Free Speech

Since Platform-by-Platform Censorship Doesn't Work, These Researchers Think, the Government Should Help 'Halt the Spread of Misinformation'

Their study found that Twitter's efforts to police Donald Trump's false election fraud claims were ineffective and may even have backfired.

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Before Twitter banned then–President Donald Trump in response to the January 6 Capitol riot, the platform tried to police his false claims about election fraud by attaching warning labels or blocking engagement with them. A new study suggests those efforts were ineffective at preventing the spread of Trump's claims and may even have backfired by drawing additional attention to messages that Twitter deemed problematic.

Those findings highlight the limits of content moderation policies aimed at controlling misinformation and, more generally, the futility of responding to lies by trying to suppress them. But the researchers think their results demonstrate the need to control online speech "at an ecosystem level," with an assist from the federal government.

The study, published today in Harvard's Misinformation Review, looked at Trump tweets posted from November 1, 2020, through January 8, 2021, that Twitter flagged for violating its policy against election-related misinformation. Zeve Sanderson and four other New York University social media researchers found that tweets with warning labels "spread further and longer than unlabeled tweets." And while blocking engagement with messages was effective at limiting their spread on Twitter, those messages "were posted more often and received more visibility on other popular platforms than messages that were labeled by Twitter or that received no intervention at all."

Sanderson et al. caution that these correlations do not necessarily mean that Twitter's interventions boosted exposure to Trump's claims, since the explanation could be that "Twitter intervened on posts that were more likely to spread." But the results are at least consistent with the possibility that flagging tweets or blocking engagement with them added to their allure. Either way, those measures demonstrably did not stop Trump from promoting his fantasy of a stolen election.

The problem, as Sanderson and his colleagues see it, is insufficient cooperation across platforms. They suggest the government should do more to overcome that problem.

"Taken together, these findings introduce compelling new evidence for the limited impact of one platform's interventions on the cross-platform diffusion of misinformation, emphasizing the need to consider content moderation at an ecosystem level," the researchers write. "For state actors, legislative or regulatory actions focused on a narrow band of platforms may fail to curb the broader spread of misinformation. Alarmingly, YouTube has been largely absent from recent Congressional hearings—as well as from academic and journalistic work—even though the platform is broadly popular and served as a vector of election misinformation."

Just to be clear: Sanderson and his colleagues don't think it is "alarming" when the federal government pressures social media companies to suppress speech it considers dangerous. The alarming thing, as far as they are concerned, is that the pressure, including "legislative or regulatory actions" as well as congressional hearings, is not applied more broadly.

"Political actors seeking to advance a narrative online are not limited to working within a single platform," study coauthor Joshua Tucker complains in an interview with USA Today. "People who are trying to control information environments and who are trying to push political information environments are in a multiplatform world. Right now, the only way we have to deal with content is on a platform-by-platform basis."

Megan Brown, another coauthor, suggests that the problem could be remedied if social media platforms reached an agreement about which kinds of speech are acceptable. "Misinformation halted on one platform does not halt it on another," she observes. "In the future, especially with respect to the ongoing pandemic and the 2022 midterms coming up, it will be really important for the platforms to coordinate in some way, if they can, to halt the spread of misinformation."

And what if they can't—or, more to the point, won't? Given the emergence of multiple social media platforms whose main attraction is their laissez-faire approach to content moderation, this scenario seems pretty unlikely. It would require coercion by a central authority, which would be plainly inconsistent with the First Amendment. And even government-mandated censorship would not "halt the spread of misinformation." As dictators across the world and throughout history have discovered, misinformation (or speech they place in that category) wants to be free, and it will find a way.

This crusade to "halt the spread of misinformation" should trouble anyone who values free speech and open debate. The problem of deciding what counts as misinformation is not an inconvenience that can be overcome by collaboration. Trump's claim that Joe Biden stole the presidential election may seem like an easy call. Likewise anti-vaccine warnings about microchips, infertility, and deadly side effects. But even statements that are not demonstrably false may be deemed dangerously misleading, or not, depending on the censor's perspective.

The Biden administration's definition of intolerable COVID-19 misinformation, for example, clearly extends beyond statements that are verifiably wrong. "Claims can be highly misleading and harmful even if the science on an issue isn't yet settled," says Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who urges a "whole-of-society" effort, possibly encouraged by "legal and regulatory measures," to combat the "urgent threat to public health" posed by "health misinformation." Given the many ways that the federal government can make life difficult for social media companies, they have a strong incentive to cast a net wide enough to cover whatever speech the administration considers "misleading," "harmful," or unhelpful.

Meanwhile, the companies that refuse to play ball will continue to offer alternatives for people banished from mainstream platforms, as the NYU study demonstrates. Leaving aside the question of whether interventions like Twitter's perversely promote the speech they target, they certainly reinforce the conviction that the government and its collaborators are trying to hide inconvenient truths. They also drive people with mistaken beliefs further into echo chambers where their statements are less likely to be challenged. The alternative—rebutting false claims by citing countervailing evidence—may rarely be successful. But at least it offers a chance of persuading people, which is how arguments are supposed to be resolved in a free society.

NEXT: The Democratic Dividing Line: Big Government...Or Even Bigger Government? 

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    3. Yes.

      The study, published today in Harvard’s Misinformation Review

      Egyptian Military, which banned CNN at one point, saying “The people cannot be exposed to this information without government to put it in context.”: That study sounds great to us!

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  1. People from Harvard pining for fascism. Color me shocked.

