’s really a stupid debate, and very obviously Facebook is doing it right, while Twitter is virtue signaling. Both platforms face a daily deluge of bot accounts and foreign influencers attempting to challenge their algorithms and promote fake news. Both platforms have been criticized in the past for leaning too liberal–but at least Zuckerberg admits he’s got a problem. Dorsey has the same problem but chooses to keep his ears plugged.
What you should notice here is that the same people who laud Dorsey for locking out all political ads are attacking Zuckerberg for giving people credit for having a brain.
In typical Alinsky fashion, Democrats tried to get Facebook to engage in censorship by running obviously stupid ads based on fake assertions. From Vox, who of course think it’s ridiculous to assume people have brains, because their entire business plan is based on the opposite assumption:
Then, Democrats decided to challenge the policy allowing fake ads … by running fake ads of their own on Facebook. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has emerged as a fierce Facebook critic in the 2020 primary, ran a fake ad claiming Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had endorsed Trump’s reelection. Warren also, without evidence, suggested the social network had adopted the policy as part of a backroom deal with Trump. And last week, high-profile freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got Zuckerberg to admit in a House hearing he would “probably” let her run ads against Republicans saying they supportedthe Green New Deal. Along the way, Zuckerberg continued defending the policy, even as his own employees, in a rare move, wrote a letter expressing concern with the stance and pushed him to rethink his decision.Facebook’s political ads policy is predictably turning out to be a disaster, Vox, October 30, 2019
Publishing stupidity to test whether Facebook will remove it or allow people to see how incandescently moronic it is, is exactly what we expect of Elizabeth Warren. It’s perfectly in line with her long history of janky attempts at scholarship.
The New York Times gave Hollywoodite Aaron Sorkin free ink to go after Zuckerberg. I lifted the quote from Rolling Stone, that bastion and banner of all truth in journalism (especially fake rape accusations).
“I admire your deep belief in free speech,” Sorkin wrote, adding, “But this can’t possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children’s lives.”Aaron Sorkin Accuses Mark Zuckerberg of Letting ‘Crazy Lies’ Be ‘Pumped Into the Water Supply’, Rolling Stone, October 31, 2019
Lies only have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on people if they believe them. And that’s the difference, ze’s and zir’s, between Zuckerberg, who knows you have a brain and encourages you to use it, and Dorsey, who believes you need mother to think for you. Jack said that he believed that the reach of political messages “should be earned, not bought.” Whatever that means.
Of course, politicians will continue to tweet whatever bilge they want, but they can’t promote well-crafted ads on Twitter, and neither can anyone else.
But on Twitter, you can find plenty of material if you search for #chemtrails, or #vaccines, or #moonhoax, or #holocaustfake, or any number of anti-social Qanon, racist, anti-semitic, or otherwise evil garbage fires. Apparently these aren’t the “crazy lies” we’re looking for. No, we’re looking for political lies like the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd, or whose picture was edited in a meme of Trump putting a medal on Conan the Dog (seriously).
I would think, in this political climate, it would be more important than ever to back away from censorship, and instead encourage people to think for themselves, versus trying to be mommy helicopter to everyone on the planet. But liberals are, at heart, central planners, and thinking for yourself is too divisive and unfair and messy, compared to the we’ll-tell-you-what-to-think approach used in places like, say, Beijing. You know, like the NBA thinks for itself.
I’m glad Zuckerberg and Facebook have endorsed brain usage–and at the same time, used their own brains to prevent themselves from becoming slaves to China’s strongarm tactics. All Dorsey and Twitter are doing is raising the ever-billowing black flag of virtue to signal to all the world who should do the thinking (and Dear Reader, it’s not you).