Media Criticism

AOC: Facebook's 'Disinformation' Has 'Sabotaged' Pandemic Response

Another week, another set of allegedly democracy-protecting politicians trying to crack down on what the little people can say on social media.


Will Facebook have any value left by the time politicians get around to breaking it up?

That's one cheeky takeaway from the recently renamed Meta's record-shattering one-day market valuation loss Thursday of $250 billion after a share price plunge of 26.4 percent, triggered by news that Mark Zuckerberg's social media colossus had for the first time declined in users.*

There is a longstanding pattern in the way that the biggest of Big Business and Big Politics intersect: Company gets huge, politicians critical of the company get elected, then several years of high-profile rhetorical clashes ensue. When either Congress or regulators finally get around to reaching for the stick, executives are almost begging to get smacked, because their market share has already begun the long descent, and some well-placed regulatory capture could artificially lock in some gains. As always, the spectacle proves a boon to lawyers, flacks, populists, and Georgetown realtors.

For the long decades before former President Donald Trump refashioned Republican Party attitudes toward regulation, antitrust enforcement—especially in the media sphere—was largely in remission. There were equal parts Democratic and Republican fingerprints on the deregulations of 1975–85; conservatives considered economic decontrol a core principle, and "third-way" liberals of the Bill Clinton stripe were eager to be seen as friendly toward corporate America.

Those traditions have been irritably brushed aside in our post-2015 illiberal moment, as successive administrations now have banged the antitrust drum, while a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers scrambles over each other's microphones to more loudly scapegoat Big Tech.

On Tuesday, in a piece that drew surprisingly few headlines, Yahoo Finance interviewed progressive darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.), who reiterated her calls to break up Facebook, making in the process this wildly inflated claim and assertion of authority:

There are some things that the United States provides that are welcome….There are also things that we want the United States to stop exporting, and one of those things is disinformation—disinformation through U.S.-founded companies like Facebook that have absolutely slowed and frankly sabotaged the global effort to fight against the coronavirus.

Given First Amendment constraints and the dispersed information architecture of the internet, Congress is no more likely to stop the export of "disinformation" (however ill-defined) than it is to stop the sun from rising in the east. But maximalist hyperbole about social media wickedness has also proven increasingly popular in the executive branch, where Big Tech's regulators lie in wait.

President Joe Biden made the startling, evidence-free claim last year that social media companies were "killing people." His surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, launched a "whole-of-society" campaign to combat COVID-19 lies, including "appropriate legal and regulatory measures that address health misinformation." White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, asked Tuesday about Spotify's decision to add advisory warnings to podcasts discussing pandemic policy, reinforced the federal government's keen and ongoing interest in monitoring the content of coronavirus news and commentary.

"Our hope is that all major tech platforms—and all major news sources, for that matter—be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as COVID-19. And that certainly includes Spotify," Psaki said. "So, this disclaimer—it's a positive step. But we want every platform to continue doing more to call out…mis- and disinformation, while also uplifting accurate information….Our view is…it's a good step, it's a positive step, but there's more that can be done."

When government officials with the power to shape and enforce regulations make repeated, insistent-sounding suggestions to social media companies that they take a more proactive role in policing user content for what those officials consider to be "misinformation," then those social media companies tend to take a more proactive role in policing user content for what those officials consider "misinformation."

As Reason's Jacob Sullum pointed out last year, "given the federal government's power to make life difficult for Facebook et al., the line between a request and a command is hazy, and so is the line between private content moderation and government censorship."

With the federal government and public health apparatus currently managed by paternalistic Democrats, private content moderation choices have uncannily resembled paternalistic Democratic preferences.

YouTube last summer suspended Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) for one week for saying that most cloth masks are ineffective at stopping the spread—a claim that at the time went against the official recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but that has recently become CDC gospel. Facebook for nearly five months in 2021 banned anyone touting the "lab leak" origin story of COVID-19; that ban was dropped after government officials belatedly started taking the lab leak hypothesis seriously. Twitter last summer booted off prominent vaccine/mitigation critic and Alex Berenson, with the alleged final "misleading" straw being Berenson's contention that the vaccine

doesn't stop infection. Or transmission. Don't think of it as a vaccine. Think of it—at best—as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity.

Within months, the omicron variant would demonstrate that the vaccine indeed does not "stop" (though it does slow, and significantly limit the seriousness of) infection or transmission.

