Commentator Insists That Fact Checking Is An Attack On Free Speech

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

There are some really bizarre ideas out there — and one that has popped up a bunch recently is the idea that fact checking is antithetical to free speech. We’ve seen a few faux “conservatives” arguing that fact checkers should be regulated and that they’re not protected by the 1st Amendment. This is wrong of course. Fact checking is (1) speech, and (2) stating an opinion on the veracity of some other content. It’s quintessential protected opinion.

But, the most bizarrely stupid version of this argument was published recently in the Hill, by columnist Armstrong Williams, in a piece entitled: Uninhibited Speech is the Ultimate Weapon in the Fight Against Misinformation. You might think from this title that he would support fact checking — which is part of that “uninhabited speech.” Instead, he seems to think it’s an infringement on rights.

For too long, Big Tech has controlled what we say by imprinting into the minds of the masses a certain worldview. Big Tech has silenced dissenters, making those who dare to disagree with them outcasts. The “fact-checkers,” both manual and automated systems, review social media posts and censor them when they determine a post to be false or misleading. The very notion that a company would hire someone to fact-check private speech is outrageous. We should not tolerate lies, but it is not the job of a powerful few to label something as a “lie”; it is the job of the content consumer to do so. Giving a few entities the power to brand people as liars gives them disproportionate power to determine truth by labeling some lies as “fake news” but not others, according to their agenda. 

So… we should have uninhibited free speech… unless that speech is coming from a big tech company? Because that’s no longer uninhibited.

Now, there is a legitimate point buried amidst all the muck here, noting that just because someone has done a “fact check” on a piece of content, does not necessarily mean that the fact check is accurate. But a fact check is, undeniably part of the “more speech” approach. Williams isn’t mad about “fact checking.” He’s mad that he doesn’t agree with the results of these fact checks. Indeed, he could have made a stronger point if he had argued not against fact checking (which is clearly speech), but what is then done with the results of those fact checks (though, again, moderation decisions by private companies are also protected expression). Either way, when you get to the crux of his argument, it’s that companies who fact check don’t deserve any free speech rights to do so.

Did we need fact-checkers to end the idea that slavery was “natural,” as Aristotle said? Did we need fact-checkers to guide our Founding Fathers’ hands in writing the Constitution? No, what we needed was the natural, unfiltered flow of ideas from one person to another.

And… some of that “natural, unfiltered flow of ideas” is someone fact checking the content. That’s how the marketplace of ideas works. You can criticize the fact checkers and the end result of their fact checks. That’s reasonable. Fact checkers often get stuff wrong. But to argue that their speech somehow impinges on someone’s speech is nonsense.

It’s really funny how much he wants to silence speech in favor of letting speech flow if he likes that speech. I mean, this paragraph is just pure nonsense:

Rational thought spread like wildfire without the need of social media, and irrational thought died with the few patrons who consumed it. The world was changed by the thoughts of a few ordinary people who dared to think. Of course, people disagreed, and some even became violent, but a person’s right to open his mouth and unleash volumes of unique ideas upon his neighbors should not be stifled by the vitriol that their thoughts create.

Apparently, a person’s right to open his mouth should not be stifled unless that person is fact checking.

Does Williams have no principles at all?

Labels make it easy to destroy people. They shift burdens of proof to the party being labeled, making it impossible to peel away the label one is given.

Labels are speech, dude. If you disagree, you should speak up and explain why the label is incorrect, misleading or inappropriate. That is uninhibited speech. But fact checking and labels (and moderation decisions) are all speech in themselves.

We should all continue to express our thoughts honestly, unfiltered and uninhibited.

Unless you’re a fact checker or someone who labels people in a way that Armstrong Williams does not like?

Every person should conduct his or her own research to determine whether something someone says appears to be true.

Again, unless you’re a fact checker or someone who labels people in a way that Amstrong Williams does not like?

Each of us must consider the facts, connect the dots, and come to our own conclusions.

And, a fact checker is part of that discussion. No one says you have to believe everything a fact checker says.

Sure, we might get it wrong; everyone does that sometimes because we are human. But right always prevails over wrong, the truth overcomes fallacies, and good triumphs over evil.

Apparently, Williams believes this applies to everyone… except fact checkers.

What a bunch of censorial garbage.