    1. Freedom loss never seems like loss when you’re the ones in charge.

      US government design, by The People and The Several States, is to blanket forbid government from building these tools of tyranny to begin with.

      These Harvard guys are idiots whistling past the graveyard of freedom.

    2. We should take our cue from Australia – we should ‘lockdown’ social media, to bend the curve on rising mid-information. Shut them all down – “just for two weeks” – to save lives by stopping the spread of Mia-information.

  2. Also, them being researchers is pretty much incidental. Though it’s also not surprising.

    1. Is searching and searching again until you find the right answer not researching?

      1. Depends, are we determining what the “right answer” is before, or after the searching?

  3. I have an idea: just treat anyone who says anything wrong as a stupid idiot, and they’ll stop.

    That’s how it works in my family.

    1. No, we need the government to create a Ministry to determine the Truth, and to change or destroy misinformation from the past that does not conform to today’s truth.

      1. *Starts designing memory holes*

    2. I think that’s the point of bringing in the Gov-Guns.
      There just aren’t as many stupid idiots as they hoped there would be.

  4. Just to be clear: Sanderson and his colleagues don’t think it is “alarming” when the federal government pressures social media companies to suppress speech it considers dangerous. The alarming thing, as far as they are concerned, is that the pressure, including “legislative or regulatory actions” as well as congressional hearings, is not applied more broadly.

    Nope! That paragraph doesn’t exist! Reason has no problem with government control over social media because they said mean things about Trump! That paragraph is from a libertarian point of view, and Reason is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Democrat party! Besides, they were mean to Trump which means they wanted this, and have no grounds to complain!

    Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, Ashli Babbitt! Reason wanted her to die!

    I think that covers it.

    1. The fact you think this rag is libertarian is hilarious, screetch.

      Now go post an affirming reply in your fat jeff costume.

      1. He is not “screetch”, you dumb shit.

        I was “shrike” for years and some of the riff-raff altered my screen name – not that it bothered me.

        1. He screetches, you squeal.

        2. Hey remember after you changed your handle from shreek to Sarah Palin’s Buttplug how you posted child pornography at Reason.com and got that account permanently banned? That was even more funny than the mentally deranged shit you posted under your Dajjal and AddictionMyth sockpuppets about how all of the commenters at Reason.com were department of defense employees stalking you. And by “funny” I mean sick and illegal. It’s a good thing Reason.com loves kiddie fuckers. Any other site would have turned you in.

          1. Have considered going back to the article, getting the evidence and making sure he gets prosecuted.

        3. That was you? Explains a lot.

    2. Now time to turn on your Sqrlsy sockpuppet and shitpost this thread to oblivion.

    3. Reason also wants the government to spend trillions more. When Nick Gillespie rants about spending, he’s doing it with a wink.

      1. Opposite day! Stop hitting yourself! Homosaywhat?

    4. Nope! That paragraph doesn’t exist! Reason has no problem with government control over social media because they said mean things about Trump! That paragraph is from a libertarian point of view, and Reason is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Democrat party! Besides, they were mean to Trump which means they wanted this, and have no grounds to complain!

      1 paragraph versus 18 months of the precise opposite. No one had to infer Reason’s position, they made it very, very clear in many, many articles that they were fully in favor of censorship by MUH PRIVATE COMPANIES and any suggestion that the government was influencing the decision making of MUH PRIVATE COMPANIES was brushed off as conspiratorial nonsense. You should know, since you sat in the comment sections of all of those articles Koch sucking until your face turned blue, defending the authors of those pieces, and likewise stating outright and unreservedly that any suggestion that MUH PRIVATE COMPANIES were being influenced by threats of action from the government were ridiculous conspiracies.

      Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, Ashli Babbitt! Reason wanted her to die!

      Reason has never published a single piece on the Ashli Babbitt murder. You can draw some conclusions from that given how much ink they spill covering unarmed police shootings even when they are completely justified, such as the shooting of Jacob Blake as he was wielding a knife and trying to kidnap 3 children. But it was you who state unequivocally that because she committed misdemeanor trespass, Ashli Babbitt deserved to be shot in the face. Not Reason. This after you spent a full year shrieking hysterically quite literally every single day for multiple hours per day about fentanyl Floyd being “murdered” by a common police restraint while cranked out of his mind on enough drugs to kill a horse, and excusing race rioters who successfully killed 3 dozen people and attempted to kill hundreds more. So yeah, you did miss a couple things. Hope that helps!

      1. Private companies acting out of their own free will is OK, but government censors pushing them to isn’t. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

        Read this article and tell me where you see the words “conspiratorial nonsense”
        https://reason.com/2021/08/10/the-biden-administration-is-pushing-social-media-platforms-to-expand-their-definition-of-intolerable-covid-19-misinformation/

        1. The difficult thing is dealing with Reason not understanding that the companies aren’t acting of their own free will. Just because Congress doesn’t pass a law mandating social media censorship doesn’t mean there aren’t back channel threats being exchanged.

          It’s like Reason has totally forgotten that Operation Choke Point was a real thing, was covert, and does not appear to have actually ended.

    5. You claim you criticize those pushing overbearing regulations.

      sarcasmic
      August.23.2021 at 1:21 pm
      Flag Comment Mute User
      Except that I’m not supporting or ignoring the other. People like you just glaze over posts where I’m critical of Dems because it doesn’t fit your cognitive biases.

      Yet you seem to always instead attack those fighting for freedoms. Strange.