You don't have to squint to notice the commonalities here. Noisy skeptics outside the political-class tent (including Bjorn Lomborg, John Tierney, and John Stossel!) get ticketed and even bounced for COVID-19 "misinformation" that later turns out to be at least partially accepted by some of the same people who cheer on their ostracization. Even as governmental public health types repeatedly misrepresented science on masking, testing, reopening, transmission, and much else besides. As Reason's Robby Soave argued last year, "No issue has exposed the one-sidedness of the anti-misinformation drive as thoroughly as the pandemic."

One-sidedness in public health messaging and journalism is corrosive to effective pandemic mitigation, degrading trust in ostensibly neutral expert institutions, and elevating partisanship at or near the top of predictors as to what policy makers and the public alike will prefer. Democratic-heavy polities disproportionately closed schools, restricted businesses, imposed vaccine/mask mandates…and got vaccinated. Republican-heavy areas admirably kept life open but also produced some of the most woeful vaccination rates in the industrialized world.

But there's a commonality in the populist strains on either side aiming their big guns at Big Tech. It isn't comparative centrists like Sens. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) and Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) aiming their guns at social media companies and Section 230; it's populist lefties like AOC and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), along with populist righties like Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.). One side blames Big Tech for tipping the election in 2020 (by suppressing reporting about Hunter Biden's sleaze, among other sins); the other side IDs the same villain for 2016 (in collusion with Russia, Cambridge Analytica, whoever).

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown put it in a Reason cover story last year,

The new antitrust push allows Republicans to tap into their base's techno-panic, to peddle a narrative of victimization at the hands of cultural elites, and to throw a bone to the populist component of the GOP coalition. Meanwhile, antitrust allows Democrats to tap into long-harbored fears about corporations, to appear to be sticking up for the little guy in a way that pleases the party's left wing (without having to accomplish more politically difficult tasks, such as passing Medicare for All), and to lay the groundwork for greater government involvement in economic affairs more generally.

I would add one more pathology the two ostensibly populist sides have in common: a deep and condescending distrust of what the little people out there might do with all this newfangled information flying to and from their screens. If you think election-tipping masses of Americans can be swayed by the algorithmic settings and/or conscious knob twiddling (or lack thereof) from a bunch of nerds in Menlo Park, then you are portraying Zuckerberg as the shepherd, and relegating his (now-declining) user base as sheep.

This fear has arguably provided a thick slab on the base of communications theory and journalistic navel gazing since at least 1938, when Orson Welles beamed the real-sounding alien invasion fiction The War of the Worlds across the then-novel distribution network of radio. Though the infamous listener panic you've probably heard of was almost totally mythical (as Reason's Jesse Walker details in his classic 2013 essay, "America the Paranoid"), the elite panic about the sheep being manipulated by clever new-media propagandists was real, and has never quite left us:

The prominent political commentator Walter Lippmann took the opportunity to warn against "crowds that drift with all the winds that blow, and are caught up at last in the great hurricanes," adding that those "masses without roots" and their "volcanic and hysterical energy" are "the chaos in which the new Caesars are born." As Socolow wrote, the legend of the Mars panic "cemented a growing suspicion that skillful artists—or incendiary demagogues—could use communications technology to capture the consciousness of the nation."

To capture consciousness: what a chilling image. It's an idea that appears when dissidents warn that our leaders are using the mass media to brainwash us. But you can also find the fear among those leaders themselves, who have a long history of fretting over the influence of any new medium of communication. If Orson Welles was cast as a wizard with the power to cloud men's minds, his listeners were imagined as a mindless mob easily misled by a master manipulator.

Such fears were only turbocharged after the devastation wrought by presumed communications wizard Adolf Hitler, a trauma that led directly to an elitist, post-war journalistic/academic revolt against the populist excesses of pre-war media, enshrined in an enduringly influential (if initially mocked) 1947 Commission on Freedom of the Press. As I recounted in a magazine column last year,

At the heart of the project was a paternalistic disgust that consumers were choosing media wrong, that press barons were building fortunes by pandering to base tastes, and that, as a result, the American experiment of self-government was being undermined from within. The media "can spread lies faster and farther than our forefathers dreamed when they enshrined the freedom of the press in the First Amendment to our Constitution," the report's authors lamented. "The press can be inflammatory, sensational, and irresponsible. If it is, it and its freedom will go down in the universal catastrophe."