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Comments on “Commentator Insists That Fact Checking Is An Attack On Free Speech”

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163 Comments
Ceyarreckssays:

I see,... Straw-People

I believe the term sought to describe the above is "Straw-man;" which are typically used by Narcissists to attack someone with a vaguely related moral panic as to discredit said speaker.

e.g. "We should limit/prevent industrial toxins from entering the water table."
which Narcs would scream: "OH NO! You want us to die from dehydration! What will we drink!?!"

Flipped around for better understanding, those who use Straw People are PURPOSEFULLY trying to undermine good principles, society, et al.

Ceyarreckssays:

I see,... Straw-People

I believe the term sought to describe the above is "Straw-man;" which are typically used by Narcissists to attack someone with a vaguely related moral panic as to discredit said speaker.

e.g. "We should limit/prevent industrial toxins from entering the water table."
which Narcs would scream: "OH NO! You want us to die from dehydration! What will we drink!?!"

Flipped around for better understanding, those who use Straw People are PURPOSEFULLY trying to undermine good principles, society, et al.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: So in essence

Well yeah. Newton said "if I have been able to look far, it is because I have been standing on the shoulders of giants." That’s progress. If the giants try standing on their own shoulders, that’s yoga and nobody gets to see far anymore. And then standing on their shoulders gets downright dangerous.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

?I may not like what you say, sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?unless you fact-check the source of this quote, in which case fuck you.????Voltaire

mADneSssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hey, thanks for that! I’ve long had the understanding that Voltaire was the source of that quote (well, not the latter half, anyway).

As it turns out, it comes from a 1906 biography by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in which it was intended to represent a summary of his thinking on free speech issues. ?I did not mean to imply,? she wrote later, ?that Voltaire used these words verbatim.?

Stephen T. Stonesays:

“I may not like what you say, sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it…unless you fact-check the source of this quote, in which case fuck you.” — Voltaire

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

"We should not tolerate lies,"

And yet some dumb motherfuckers stormed the capitol to try and keep the liar in chief in office…

"Did we need fact-checkers to guide our Founding Fathers? hands in writing the Constitution? No, what we needed was the natural, unfiltered flow of ideas from one person to another. "

Because they were likely to horsewhip each other if they lied as much as our elected officials do today.

Assholes are still telling people masks don’t work, the vaccine isn’t safe, horsepills will save you… and his biggest concern… someone fact checked me!!!!!

Whats that phrase… oh yes…
Christ what an asshole.

justmesays:

Re: Re:

and here we have misinformation right in your post. should you be censored? the fact is that masks don’t work. if you believe otherwise you’re an idiot. we have enough data and studies to show that to be the case. apparently you can’t "follow the science".

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey guys, don't be mean

Lets just appreciate just how breathtaking of an idiot makes an account, just so he can get called out on his stupid bullshit lies.

James Burkhardtsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

whether or not anything "works" typically has rested on 2 factors. One, how you define what it is supposed to do, and how well it does it.

The purpose of wearing a cloth mask for the general populace is to catch wet air that might contain viral loads (even if you are unaware you are acting as a typhoid mary). This reduces the virus you release by breathing and reduces other people from getting infected. To this end, cloth masks work. Not 100%, but they work, much as airbags and seatbelts reduce car deaths but do not prevent them entirely. A cloth mask worn for this purpose does not prevent you from catching the virus. It reduces those chances, but not significantly. If preventing your own infection is how you define if the mask you wear works than you have pointed out a scenario they don’t work, but that is by redefining what masks are recommended to do.

Masks are in fact more complicated, because masks come in various types that serve different requirements. Early on, the CDC stated the public shouldn’t wear the suddenly in demand and in short supply N95 masks. This mask would help prevent your own infection, if used in the disposable fashion they were designed. But as much more expensive solution that requires specialty manufacturing the short supply makes them a poor solution for the public.

Given the short supply and the Trump administration policy of preventing panic (as the N95 shortage was already causing), the CDC advised against the use of the n95 mask by the general public. Used shit messaging to do so. But the science does not support masks not working to prevent spread, and real world examples like the contrast of the BLM protests (that showed a lack of associated outbreaks) and events known for right-leaning attendees like Sturgis (where large numbers of cases could be traced) suggests masks play a part in reducing spread in large scale crowds.