  5. That alleged study is disinformation. Do not read it, or read about it.
    It lacks context.

  6. The government is the biggest source of misinformation.

    1. Yep, now how c4am we shut them up?

  7. Talk about misinformation, the Taliban is still on Twitter claiming to respect women’s rights, while the UN states the have “credible” information that the Taliban is abusing and even executing women.

    1. Yes, but Trump claimed a sketchy election with fantastic numbers was fraudulent, and that’s far worse.
      Sure Hillary did it too, but that’s different because fuck you.

      1. ^
        It seemed odd at start, but after the fury of Dems to block all challenges and inquiries, I am convinced they’re cheating liars, as usual.

    2. Of course the Taliban supports rights for women: right crosses, right uppercuts…

      1. Aren’t you supposed to hit women with your left hand?

        1. correct. wipe with your right hand and slap females with the left

  8. “Misinformation” is the left’s new “fake news” but few on the left are self-aware enough to realize it

    1. It’s Plato’s noble lie.

      “In politics, a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly propagated by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie

      They don’t care whether what’s being said is true, in the conventional sense, so much as they care that people believe these things are true. They think the world would be a better place if people believed certain things–regardless of whether those things are true. And they want to silence those of us who care about whether things are actually true for getting in the way of their vision of a better world.

      If there’s anything different about this from Plato’s time (or any other time over the past 2,500 years), it’s that average people today are enthusiastic purveyors of the government’s lies in a way that probably wasn’t true before. When you read the trolls here, it’s really important to White Knight, ChemJeff, Tony, and the others that you believe things–regardless of whatever facts and logic run contrary to them.

      The reason they can’t be persuaded by facts and logic is because they don’t care about the truth. They care about the narrative–and they don’t care whether the narrative is true at all. They care that people believe the narrative regardless of whether it’s true. You might get that kind of thing from religious fanatics, pundits, and government officials before, but seeing average people become active participants in spreading the delusion, otherwise, is probably relatively new.

      1. Is there noble gaslighting?

        1. Yes. Not even one more needless death.

  9. The best way to combat any kind of offensive or incorrect speech is never to try to censor it, and it isn’t just that you end up bringing attention to the things you’re trying to censor via the Streisand effect. It’s also that there are more effective ways of combatting legitimately false information.

    The biggest favor the French government ever did for Marine Le Pen’s National Front was to make it illegal to deny the holocaust. She was engaged in a never-ending battle with her father and his old school friends in the National Front for years–over getting them to stop denying the holocaust in public.

    Every time it looked like the National Front might win something, a reporter would stick a microphone in one of the old guys’ faces and ask them something about the holocaust again–and their standing in the polls would invariably plummet again. Once the government made it illegal to deny the holocaust, the old guys shut up about it for fear of prosecution, and the National Front became a serious force in French politics. Marine Le Pen came in second!

    If you want to combat the stupid or wrong things people say in public, the best way to combat it is to put a camera on them, stick a microphone in their faces, and ask them to say it again but louder this time. The Westboro Baptist Church isn’t a laughing stock because they were silenced through censorship. They’re a laughing stock because they’re been given so much coverage over the years, and everyone knows all the stupid things they’ve said.

    If you have some real misinformation to combat, you should highlight it and show why it’s misinformation. That being said, much of what they’ve called misinformation in the recent past wasn’t really misinformation at all. It was just information that ran contrary to the official positions of the NIH, the CDC, the governors of California and New York, and the Democratic candidate for president.

    1. Somebody posted here the other day an R.A. Heinlein quote that effectively said that it’s easier to deal with someone via information control than it is in any other way. I disagreed that a bullet is far easier. The more I think about it, the more I consider the notion to be literary flair. Misinformation is easy to effectively combat; just tell the truth. It’s only hard if you’re trying to sell your lie over someone else’s.

      1. There’s a contempt for average people behind it.

        They see us as lemmings and sheep, who can’t think for ourselves.

        I don’t converse with certain people on this site anymore because I became convinced that they didn’t care about whether they were wrong or right, didn’t care whether they were rational or irrational, didn’t have any intention of teaching us anything, and certainly weren’t here to learn anything from others. That opinion formed over a period of conversing with them for weeks and weeks and analyzing their responses.

        The people who are selling this crap treat us all like that–and they’ve never conversed with us at all. They couldn’t care less what we think about anything. It isn’t just that they’re trying to tell their lies over someone else’s. I don’t think it’s ever occurred to them that they might persuade people using facts and logic. We’re beyond that to them. We’re lemmings and sheep in their eyes.

        1. The average people are lemmings and sheep and that’s why democracy is doomed to fail.

          They have a couple different shepherds….
          Average IQ is 100…
          Libertarians generally aren’t sheep, that’s why we can’t accomplish shit.

          1. ” average people are lemmings and sheep and that’s why democracy is doomed to fail.”

            Why is it that when I say that progressivism is built on a foundation of contempt for average people, you and Kirkland feel compelled to tell me that average people should be treated with contempt? I’ve got news for you. When average people make choices for themselves, within the context of markets and market signals, they behave as if they were smarter than the experts–and they always will. And it isn’t just authoritarian socialists that fail at central planning.

            Markets also perform better than central planners in a representative democracy because representative democracy is insufficiently democratic compared to individuals representing their own interests and their own qualitative preferences in a market. Representative democracy, however, does still have a legitimate place in a free society. Nine House Democrats from red and purple districts being reluctant to vote for $3.5 trillion in entitlements and Green New Deal spending–for fear of the taxpayers–is one example.

            You don’t imagine that the qualitative preferences of experts are somehow more authoritative than the qualitative preferences of average people, do you? If taxpayers care more about their own standard of living than they do about the beneficiaries of socialist entitlement programs, do you think that’s somehow refutable through the authoritative opinions of experts?