I do not believe that Americans are essentially lumpen sleeper agents, vulnerable to being activated by the wicked manipulations of profiteering media pioneers. Seems to me that the remarkable proliferation of consumer media choice, including the all-important ability to create and self-curate content, greatly diffuses the risk of a singular Oz figure hypnotizing the hordes into destroying democracy. Indeed, the very idea that "democracy" is under threat from the democratization of media seems to contain an important contradiction.

But the partisan purpose that such media theorizing accomplishes is undeniable: You get to blame a big, bad Other for an unhappy outcome that might just have come on your watch.

"Look, the unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices," Biden said in his big speech about the omicron variant in December. "But those choices have been fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media. You know, these companies and personalities are making money by peddling lies and allowing misinformation that can kill their own customers and their own supporters. It's wrong, it's immoral, and I call on the purveyors of these lies and misinformation to stop it. Stop it now."

If Biden truly cared about COVID-19 misinformation, he would better monitor his own mouth, and the ever-slippery messaging from his public health apparatus, rather than continuing to nag Big Tech into censorship by proxy. In the meantime, the rest of us can help bolster informational resilience by at least waiting a beat or two before cheering on the latest blatantly partisan deplatforming exercise. Have a little faith that your countrymen are at least somewhere up on the evolutionary chain from sheep.

* CORRECTION: The original version of this article erroneously stated that Facebook reported a fourth quarter loss.

NEXT: Review: Moonfall

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  1. I'm more than willing to put my record up against any of the experts, and I'm just some idiot who can read Hope-Simpson.

    You'll notice that the 'experts' STILL haven't been in front of a 'hostile' group where they actually have to answer questions. That one CNN dude went on Rogan and got absolutely demolished.

    1. Recall Dr Jekyll Fuckey ran away and hid in a rage when confronted at the podium about " how is this like the flu.'

      Nothing says' liar with an agenda' like that.

      Trump should have fired the sob on the spot.

      From a large cannon...

      And Piss on Psaki.

      And AOCs ensemble needs updated with a sock stuffed in her foul mouth.

      What a bunch of ass clowns pretending to be relevant.

  2. If you want a real libertarian perspective, listen to Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi talk about this issue:

    Greenwald savages the entire narrative in less than an hour. It sounds like it could be Reason circa 1995.

    1. Aren't they both socialists? How in the hell did we get to the point that they are more libertarian and logical than what is supposed to be an organization dedicated to those things? That said, despite many policy differences I can absolutely say that those two have been putting out good work lately and challenging all sorts of stuff

      1. Taibbi is a traditional working-class liberal who's not particularly fond of champagne socialists, who currently make up the Dem party establishment these days. He's the type who would have supported the Westinghouse strike in the 1970s, but doesn't have any use for Clinton-style neoliberalism.

        Greenwald is a free speech and anti-surveillance absolutist, so despite his liberal economic philosophy, he absolutely hates the modern left-liberal press for being simps for the Deep State and taking everything the government puts out at face value when it comes from Democrats.

        Both of them were disgusted by how the media ran with the fake "Russian collusion" story, irrespective of the facts, simply because it would hurt Trump. It wasn't that they liked Trump, it was because the media so readily lied.

      2. Taibbi leans that way for sure, but Glenn is a straight-up civil libertarian.

        1. Yeah, he really doesn't reveal his personal politics much in his reporting. He actually operates on principle.

      3. If you want more of this hard hitting libertarian coverage, read

        British perspective, but it's a refreshingly libertarian take on the culture wars of the west.

        1. Just today's headlines:

          Joe Rogan vs the thoughtpolice

          How small towns are resisting the woke elites

          Whoopi Goldberg's holocaust revisionism

          West Elm Caleb: A witch trial for the tinder era

          The disarray of the West

          The Myth of Toxic Masculinity

          Another year on plague island

          Meet the grumpy old woke bros

          Britain has a Muslim anti-semitism problem

          Identity politics is killing fiction

          Kate Clanchy: How publishers became book burners

          The hysteria about 'right-wing' comedy

          And on and on. Don't those sound like interesting reads from a libertarian perspective?

          I know, no food trucks...

          1. RON Paul

            REAL Libertarian.

            Reason. Not so much.