As well, no. The answer is to fact check, as presented in this article. To let everyone know why TAC is wrong, and potentially flag the misinfo. Not to remove it, not to claim he never said it, but to include contradictory information, as we do here with your "Masks don’t work" bullshit.

If you want to try fact check me, please define the metric by which we measure the effectiveness of masks.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"To let everyone know why TAC is wrong"

stares but I’m never wrong. giggles

Unless you meant wrong in saying the things people are thinking but decorum keeps them from saying outloud… then I am wrong a lot.

Baron von Robbersays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re an idiot, masks work.
"Uniting infectious disease and physical science principles on the importance of face masks for COVID-19"
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666634020300726

"Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany"
https://www.pnas.org/content/117/51/32293?fbclid=IwAR0VHb462M7hZ_dOUo82g9dcmkxPsabzOxNKCopm6deQ852cpYTuTo-i_B0

"High-Quality Masks Reduce Infections and Deaths in the US"
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.27.20199737v2.abstract

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

the fact is that masks don’t work. if you believe otherwise you’re an idiot.

They don’t provide dependable protection. Neither does a goalkeeper, and yet most trainers prefer them not to be running all around the field.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

"We should not tolerate lies,"

And yet some dumb motherfuckers stormed the capitol to try and keep the liar in chief in office…

"Did we need fact-checkers to guide our Founding Fathers’ hands in writing the Constitution? No, what we needed was the natural, unfiltered flow of ideas from one person to another. "

Because they were likely to horsewhip each other if they lied as much as our elected officials do today.

Assholes are still telling people masks don’t work, the vaccine isn’t safe, horsepills will save you… and his biggest concern… someone fact checked me!!!!!

Whats that phrase… oh yes…
Christ what an asshole.

Coffee Usays:

Fact checking is free speech ++

I love when someone corrects me (and I’ll verify (and expand my knowledge further) that it’s an actual correction), and I can reply "Thanks, TIL." That is how our society should work.

Scott Yatessays:

Some might consider this a typo, but i prefer to think of it in a more literal sense. As in "uninhabited by sense"

But, the most bizarrely stupid version of this argument was published recently in the Hill, by columnist Armstrong Williams, in a piece entitled: Uninhibited Speech is the Ultimate Weapon in the Fight Against Misinformation. You might think from this title that he would support fact checking — which is part of that "uninhabited speech." Instead, he seems to think it’s an infringement on rights.

Scott Yatessays:

Some might consider this a typo, but i prefer to think of it in a more literal sense. As in "uninhabited by sense"

But, the most bizarrely stupid version of this argument was published recently in the Hill, by columnist Armstrong Williams, in a piece entitled: Uninhibited Speech is the Ultimate Weapon in the Fight Against Misinformation. You might think from this title that he would support fact checking — which is part of that "uninhabited speech." Instead, he seems to think it’s an infringement on rights.

Anonymoussays:

It depends. If fact-checking means responding to correct falsehoods and providing additional information and context, then it’s obviously speech.

But if it means just deleting anything the fact-checker doesn’t like with no explanation, then it’s not speech.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

?But if it means just deleting anything the fact-checker doesn’t like with no explanation, then it’s not speech.?

Sounds like someone needs their opinion fact checked.

Anonymoussays:

It depends. If fact-checking means responding to correct falsehoods and providing additional information and context, then it’s obviously speech.

But if it means just deleting anything the fact-checker doesn’t like with no explanation, then it’s not speech.

Anonymoussays:

It sounds kind of like Armstrong Williams wrote an article attempting to fact check the basis for fact checking. And instead wrote an article arguing against his articles existence.

Kind of a very meta self-own.

Anonymoussays:

It sounds kind of like Armstrong Williams wrote an article attempting to fact check the basis for fact checking. And instead wrote an article arguing against his articles existence.

Kind of a very meta self-own.

Darkness Of Coursesays:

The Hill is a sink hole

During the We Are All Gonna Die administration their quality went sharply downhill as well as more conservative.

This bit from Armstrong informs me that ignoring The Hill is the right hill to stand firm on.

Darkness Of Coursesays:

The Hill is a sink hole

During the We Are All Gonna Die administration their quality went sharply downhill as well as more conservative.

This bit from Armstrong informs me that ignoring The Hill is the right hill to stand firm on.

Samuel Abramsays:

Armstrong Williams? Rings a bell?