            I don’t think your contempt for average people has a leg to stand on.

          2. Ewe woold think libertarians should be able ram some sort of accomplishment through society. Even without sheep.

    2. And in addition to the Streisand effect, you also sow the seeds of conspiracy creating more of the misinformation you initially were trying to stop while also destroying institutional credibility.

      1. Wow.
        This dude is actually pretending the “misinformation” label is legitimate.

    3. The problem I have with this is that’s exactly what CNN does, seriously, and voters still seem to think MMT and that drivel is a good idea.

  10. Confidence is high that the results of the “study” (confirmation bias) would have been different if the censoring was of BLM, Antifa, and AOC.

  11. So, they want “the government” to stop disinformation, even though they were studying Trump, who was the government…

    Do they not realize that “the government” is a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats and that politicians routinely lie — all of them, all the damned time, are constantly saying things to stay on message or tell a certain constituency what they want to hear.

    And government itself routinely lies. Propaganda is a thing. Did Harvard not teach … I dunno, history?

    1. Not to mention that control of “the government” alternates between political parties every 6 to 10 years or so. Do they really want to give the reins of the Ministry of Truth to the Republicans in 2024? What if someone worse than Trump wins?

      1. Since we have permanently federalized all of the illegal shit that courts and state executives instituted unconstitutionally without the input or consent of the state legislatures, er, I mean “fortifications”, there is no longer any shred of concern that they will ever lose power anymore than there is in North Korea.

        1. I think you might be overstating it just a tad.

          1. Why?
            Do you have anything backing up your faith other than “I just don’t want to think it’s that bad, so I’ll stick my head in the sand”?

            1. Yeah, that’s what I said.

              Are you saying that you really think it’s as bad as North Korea? That Republicans have as little chance of getting elected nationally as Kim does getting voted out?

              I retain some hope, but not too much optimism. If you are so sure we’re totally fucked, why are you wasting time here and not out there starting the revolution?

              1. WTF do elections matter at this point?

                Keep the faith, zeb.
                Just keep telling yourself “it can’t happen here.”
                Then when it does happen, just move on to the next thing that can’t happen here.

                1. That is also not what I said.

        2. Even if a Republican is nominally elected, the rank and file in the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. are all on board with the progressive agenda. They’ll just #RESIST! again.

      2. You’d think… Politicians don’t. Both barrels to the feet to spite the other side.

  12. Once upon a time, Americans defended free speech and trusted other Americans to consider all the facts and various opinions and make up their own minds.

    1. “But there’s a dangerous chance they’ll pick the wrong ones” – t. Mike Laursen.

    2. “Once upon a time…”

      Free Speech has been under constant attack since the founding.

      1. This is certainly true. Though things seemed to be going mostly in the right direction for a while there in the later 20th century.

        1. I knew it was bad when Berkley went from free speech rights to making sure you can’t say anything that offends the progressive creed. The former likely peaked 50 years ago, maybe with Country Joe Macdonald’s Fish Cheer, the latter has been getting worse and worse since the 80s, when a single dissenting voice in the school paper would lead to all the newspaper machines being emptied and the student editor being forced to resign.

  13. Censorship is in, separating people by race is the norm, and arresting grandmas for taking selfies is necessary to save democracy.

    Oh and Biden’s latest job approval is 41%.

    1. Oh and Biden’s latest job approval is 41%.

      Most popular president evah! Biden was so popular that 10-15 million people who were not previously registered to vote ran out to the polls on election day to do their civic duty

  14. Broad-based government control…sure, that would work like a charm! It would be as successful as every other government agency.

    Let’s see…what would we call this government agency? Ministry Of Truth?

  15. If you have some real misinformation to combat, you should highlight it and show why it’s misinformation. That being said, much of what they’ve called misinformation in the recent past wasn’t really misinformation at all. It was just information that ran contrary to the official positions of the NIH, the CDC, the governors of California and New York, and the Democratic candidate for president.

    There is no way for a government to police “misinformation” without invariably policing all information and, in the process, dispensing with any pretense that these determinations turn on the veracity of any given statement(s). That people fail to understand this principle after the documented horrors of the twentieth century is a moral and ethical catastrophe.

    1. And there are some bizarre assumptions being made about the quality of the information somehow making the First Amendment irrelevant. The First Amendment protects the right to believe and practice false religions, and because the veracity of a given statement will protect you in a libel case doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to be wrong or say things that are incorrect–according to the First Amendment. Since when are people not free to speak if they’re wrong about something?

      1. Since when are people not free to speak if they’re wrong about something?

        Since social media.

  16. There’s people who go into electronic stores trying to buy the parts to make a “cancer zapper” to zap their cancer away. They read about this stuff in books.

    Desperate people believe wrong things if it means they have a chance or they can do something about their problems. It didn’t start with Covid, and it’s not going to stop.

    Giving the government the power to restrict freedom of speech for this is a huge mistake. It’ll just feed conspiracy theories, not to mention that using systemic violence to shut people up is tyrannical. Don’t be a fascist.

  17. The 5 key elements of Trump’s Big Lie and how it came to be

    What are the elements of Trump’s big lie?
    1. The election was stolen because it’s not possible Trump didn’t win.