    2. The first 2:30 is riveting.

  3. AOC’s 15 minutes are almost up.

    1. Hopefully she'll just sit there and look pretty after it's over.

      1. I bet she could play a decent Cleopatra in the Caesars casino commercial.

      2. AOC looking pretty? She'd have to have a lot of work done to accomplish that.

    2. how about 4 with a plastic bag over her head?
      Stupid bitch.

  4. I bet a lot of Facebook stock owners are glad they didn’t pay a tax on their wealth. Because the rich just accumulate wealth and horde it for generation upon generation blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit.

    1. I specifically excluded Facebook/Meta from my portfolio for ethical reasons, and I didn't do as badly as everyone else did this week.

  5. There is a longstanding pattern in the way that the biggest of Big Business and Big Politics intersect: Company gets huge, ... executives are almost begging to get smacked, because their market share has already begun the long descent

    Uh, Zuck and FB were begging to be regulated when they were still on the ascent.

    Reason's already penned or just repeated statements to the effect that it's just as important to offer censorship, sorry, blocking and screening of offensive material protections (pretty sure Reason would willingly go in to a 'heads up I win, tales up you lose' coin toss) to nascent companies.

  6. It’s not like AOC has never had to delete a tweet.

  7. Dems cannot fail; they can only be failed.

  8. Leave it to reason to excuse facebook's failings due to their shitty platform that is appealing to ever fewer people and a wasteful splurge on the "metaverse" that no one wants as something government is doing.

    Even when it's the free market at work (ie. shitty product, apple limiting their bullshit tracking which you would THINK reason would appreciate) you bitch that it's government.

    Your schtick is old and worn out. Maybe think for once before posting a shit article like this.

    1. You sound whiny and butthurt.

      “My problem isn’t inflation and the lies told by my government and their legacy media propaganda arm! My problem is that an obscure libertarian website isn’t anti-Facebook enough!”

      Keep fighting the good fight, moron.

    2. facebook's failings due to their shitty platform that is appealing to ever fewer people and a wasteful splurge on the "metaverse" that no one wants

      . . . Definitely reasons to take antitrust action against them?

  9. AOC: Facebook's 'Disinformation' Has 'Sabotaged' Pandemic Response

    Yes, by printing Fauci's lies and suppressing the truth about what was going on.

    1. Yes!

  10. I love that an entire industry seems to have sprung up around photographing AOC with maximum crazy eye.

    1. I think that's just how her face looks.

  11. When Joan Blondell heard her ex, Mike Todd, died in a plane crash she allegedly said "I hoped he screamed all the way down". I hope Zuckerberg does too.

  12. Politicians openly threaten platforms but still expect us to believe when said platforms censor speech the pols don't like, "It's not a First Amendment issue! It's totes a private company! They can do what they want!"

    1. Apologies for linking this again, but...........

      Joe Biden's Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, during an interview with MSNBC, suggested that censoring Joe Rogan would help curb the flow of misinformation surrounding covid. This is akin to the mob stopping by your Italian restaurant to admire the décor, then proclaiming it would be a shame if something happened to it.

      When corporations take their direction from government, there’s a word for that. It’s fascism. Not fake “Oh no Trump is a dictator” fascism, but honest-to-goodness fascism that says if you don’t hand over a wad of cash, something just might happen to your lovely little restaurant.

      Remember that over the past few years, Democrats have been threatening all sorts of actions against Facebook and other social media companies. Set against this backdrop, the threat is clear: You do what we want or we destroy you.

      1. It's not a first amendment violation if the government's gun wasn't loaded.

      2. "Democrats have been threatening all sorts of actions against Facebook and other social media companies."

        Republicans are the only ones drafting laws along these lines that I'm aware of.

        1. So Republicans have been pushing social media to "crack down" on "misinformation"? I don't think so!

        2. You are not aware of the Democrats push because of willful ignorance. You've chosen to ignore despite all the stories Reason has written on it and all the citations people have provided you. So, at this point I can only assume you are putting your fingers in your ears and repeating nannanana because you refuse to see any evil from your side. It is all pure partisan bullshit from you.

          1. Dunno which one that is, but do not underestimate the power of STUPID!

          2. In fairness, that's basically Tony's approach to all issues.

  13. Shockingly, AOC fails to be a strong advocate for free speech.

    1. All Stalinists hate free speech more than anything.

  14. FB should clamp down on medical misinformation, but not by government direction or force.

    1. "medical misinformation" as determined by a 30 year old CNN addict using Google search. Nice.