Is this the same Armstrong Williams responsible for for being in a scandal where he was paid $240,000 to shill for No Child Left Behind?

Even though I couldn’t find the Daily Show with Jon Stewart clip, I remember it almost verbatim:

News reporter: "Were you being paid by a company to promote No Child Left Behind?"
Armstrong Williams: "No, no, no?"
<pause>
Armstrong Williams: "I own the company."

Jon Stewart <in the voice of Comic Book Guy>: Worst?Damage Control?ever!

I wish the clip weren’t excised from the internet because it’s permanently relevant. Must be Williams’ right to be forgotten?

Samuel Abramsays:

Armstrong Williams? Rings a bell…

Is this the same Armstrong Williams responsible for for being in a scandal where he was paid $240,000 to shill for No Child Left Behind?

Even though I couldn’t find the Daily Show with Jon Stewart clip, I remember it almost verbatim:

News reporter: "Were you being paid by a company to promote No Child Left Behind?"
Armstrong Williams: "No, no, no…"
<pause>
Armstrong Williams: "I own the company."

Jon Stewart <in the voice of Comic Book Guy>: Worst…Damage Control…ever!

I wish the clip weren’t excised from the internet because it’s permanently relevant. Must be Williams’ right to be forgotten…

Kobysays:

What Good Is A Phone Call

Labels are speech, dude. If you disagree, you should speak up and explain why the label is incorrect, misleading or inappropriate.

You can’t do that when you get censored for speaking out against the official government narrative that the social media lapdogs accept as dogma.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: What Good Is A Phone Call

You can’t do that when you get censored for speaking out against the official government narrative that the social media lapdogs accept as dogma.

And do you have any proof that backs up this statement, or are you just trying to push your narrative?

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Re:

Which specific people have been censored by social media companies, such that they are not allowed to express themselves on platforms outside of the major social media platforms? And for what specific speech were they censored?

Be specific.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: What Good Is A Mothers Basement

Yeah buddy, time to shut this account down.

Unless you are actually going to put some actual effort in.

It’s hardly worth watching your betters to mock you with all their fancy "facts" and "figures" that they checked for "veracity" and "accuracy."

Kobysays:

What Good Is A Phone Call

Labels are speech, dude. If you disagree, you should speak up and explain why the label is incorrect, misleading or inappropriate.

You can’t do that when you get censored for speaking out against the official government narrative that the social media lapdogs accept as dogma.

Anonymoussays:

Did we need fact-checkers to end the idea that slavery was ?natural,? as Aristotle said?

Yes, we did.

There were hundreds of "scientific" theories of racism which have been used to support the "natural" inferiority of various races in support of slavery. Physical anthropology, craniometry, anthropometry… dating at least back to the polygenism of the enlightenment (though to be fair, polygenism was a legitimate query at the time). And as each of these was eventually "fact checked" and found wanting, more were created to replace them.

In 1840, the US census reported that free blacks had a higher rate of mental illness than enslaved blacks, to the joy of the pro-slavery advocates. In 1844, Edward Jarvis published a report demonstrating that the results of the census were in error. You might even say he "fact checked" them…

Anonymoussays:

Did we need fact-checkers to end the idea that slavery was “natural,” as Aristotle said?

Yes, we did.

There were hundreds of "scientific" theories of racism which have been used to support the "natural" inferiority of various races in support of slavery. Physical anthropology, craniometry, anthropometry… dating at least back to the polygenism of the enlightenment (though to be fair, polygenism was a legitimate query at the time). And as each of these was eventually "fact checked" and found wanting, more were created to replace them.

In 1840, the US census reported that free blacks had a higher rate of mental illness than enslaved blacks, to the joy of the pro-slavery advocates. In 1844, Edward Jarvis published a report demonstrating that the results of the census were in error. You might even say he "fact checked" them…

Anonymoussays:

The very notion that a company would hire someone to fact-check private speech is outrageous…

Should we perhaps start with eliminating private detectives, who fact-check private speech such as "No, honey, I was working all night and slept at the office."

Anonymoussays:

The very notion that a company would hire someone to fact-check private speech is outrageous…

Should we perhaps start with eliminating private detectives, who fact-check private speech such as "No, honey, I was working all night and slept at the office."

