Friday, November 18, 2016
More censorship coming from Google and Facebook
The war on "fake news" seems to be aimed explicitly at stories favouring Trump. A war on ALL fake news would be welcome but with Leftists in charge of the censoring, the result will be even more one-sided news coverage than we have already had. See the story below this one for some examples of fake news from the Left
President-elect Donald Trump is already reshaping the Internet. A great cleanup has begun, a weeding-out of the fake news stories and hateful commentary that surfaced so often during the presidential campaign, usually on social media sites.
This reckoning — undertaken by internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter over the past few days — might make the online environment tidier and more trustworthy, but also, perhaps, a little less free.
They are taking aim at fake pro-Trump stories like one reporting a phony endorsement of Trump by Pope Francis that attracted millions of readers, or the one about Hillary Clinton’s nonexistent $200 million mansion in the Maldives.
Meanwhile, the surging white nationalist “alt-right” movement has used Twitter as one of its favorite communications channels.
Acting now, after the election, is a transparently political move by companies that could have cracked down on this stuff years ago. Instead, Facebook and Google earned big audiences and big dollars by selling ads on phony news sites that spread outrageous falsehoods. And Twitter barely flinched while some of its users terrorized others with abusive and threatening messages.
Last week, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed criticism that fake news on his site influenced the election.
That assertion has reportedly been challenged by some of his own employees, who are said to be forming an unofficial task force to examine how the powerful company could better police spurious information.
Then on Monday Facebook joined Google in announcing that sites that routinely publish false stories will be barred from joining their advertising networks. One could easily conclude the crackdown is coming now because the center-left leadership of these companies suspects that the anything-goes policy helped elect Trump.