    2. There was a massive technological conspiracy to rig the election.

    3. Theories and wild claims pushed on the internet find their way into lawsuits and are then pushed by Trump.

    4. Investigators are biased, too.

    5. Trump supporters questioning the results are just being good citizens.

    there is so much invested by Team Red into the Big Lie that they can’t stop now

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/19/politics/donald-trump-big-lie-explainer/index.html

    1. So, just going with willful failure to understand what is happening, I see.

      1. It’s kind of his thing.

      2. The CNN cite kinda gives it away.

        1. Only BreitFart and Alex Jones can be trusted! All else is fake news!

          Can Sidney be trusted?

          https://reason.com/2021/03/23/sidney-powell-says-shes-not-guilty-of-defamation-because-no-reasonable-person-would-have-believed-her-outlandish-election-conspiracy-theory/
          Sidney Powell Says She’s Not Guilty of Defamation Because ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her ‘Outlandish’ Election Conspiracy Theory

          Which particular lies are you wanting to hear and believe today, Paul’s-“Brains”-are-Embers??

    2. Tyrannical censorship is wrong.

    3. This is in line with the 2016 election (and the Georgia governor’s race – Stacey Abrams still has not conceded).

      1. the election was stolen because it was not possible Trump won.
      2.There was a massive technological conspiracy of disinformation to rig the election ($100,000 in Russian FB ads apparently reached millions of voters and changed their minds?)
      3.Theories and wild claims pushed on the internet and the media (especially Clapper and Brennan) and the noose was always tightening.
      4. Investigators were biased – several removed, one admitting to lying on FISA applications.
      5. Hillary supporters questioning the results are just being good citizens.

      The Left invested over $35 million into the Big Lie.

      1. Abrams contended that then Sec or State Kemp removed thousands of urban voters from the voter roles prior to 2016. That is SOP for a southern state with GOP leadership since Jeb Bush did it. Jim Crow is still alive here in Georgia.

        Whether or not it deprived her of a win is debatable.

        Trump alleges something outside the realm of possibility – that GOP states like Georgia conspired to fix the election count itself.

        1. It’s different when we do it!

          – shreek and every other DNC 50 center

        2. Every state purges the rolls on a regular basis to account for people moving or dying. The process is to send notices to former voters that had not voted in the prior two elections and if the notices are not returned, the names are purged.

          California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, all purge the voter rolls. To believe it is only the south is ignorant or purposefully deceitful.

          Only Illinois keeps the dead Democrats on the rolls for voting purposes.

          1. The “For The People” act will fix that – it will make it all but impossible to remove anyone, for any reason from the voting rolls.

        3. I got purged from the voter roles and I’m a white dude in NH. And I’m not crying about it. If I want to vote, I can go register again.

        4. If Georgia’s dead want to vote post-Mortimer, they need to move to Chicago.

          It is literally impossible to remove former residents or the deceased from the list of voters, because a mistake might be made and a valid voter may also be dropped. It apparently is racist to ask an improperly removed voter from the voting roll to complete a provisional ballot…

      2. The Con Man actually told the Ga Sec of State to “find me 11,000 votes. I don’t care how” so that he could steal the Georgia electoral votes.

        It is recorded so that all can hear what a scumbag Trump is.

        Thanks to Brad Raffenburg (GOP) for recording that.

        1. It is recorded so that all can hear what a scumbag Trump is.

          Well, there is a recording of that conversation, it just doesn’t say anything even the slightest bit like what you put in quotations. Quotation marks are used for direct quotes from an actual person, not your fevered imagination, shreek.

          For example, if I were quoting Obama when he was caught on a hot mic speaking to then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, I could say: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

          See, you use quotation marks there because that’s a direct quote of something that Obama actually said.

          I’m sure the sting of being held in ill regard by a purveyor of child pornography keeps Trump up nights though.

          1. “For example, if I were quoting Obama when he was caught on a hot mic speaking to then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, I could say: ‘This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.'”

            Exactly. If you wanted to say Obama said something like “Tell the Master our plan to destroy the hated Amerikkkans is proceeding on schedule. I’m looking forward to being Prince-Regent of the United Soviet Socialist States of Obamaca!”, you’d have to attribute it to an anonymous ‘administration source’.

        2. You really think that sort of thing doesn’t happen in every election? Trump is just worse at being subtle than most.

      3. On a single day in late July 2017, Kemp’s office had removed from the rolls 560,000 Georgians who had been flagged because they’d skipped one too many elections. Abrams would later call the purge the “use-it-or-lose-it scheme.” An APM Reports investigation last year estimated 107,000 of the people purged under the policy would otherwise have been eligible to vote last year, just like Baiye.

        The New Jim Crow n Georgia

        https://www.apmreports.org/story/2019/10/29/georgia-voting-registration-records-removed

        1. After I stopped paying for membership, Costco stopped letting me in the store. THE NEW JIM CROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. It’s Jim Eagle now.

            1. Shriiiieeeeek!

        2. Wow, living in Alabama, Florida, Colorado, etc. for five years since voting in Georgia means I should still be able to be on the voter rolls in Georgia.

          People that haven’t voted for years should have returned the card or registered in their current address.

          California purged 1.5 million for the same reasons.

          https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/la-county-and-state-to-purge-15-million-inactive-voters-from-rolls/6866/

        3. “An APM Reports investigation last year estimated 107,000 of the people purged under the policy would otherwise have been eligible to vote last year, just like Baiye.”

          “Would otherwise have been eligible to vote” – yes, of course, do you understand what you quoted?

          People failed to participate in several previous elections, and their registration was pulled. Stacy “mental giant” Abrams said (in effect) “aside from the valid reason they were removed, there was no other reason to remove them”.

