Wednesday, December 7, 2016

An Obvious Power Grab

A person The Omnivore knows who is far too smart to have voted for Trump--yet voted for him anyway--believes that the "push to censor Fake News" is an "obvious power grab" by "the same folks [we] just had to vote out."

Is he right?

Nope. He's Totally Wrong

Are sure? Like . . . totally sure?


How . . . how could you know that?? How could you even think you know that?


The "push to censor fake news" can potentially encompass a whole lot of shit--but there's one set of approaches it definitely includes: The one person who has actually said he will try to censor fake news said this:
"One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected."
The only person we know of who has actually fully weaponized this approach is billionaire Peter Thiel who is on that guy up there's team.

In other words, the genius the Omnivore knows is the dude who actually voted in the 'fake news censor team.'

Ahh--but--The Omnivore is psychic: That isn't what he meant, is it? [ He being The Omnivore-friend. ]

Nope. It Never Is.

What The Omnivore's friend means is that he thinks that there is a general-left-wing push to delegitimize news sources they "don't approve of" (such as Fox News or Internet only sites like Brietbart--which is not actually fake-news). This belief, coupled with a conspiracy theory creates fear of a 1st Amendment News-Grab such as the fear of a 2nd Amendment Gun-Grab.

What's going on here is that there is bleed-over between (a) what the media would like (which is to have its broad-based credibility back), (b) what experts are seeing (which is that average people fucking cannot identify fake news to save their lives), and (c) a new mechanism has matured for mainlining fake-news to everyone and their grandmother.

The first (a) generates heat. The second two (b) and (c) could possibly create a real problem. They didn't however, by themselves, create Trump.

The Omnivore can assure you that even people who have been shown they have spread racist fake news to their own satisfaction don't stop doing it. The appetite for fake news is the symptom, not the problem--but like everything else it's a feedback loop that can create more and more hysteria. The Omnivore's friend isn't wrong about that.

However, what does not exist, save in conspiracy theory is an operational plan to block news sites based on a white-list (i.e. only approved sites can spread news).  That's not going to happen. No one is even trying to make it happen. There are a group of technocrats who would, for both business and ideological reasons, like to de-monetize or at least remove  themselves from the fake-news money machine. They're taking steps to do that--but the idea that there is collusion between  The Media, The Democrats, and Google/Facebook to actually squash conservative voices?

Not happening.                                    

1 comment:

  1. When it's said that someone "far too smart" to have done something did so anyway, perhaps a qualifier such as "almost" or "theoretically" is called for. Failing that: I hope for, at a minimum, a story detailing the otherwise inexplicable dain bramage responsible.

    But you know what? Nobody's really "too smart" for anything, and I offer 4chan's /b/ board, the Children of Poseidon YouTube channel, and the "gaming" subreddit as evidence of... well, something. Never mind.

    Fake News FTW!

    -- Ω