We saw glimmerings last year when Twitter began to selectively enforce “policy” against some (Milo Yiannoupolis) and not against others (the hordes of leftists who threatened to assassinate Donald Trump).
You could see it in Hillary Clinton’s campaign; after Trump won, it loomed to eclipse all reason.
And on Thursday I noted Congress’s reaction.
I refer to the hysteria over non-Democratic “memes” and “fake news” that trumped the erstwhile gatekeepers of the Fourth Estate and the political classes — including the lobbying and bureaucratic cliques — and stymied the ascension of Mrs. Clinton to the Most Powerful Office in the Whole Wide World.
Now Facebook has come on board with a way to combat this freewheeling flow of ideas.
Hayley Tsukayama, writing in the Washington Post, explained the new program:
The social network is going to partner with the Poynter International Fact-Checking Network, which includes groups such as Snopes, to evaluate articles flagged by Facebook users.
If those articles don’t pass the smell test for the fact-checkers, Facebook will pass on that evaluation with a little label whenever they are posted or shared, along with a link to the organization that debunked the story.
The problem, here, is not a First Amendment issue: Facebook is not the government; when it tampers with your communications, it does not break the law.
The problem is that the Internet’s self-proclaimed fact-checkers are not exactly fair-minded, or even capable of sticking to the facts. I quoted Nietzsche yesterday (“there are no facts, only interpretations”), today I will merely reference Ben Shapiro, who has a history with false fact-checkers, and riff off of Juvenal: who will fact check the fact checkers? (Obvious, I know.)
Meanwhile, the folks behind new social media service minds.com offer an innovative posting promotion system, and promise never to sneakily favor some ideas over others.
The proper response to a business firm’s discriminatory policy is to provide market pressure.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.