          They met the criteria, laid down in Georgia law, and Stacy Abrams didn’t like it, that’s it. Rather than change the law, she got her relative to decide in her favor snd ignore established law.

          It’s not Jim Crow just because Stacy Abrams doesn’t like it.

    4. Lol, your little list contradicts itself.

      People believe the election was stolen for two reasons:

      1. a) All the evidence and videotape of it being stolen.
      b) The impossible, paradigm-breaking numbers.

      2. The perpetrators acting like they stole the election.
      Nobody hires 100 lawyers to hide their election victory. Nobody has the DOJ interfere in a state ordered audit because they won fair and square. An honest election winner wouldn’t pressure social media to silence election critics over the exact same things they’d been saying for the last four years. A real election winner wouldn’t label a protest that was less violent than any other in the Capitol area last year an insurrection. Only an unelected junta would fill the Capitol with razor wire and troops, stand down the military for reeducation, and arrest dissidents without charges for months.

      1. a) All the evidence and videotape of it being stolen.

        You’ve gone full Lindell.

        There is no point in a discussion with the delusional.

        1. There is no point in a discussion with the delusional.

          Indeed. For example, you unironically spent 5 years believing that there exists a videotape of Trump getting pissed on by Russian hookers, and that Vladimir Putin personally hacked into the election machines that you now claim are more secure than Fort Knox to steal the election away from Hillary Clinton.

          You also posted child pornography at Reason.com using your Sarah Palin’s Buttplug account. Mike Lindell is a reformed crack addict, but at least he doesn’t fuck children.

          1. Fuck you Tulpa. You’re a full time liar.

            1. I am not Tulpa, nor have I ever told a lie here. You posted child pornography you sick piece of shit. Let’s be real clear:

              YOU.
              POSTED.
              CHILD.
              PORNOGRAPHY.

              You did that. That’s the truth. You posted child pornography. You are a peddler of child porn.

              1. You’re a lying piece of shit, you Trump Trash.

                You QAnon trash are reduced to calling your opponents pedos when you’re no doubt a Denny Hastert Republican.

                1. Actually, you’re a lying piece of shit. You posted child pornography on Reason.com. That is an incontrovertibly true fact. You were quite proud of it at the time, even after you had to change accounts. Then you switched to claiming you were hacked. I’m not quite sure when you decided to throw that away and go into full denial mode. But you’re a liar. And a child pornographer. Of the two, the child pornography is a lot worse. Now you sputter and rage and throw spaghetti at the wall hoping it will stick when anyone raises this completely incontrovertible fact that you posted child pornography. You are reduced to calling your opponents QAnon Trump Trash because you are suddenly uncomfortable with the fact that you’re a Gerry Studds Democrat who posted illegal child pornography.

    5. Even CNN has abandoned the Big Lie talking point. You might want to check Democratic Underground more often.

      1. https://www.thedailybeast.com/mypillow-guy-mike-lindell-punts-timeline-for-trump-retaking-power-as-august-conspiracy-theories-get-wackier
        MyPillow Guy Punts Timeline for Trump Retaking Power as Conspiracy Theories Get Wackier

        https://www.salon.com/2021/08/22/mike-lindell-still-in-trumps-good-graces-has-new-prediction-reinstatement-by-new-years/

        The Lord Trump didn’t return to us as scheduled, but the Second Coming is now re-scheduled. You can TRUST us THIS time, for sure!

        The Lord Trump DID return to us faithful ones, but He did it in an invisible way! Hold strong in your Faith in Him!

        The Lord Trump didn’t return to us yet, this is true! It only did NOT happen because YOU were not faithful enough, and didn’t send Him enough donations!

        The Lord Trump didn’t return to us yet, but He DID miraculously protect us all from the VERY worst forces of Evil, which is Der BidenFuhrer! Hold fast in your Faith… Lord Trump will come back VERY soon now! Especially if you send more money!

        The Lord Trump moves in Mysterious Ways! All will be revealed SOON! Especially if you have Enough Faith to DONATE till it HURTS!

        1. No sarcasm, but this is actually an excellent caricature of politics.

          Can I get your medication cocktail for this morning? For science.

          1. “Medication cocktail” = = regard religion and politics ass one and the same group of ass-hole ideological idiocies! Stupid is ass stupid does!

            THAT will get you good and STONED on “it is what it is”!!!!

    6. Don’t worry, at some point in the future when Republicans are inevitably back in control of the government they will use this newfound power and duty to combat misinformation to ensure that anything contrary to these 5 points is appropriately censored

    7. Go back to your kiddie porn, waterboy.

      The louder you screech, the less anyone believes.

  18. This shit is incredibly disturbing.

    1. is kinda fake too though. T’s message doesn’t fail to get out bc Fakebook or Twitter censor him and there’s a basket full of censorship articles every day

      1. Yeah, people over state the degree to which certain voices are silenced. But the collusion going on between government and academia and tech companies to control information is more what I’m talking about. If they succeed at all in what they are talking about it will be pretty awful.

        1. Twilight Zone was a roadmap.

  19. According to the report’s authors would Fauci’s lies about the efficacy of masks or the vaccination rate needed for herd immunity count as misinformation?

    1. By any honest metric, yes.

      So of course they’re promoting his posts instead. The RIGHT science.

  20. halting misinformation still censorship.

    1. And that should really be it.

      People get to believe ridiculous shit if they want to.

      1. “People get to believe ridiculous shit if they want to.”

        Agreed, amen!

        What often gets lost in the sauce is a simple question:

        Who, today, who has an internet connection, can NOT find ALL of the lies that they want to find? From Alex Jones, Der BidenFuhrer, Der TrumpfenFuhrer, or my dog’s littermate’s owner’s first cousin?