    2. “I need someone to think for me”

      Joe Friday

      1. Most of you very much should try thinking less. It's harder than you apparently think it is.

        1. And we already set the bar for you so low, Tony...

      2. And tell him what to do: Thinking is HARD!

    3. How would an FB employee know what "medical misinformation" is?

      1. How would anyone? I mean, some things would be obvious. But when it comes to covid, the science is most definitely not settled in many areas. Whether or not ivermectin works or what the long term effects of vaccines and boosters are are definitely open questions that should be discussed openly and vigorously. This idea that incorrect information can't be tolerated is idiotic. If you can't ever be wrong, you can't really examine these questions properly.

        1. If you say that drinking colloidal silver cures cancer, and you can show a very good randomized control study that showed it had no effect on cancer rates, you could say... within the boundaries of reason that colloidal silver doesn't cure cancer.

          If you want a goddamned EXCELLENT breakdown of just this phenomenon from a SERIOUS-ASSED medical researcher and oncologist, watch this video. I'm serious.

          New Lockdown Study | How Do We Know What Science is True in Era of Bad Studies?

          This guy gives a fantastic breakdown of how most studies are BS, most remedies and therapies don't work, but explains why it's not a bad thing for humanity-- and can actually be useful. One of the most nuanced and intelligent people who's been commenting on COVID for the last two years.

          1. Studies are effective in proving their need for funding.

            The root word in " funding' s FUN!

            Worked on an engineering project once for a filthy rich (>200 M) man. BIG FUN.

            We spent money like water.

        2. Ivermectin works. There's no question of what you can see with your eyes. The vaccines don't work. There's no question of what you can see with your eyes.

    4. I wish the mainstream media would clamp down on misinformation.

      1. Greenwald just had an excellent video on that listing many cases of clear, proven disinformation from mainstream news outlets.

        1. Coupled with.l.. *checks notes* no recognition, apology or admission of any of their lies.

    5. Well, they did reverse their policy on the banning the lab leak discussion, so FB isn't all bad.

    6. Why?
      I didn’t realize FB was hiring medical experts. I would have thought they leaned more towards programmers
      If you are looking for medical advice on FB then you are already off the rails.

      1. They didn't. They contracted out to a bunch of international studies majors and english lit graduates who google stuff.

      2. Oh, and facebook had to recently admit that their "fact checking and checkers" aren't presenting facts, but are only presenting opinion.

        No one noticed.

  15. It's certainly curious when a political movement supposedly about freedom conspicuously has precious little to say on the subject of whether democracy is a good idea. Aren't you afraid of too much power in the hands of the little people? After all, when the little people get together and share notes, often the big idea they come up with is socialism.

    It certainly is hypocritical for Republicans to want to dictate to private media enterprises whom they are forced to platform. But all of their ideas are insane, so hypocrisy is beside the point.

    Since we have this brand new phenomenon of all the information and misinformation in the universe being at every grandmother's fingertips, normal, sane people might find it prudent to worry about how that could, say, destroy civilization.

    We all believe speech is powerful, or else nobody would have bothered protecting it. We all also believe mass delusion can be harmful. These are just things that are real.

    1. "Aren't you afraid of too much power in the hands of the little people?. After all, when the little people get together and share notes, often the big idea they come up with is socialism."

      "We all also believe mass delusion can be harmful."

      You've made an abrupt segue here to democracy, but could you give other people time before you answer your own question?

      1. Socialism in the hands of the masses has led to very bad things, I agree. And while your tribe is busying itself trading "how to die slow, painful deaths" tracts, others are radicalizing themselves in other ways. Nobody anywhere seems to be using the internet to promote capital, except a handful of dark-money-fueled magazines like this place.

        And the internet socialists have many more years ahead of them than the Trump death cult, especially given that "death" part.

        1. Hmmm, word salad *chefs kiss*.

        2. Uh... Neither Stalin nor Mao count as "the masses". And notable socialist Adolf Hitler definitely doesn't.

          When the least effective mass murderer on the list of prominent socialists is Adolf Hitler... Maybe we should just shelf that morally bankrupt system... Before someone with more reach than the Kim family grabs the levers.

          1. But Tony knows how to implement a universally failed social and governmental system so that it's successful. It just hasn't been done the right way yet.

    2. It's certainly curious when a political movement supposedly about freedom conspicuously has precious little to say on the subject of whether democracy is a good idea.

      Democracy and freedom are two separate things. They can work hand-in-glove, but as we know from historicity, not always and sometimes directly against.

