Here’s how it might have looked if today’s ‘fact checkers’ had been able to censor speech throughout U.S. history. By Hannah Cox and Brad Polumbo.
Imagine some hippy in 1968 speaking out against the escalating U.S. war in Vietnam on his Facebook, only to have “Missing Context” pop up to warn his followers:
‘End the War! Bring our troops home! Screw Johnson!’
Facebook Warning: *Independent fact-checkers* have found that this and similar posts are missing context. The Pentagon and statements by White House officials have suggested that U.S. efforts in this conflict have been productive. …
Edward Snowden reveals illegal mass surveillance by U.S. government …
In 2013, when National Security Contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the agency for illegally spying on Americans en masse, the government immediately responded that it wasn’t doing this. They said that no illegal surveillance was taking place.
President Barack Obama promised time and again this wasn’t true. The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper previously testified before Congress that mass collection and surveillance of Americans’ data was not taking place (his lie is what prompted Snowden to come forward.)
So imagine in 2013, oh I don’t know – ME – sharing on Facebook:
‘We have to end this mass spying on U.S. citizens. It is unconstitutional and un-American.’
Facebook Warning: *Independent fact-checkers* have found that this and similar posts are missing context. White House officials and the U.S. intelligence community have assured the public that there is no government program collecting the data of everyday Americans.
In 2020, a U.S. federal court vindicated Snowden. …
Where we are now:
The spread of misinformation has been a societal problem since the beginning of human communication — but much of the spread of disinformation has been done by the government and politicians. Their word should hardly be the measurement by which “fact-checkers” evaluate content. Major communication platforms of our time insisting that the only public discourse allowed must follow government dictums and guidelines is something very new and troubling.
People spreading misinformation can be dangerous. [But] helping the government silence anyone who challenges it is infinitely more dangerous.
Too many people still live in Facebook’s fantasy world.