  21. The people behind this study are great examples of Hayek’s social engineers whom he regarded as the great threat to classical liberal order. It always presumes that the people behind such schemes have the highest levels of intelligence, integrity,and disinterest. At best, such an assumption is terribly naive that such people exist, at worst it is a grab at power. In either case, there will be no good result.

    1. +1 Lathe of Heaven

  22. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/red-line-catch-22-taliban-warns-biden-not-keep-us-troops-airport-past-aug31-pullout

    Update (1600ET): US officials are reportedly telling US-based humanitarian groups to “get ready for 50,000 Afghans”, according to Bloomberg, but we can imagine the real number will be higher.

    U.S. TELLS REFUGEE AID GROUPS TO GET READY FOR 50,000 AFGHANS
    U.S. TO START REDUCING NUMBER OF TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN: WAPO
    Meanwhile the White House is centering Biden’s rationale to keep the Aug.31 deadline for full troop pullout at Kabul airport, despite the possibility that Americans might be left behind, on the lingering threat of terrorism.

  23. We must suppress free speech to permit free speech!

  24. The study, published today in Harvard’s Misinformation Review…

    Hard to decide what’s worse: the government deciding what’s misinformation or fucking Harvard.

  25. https://twitter.com/FearTheFloof/status/1430218377251991552?t=hKgF0RQ4agCxhjgZ2HWONA&s=19

    Wait…. the ACLU is suing to take away people’s right to choose to not wear a mask and FOR the state to have the authority to force masks onto people not wanting to wear them?
    [Link]

    1. The ACLU, ladies and gentlemen.

      1. The America Cover Lips Union

    2. Yeah, haven’t donated to the ACLU in a decade now. They conoletely lost their minds and went rabid partisan.

      1. Completely*

        Fucking tiny phone keyboards…

  26. Leftist NGOs/PACs are so inventive and subtle…

    https://twitter.com/AndrewYangFanP1/status/1430245007756308484?t=poSrN69agNfmZt8DROIdEQ&s=19

    Thank you President @JoeBiden for following through on your promise to end the 20 year war in Afghanistan and for leading the largest and most successful withdrawal of U.S. troops in American history!

  27. https://twitter.com/ArthurSchwartz/status/1430270584756260864?t=YwcpERWvM5YmV4H5yMABLQ&s=19

    Jen “We Planned for Every Contingency” Psaki: We expect there could be some Americans left behind in Afghanistan. [Video]

  28. “False”? Honestly Jacob, it’s sad to watch you lose your credibility shilling for Joe Biden’s stolen election.

  29. “his false claims about election fraud”. An HONEST reporter would have simply said “his claims about election fraud”. By semantically loading your writing, you are demonstrating the same dishonest “reporting” as any mainstream media shithole.

    To date, there is no hard evidence that those claims were false, while there is a great deal of evidence, even if circumstantial, that they had merit. Nothing that would be allowed in court, of course. But the courts themselves are not honest brokers anymore if they ever were. At least there used to be a pretense of impartiality.

    1. Over a dozen courts ruled last minute election changes were illegal. Some also ruled the counters violated spoiled ballots. Ga has confirmed 5k people illegally voted out of their district. More than 10k votes were changed just from recounts. There has been no audit of adjudicated ballots which were the highest rates of adjudication ever. Most states have no paper trail of those ballots. Pa destroyed their ballot envelopes despite laws requiring to keep them for 2 years.

      Cleanest election ever.

    2. So there’s no possible way you could be wrong about the election being stolen. The entire United States and planet are just supposed to trust the word of Donald Trump, noted honest person.

      What a pickle.

      1. I trust nothing and am deeply suspicious when people won’t answer and consistently obfuscate information.

        Fair election means no problems with recounts and audits. Why are they blocked? What happened in GA? Why were boxes of ballots counted without scrutiny? Why were election laws illegally changed at the last minute? Why did Joe Biden get more votes than Obama, while Trump broke Republican records for minority support?

        I know you’re a committed lefty apologist, but do try critical thinking here. Any sane person should have reasonable doubt.

  30. “Meanwhile, the companies that refuse to play ball will continue to offer alternatives for people banished from mainstream platforms,”

    As more and more people realize that “mainstream” platforms are simply thinly-disguised state propaganda organs, those alternative platforms will become the go-to sources for news and opinion. Reason seems to be following the trend into state-submission.

  31. “ Platform-by-Platform Censorship Doesn’t Work”

    And there’s that little obstacle to censorship called 1a, THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

    We can have both free speech and protection from the coercion of lying by allowing speech and criminalizing lying.

    Judges of what constitutes truth just need to be skilled and licensed to apply logic and science correctly.

    1. Rob Misek, please broadcast under YOUR usual posting name, that the Holocaust was VERY REAL, and sponsored by Adolf Hitler and the NAZIs, who were hateful, racist, and EVIL! Post that in YOUR name!

      If you won’t do that, you are CENSORING me, and denying me my “inalienable right to free speech”!!!

      1. Refuting your bullshit isn’t censorship.

        1. “Judges of what constitutes truth just need to be skilled and licensed to apply logic and science correctly.”

          And YOU will be happy to do that for us, at the point of a gun, and MAKE us believe Your Truth about the Holocaust being a total lie! Gotcha!

          So when are you going postal on us, Miserable Misek?

          1. So some part of your diseased brain still recognizes that I used logic and science to refute the holocaust.

            And you must reject logic and science to maintain your belief in your bogeyman.