      1. So when do you find it appropriate to put a tyrant in charge to ensure our freedom, and whomst should that tyrant be?

        1. Democracy is just a way for a group of people to make a decision. I judge it by the decisions it makes, not the extremes to which it injects itself into life. After all, democracy is something that must be taken in measures, but not extremes.

          For example, right now more people identify as republicans than democrats. Our system would be more democratic if these people could immediately vote for a new government. But, they can't, because term limits.

          It may be more democratic for people to form a new government instead of waiting until later this year, which they most likely will do, but, it would also be very hard to be a leader and make good decisions without some given time to make decisions.

          That's just one example. There are a plethora of others. For example, federalism, the electoral college, requirements for presidents, senators, and the house, voting regulations, etc.

          1. You come so unprepared for anything interesting.

        2. History tends to show most tyrants gain power by democracy. When individual rights are being openly mocked for the greater good by a single party, i.e. progressives, that is the road to tyranny. Your side isn't pushing democracy, they are pushing to have more control over the process to ensure democracy gives their desired outcome. Anyone who has read their voting "rights" act knows it has nothing to do with voting rights and everything to do with controlling how voting is done and eliminating any resemblance to being able to verify votes.

        3. Always back to the intellectually devoid grasp at Trump.

          It's amazing how disingenuous all of your arguments are.

    3. When the little people get together, what they usually come up with is live and let live.

      . . . and perhaps run the tyrants out, tarred and feathered, on a rail.

      The proof is in the pudding with information. It either shows to be true, or it doesn't. Just at the obvious results of the poison cellular modification experiment shows to be ineffective at stopping the Covid-19 virus that most people already have immunity against, but effective at causing great harm to great numbers of people who fall for it.

    4. We live in a Representative Republic, for starts.

      Secondly, pure Democracies are demonstratably almost as bad as Socialism for getting anything accomplished, but they do kill far fewer people.

      1. Until Rowanda happens.

        Direct democracy is fine and dandy... Unless you are swimming upstream.

      2. It's just the simplistic gotcha argument people like Tony use. He just makes the claim that the right hates democracy because the right believes in limits to a purely majoritarian system. It's implementing a lack of nuance in order to paint with a false narrative broad brush to own political opponents.

        It's simply pseud-intellectualism.

        1. Tony can dial up his IQ on a thermostat, what do you expect?

          Flush the toilet, wont get champagne.

    5. I'll take something that limits the power of the mob and the government. A Constitutionally Limited Republic, if you will. Almost have or had one here, but people like Tony are ruining it.

  16. AOC: whining Marxist cunt with a superiority complex.

    Yes she has no brains.

    In a just world, shed have been thrown off a tall building by now.

    1. Oh, she's got brains. She was a tarbender after all and I have no doubt that many of the votes she got were in exchange for keeping certain secrets among the drunk and influential.

      1. has anyone told her shes not the reincarnation of Che Guevara?

        " She- Guevara..."

  17. "Indeed, the very idea that "democracy" is under threat from the democratization of media seems to contain an important contradiction."

    Their Communist, and communists like to dress up pretty and drink tea...

    Then they crap all over the place.

  18. In all fairness it is a content free ad network so why wouldn't it lose users as they actually realize it's value?

    1. Like Spatula City... they sell ads and nothing else!

  19. "... companies like Facebook that have absolutely slowed and frankly sabotaged the global effort to fight against the coronavirus."

    I have to admit that if anyone knows anything about shoes, it absolutely has to be Leon-AOC.

    1. Oh, maybe it's LeonA-OC or LeonAO-C. Damn, it's so hard to tell xese's(?) days.

  20. I thought you were going to finally come back to us and be a full throated libertarian..,. And then....

    Both sides.

    No, both sides are not the same. They are diametrically opposite.

    Team D says nobody who disagrees with them should be allowed to speak. Team R says "don't do that". Just because they are both yelling at tech and media companies does not mean both are the same. Claiming they are is not just wrong, it is stupid.

    Even in your carefully crafted version, comparing complaints about coverage and media companies in 2016 and 2020, there is a stark contrast that destroys your false equivalence.

    One is entirely based on a lie. The other is based entirely on the truth.

    There never was anything at all to the Russia collusion story.. and now we know that the other parts of the complaints you cite were also part of the same DNC disinformation campaign.

    Meanwhile, a huge confederation of media companies and tech companies conspired to spike a damning story of public corruption by the Democrat nominee. Not merely being content to dishonestly ignore or downplay the story as Reason did, tech companies banned discussions and sharing of stories by those who chose not to participate.

    These are vastly different. So different that both stories are damning for the democrats, not equally damning for democrats and republicans.

    Rigging the Democrat primary, planting false stories about the Republican nominee and using a corrupt Democrat administration to target the Republican nominee and president elect is unequivocally bad.. worse than Watergate bad. Democrats complaining that it did not work is not a "both sides" moment.

    Colluding to suppress credible (and proven) information that the Democrat nominee is corrup and taking payments through his family is destructive to democracy... Complaining about it is not authoritarian.

    Yes. Both sides may be equally filled with mendacious idiots who are hell bent on grabbing state power to do something stupid.

    But on this issue, one side is completely wrong and dangerously destructive to the body politic and the nation. The other side is completely right to complain about it, even if they are a bunch of weasels.

    And Reason writers who let their partisan leanings and Trump antipathy overwhelm rationality are not being enlightened in their protestations that the Republicans are secretly worse, or at least equally bad; they are cheerleading for the bad guys.

    And if the bad guys make much more headway. It just might be too late to do anything about it.

    1. "Both sides may be equally filled with mendacious idiots who are hell bent on grabbing state power to do something stupid."

      Point! Score!

      Will be intetesting to see the effects if and when they are not permitted to do Insider Trading.

      Many of them may quit.

  21. Psaki psets her psights on psilencing Pspotify? This is getting psycho!

    1. She's just mad bc Joe Biden wont grope or sniff her. Shes too old!

      Old sphincter.

  22. The problem isn't the politicians, the problem is Big Tech's own censorship.

    Why is it only a problem when Big Tech censors when a politician tells them to, and not when they decide to do it on the own?

    I might understand if the government used force, but it's not, it's merely leftist politicians asking a leftist leaning company to do something that aligns with it's leftist values. (And putting aside the movement between Big Tech, the media, and government)

    Look at what happened today, GoFundMe basically stole $10 million from the protesting truckers in Canada.

  23. Zuckerturd lost 30 Billion dollars.

    Does anyone have a room he can rent and a spare pair if old shoes?

    Hes the biggest GRIFTER thats ever lived.

    Made billions producing nothing just to enable the US Govt to spy on people.

    " Meta?"... Get it....meta data.

    Catalog and control all data.

    Fuck Zuck.

  24. Idiots assume everyone else is like them.

  25. The remedy for misleading information about Covid and vaccines is a defamation suit. If a person makes a false claim that a Covid vaccine causes genetic damage or other illnesses, the manufacturers could sue, if that claim causes a decreases in vaccinations, and thus orders by the government.

    If misinformation about Covid caused a person to ignore advice from his physician and contract and either die or suffer chronic health problems, there is a lawsuit waiting to be filed.

    But, it should not by forcing the government or operators of social media platforms to look for misinformation and punish to creators.

    If you remember, Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, ran for the GOP nomination for President in 1968. He dropped out, in part because of questions about his eligibility. The elder Romney was born in Mexico.

    I used to say, because my mother said, that Romney was eligible, because his father was the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, and he was born at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

    It turns out that Romney was born in a Mormon settlement, and settlers fled back to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution.

    Was I wrong? Very much so. But, has anyone been harmed by my misinformation? No.

  26. The explain why the Pandemic response was doing just fine until Joe Biden took over and ended Warp Speed?
    Focusing on lock downs, masks and vaccine mandates have been admitted by "real scientist" to have been the reason for the resurgence and failure.

  27. I'll explain it Liberty, but if you don't understand how the unvaccinated are driving new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in all states, including blue ones already, you don't want to know because you can't handle the truth.

    Biden didn't end Warp Speed, he got the vaccines out ahead of projections with those getting it doing it by the millions. Then the GOP and right wing jerk offs decided to politicize an easy and safe decision and slowed the growth just as the more deadly and contagious Delta variant hit. That's where we are now, with over 30% of Republicans refusing to do their part for the economy, the country, and their relatives and tens of thousands of them croaking as a result. We are almost at 900k dead and the vast majority of those who have died since last July didn't have to.

    Those are the facts. You can't handle them.

    1. Anyone wanna refute him or should I take the honor?

      1. You can't. Those are the facts.

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