            You’re a lunatic.

            1. Google “projection” and find the definition set to “Miserable Misek”.

              The saddest part is that your misery is self-chosen!

    2. If it weren’t for people fighting for 2a your guns would have been confiscated already.

      If people don’t fight for 1a, there will be no way to expose government lies, propaganda.

      Social media is the town square of the 21 st century.

      Our guns remind the government and oligarchs that they are not our rulers.

      Only our voices stand in the way of their lies.

  32. “This crusade to ‘halt the spread of misinformation’ should trouble anyone who values free speech and open debate.”

    Perhaps, but free speakers and debaters rely on things like books, academic papers, libraries, and journalism to gain the facts they use when speaking and debating. Each of these things has rigorous methods for discerning fact from fiction, and it’s not because they are in a conspiracy against your bodily fluids. Nobody has any reason to believe anybody without the techniques humanity has developed to verify facts.

    Most of history is filled with people believing 100% bullshit killing each other for 100% stupid reasons. Civilization is not inevitable. It’s not a coincidence that standards in science and journalism evolved alongside it.

    The internet is a new experiment. Before it, the only way you could find cuckoo conspiracy theories was by going to some effort to seek it out. Otherwise you had books, newspapers, and broadcasts, all curated by people who were more-or-less duty-bound to work at verifying facts. So what do you wan to do about it? Letting a billion conspiracies bloom is clearly not the answer. It will clearly get us all killed if we’re not careful.

    As usual, I suspect, libertarians will have no answers, because they, unlike all the credible people, are not duty-bound to factual rigor, they are duty-bound to confirming a theory regardless of facts.

    1. Fvck you, you lying gaslighting POS

      1. I could be gaslighting, or you could be nuts.

        Quick, should we put an orange gameshow host with no relevant experience or apparent intellectual ability in charge of the United States nuclear arsenal?

        Your sanity depends on your answer.

    2. So being in a book makes it an incontrovertible fact? Might want to walk that one back faggot.

      1. Well, not since the advent of self-publishing.

        Kidding. Yes, everything in Moby Dick is real. Every last flipper. That’s totally my argument.

    3. Logic and science are the mysterious techniques to which you allude.

      Do you think that our civilization is currently at the pinnacle of ethics and morality, where free speech can only threaten our perch?

      Have the government and private oligarchs demonstrated their unflinching commitment to altruism lately?

      Can we implicitly trust anyone who enters politics such that voting has become irrelevant?

      So the answer you seek arrives in the form of a question.

      What has the government done to demonstrate that they deserve to be handed our inalienable right to free speech?

    4. You are the most hidebound conservative lefty shill I’ve ever met. I didn’t even know this level of idiocy was attainable.

      Yes… Because books and your teachers never lie. Magical historian fairies ensure that all tomes of knowledge are sprinkled with truth dust to be accurate.

      Our dear leaders and scientists only give us the honest truth and want the best for the people of this horrible, racist nation.

      Just put the collar on and it’ll all be taken care of.

  33. Show me any issue and I will show you at least two sides from experts.

    1. What is the numerical value of the fine structure constant?

  34. Except, of course, for the fact that Trump’s, and anyone else with more than two brain cells to rub together, statements about election fraud WEREN’T FALSE.

  35. Apparently (if you don’t belong to the correct party) you can’t make a claim anymore without it being labeled a “false claim”, even before there’s any evidence one way or another.

  36. Couldn’t take it seriously when they led with ‘false claims’ to describe the election fraud.

    By now, I personally believe it was stolen, due to the prolonged fight against any discoveries. Putting dire speculation aside, at the minimum the election deserves much greater scrutiny to assess what went weird and assuage the legitimate concerns of millions.

    That should be something everyone can agree with – finding out more.

  37. “… tweets with warning labels “spread further and longer than unlabeled tweets.”

    This tells you more about social media than the ‘misinformation.’ People do not trust social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) because they have proven to be, and in some cases openly admitted to be, completely biased. Any sane person would be foolish NOT to be skeptical about anything they say.

    The other issue is who decides what is ‘misinformation’? The lab leak theory, hydro chloroquine, ivermectin, etc. were all dismissed as conspiracy theories or quackery until they weren’t. The Dems label any opposing political viewpoint misinformation.

    It boils down to trust. If people don’t trust you for justifiable reasons, they certainly aren’t going to trust you to decide who gets censored.

  38. 1st Amendment –
    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.

    Tell the Nazi-Regime to go F-Themselves. And anyone has to wonder why the USA is flirting with war. It’s being “taken-over” by Nazi’s.

    1. Is a Nazi regime run by Jews okay?

      1. Nazism for the USA is not okay no matter who runs it.
        The only legal way for Nazism to occur in the USA is to re-write the U.S. Constitution requiring 2/3rds Congress and State Ratification.

        And that’s the problem; The ‘Regime’ doesn’t care about the people’s law or the definition of the USA. It just pretends it can do whatever it wants “democratically”.

  39. Once again, an “anti-disinformation” study that refuses to define disinformation.
    That’s like making it illegal to speed, but not posting speed limits and leaving it up to the police to decide what is too fast.

    1. There’s an elephant in the room here.

      Lying is misinformation, simply criminalize it like it already necessarily is in court and contracts. These venues have centuries of experience criminalizing lying. Just do it.

      Why not? Because the corrupt elite need to lie to us and they need to take away our inalienable right to free speech so we can’t expose their lies.

  40. Did these “academics” use Communist China as their model?
    It would seem so.

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