Anonymoussays:

Labels are speech, dude. If you disagree, you should speak up and explain why the label is incorrect, misleading or inappropriate. That is uninhibited speech.

Giving the extreme benefit of the doubt to Mr. Williams’ argument: how could someone explain why a ‘fact check’ is incorrect if their responses to the ‘fact check’ are censored?

I suppose they could post a response somewhere else, but how do you direct people to it through a censored post?

Anonymoussays:

Labels are speech, dude. If you disagree, you should speak up and explain why the label is incorrect, misleading or inappropriate. That is uninhibited speech.

Giving the extreme benefit of the doubt to Mr. Williams’ argument: how could someone explain why a ‘fact check’ is incorrect if their responses to the ‘fact check’ are censored?

I suppose they could post a response somewhere else, but how do you direct people to it through a censored post?

Insufficient Cringesays:

It is more than just fact checkers that should keep quiet. He allows that "Every person should conduct his or her own research to determine whether something someone says appears to be true", but then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

Insufficient Cringesays:

It is more than just fact checkers that should keep quiet. He allows that "Every person should conduct his or her own research to determine whether something someone says appears to be true", but then they cannot not tell anybody else, because that would that would make them a fact checker.

That One Guysays:

'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Ah fact checkers, like a pro-active version of [Citation Needed] which is itself the bane of liars and trolls everywhere. If you don’t like those meanie fact-checkers calling you out for being wrong or outright lying stop lying, prepare to support your claims with credible citations or find somewhere else to speak that won’t call you out when you fail to do either of those.

The crusade against fact checking would seem to be the latest version of the belief that certain groups deserve not just the right to speak(which they already have), or even that and the right to a platform of their choice to speak from(which they have no right to), but protection against any and all consequences for that speech including prohibitions against others responding to them(which has never been part of free speech).

To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

They believe in the hecklers version of fee speech, where shouting someone down is an exercise of their free speech, and being ejected so that their target can speak is an infringement of their free speech rights. By their reasoning, their free speech rights are absolute, and trump everybody elses free speech rights.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Yeah it is a grossly hypocritical view of free speech where the only speech and associated rights(fictional or otherwise) that they seem to consider valid are their own and everyone else is just supposed to sit down, shut up and let them say whatever they want unchecked since calling them out on their garbage is an assault on the very concept of free speech itself!

That One Guysays:

'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Ah fact checkers, like a pro-active version of [Citation Needed] which is itself the bane of liars and trolls everywhere. If you don’t like those meanie fact-checkers calling you out for being wrong or outright lying stop lying, prepare to support your claims with credible citations or find somewhere else to speak that won’t call you out when you fail to do either of those.

The crusade against fact checking would seem to be the latest version of the belief that certain groups deserve not just the right to speak(which they already have), or even that and the right to a platform of their choice to speak from(which they have no right to), but protection against any and all consequences for that speech including prohibitions against others responding to them(which has never been part of free speech).

To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support.

Anonymoussays:

Each of us must consider the facts, connect the dots, and come to our own conclusions.

… because most of us won’t bother.
… because most who bother won’t have all the dots, and so will still believe me.
… and because those who know better wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

Anonymoussays:

Each of us must consider the facts, connect the dots, and come to our own conclusions.

… because most of us won’t bother.
… because most who bother won’t have all the dots, and so will still believe me.
… and because those who know better wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

ECAsays:

I have a feeling

"For too long, Big Tech has controlled what we say by imprinting into the minds of the masses a certain worldview."

Umm, yes? but lets go back in history BEFORE Big tech. Who controlled the newspapers/TV/Radio??

Get off the high horse, and Start walking.
I will bet that HE NEEDED to write something to keep his job.
That he GOT PAID to write something about Censorship and Fact checking, and ended up writing this crap.

sumgaisays:

Looks like YAA want to gum up the court system. (Yet Another Asshole.) Someone wants a case, and a firm decision, on this topic, but here’s what the judge would be taking on… oh wait, let me use a simile:

A European is walking through the jungles of Africa one day, and is set upon and captured by some cannibals. The chief said to the man "You will die, but I will choose the manner of your death. To make my choice, you must tell us a fact. If I decide that it is true, then you will die by being burned at the stake. If I think your statement is false, then you will die by an arrow through the heart." The quick-thinking victim promptly said "I will die by an arrow through my heart".

I’m quite certain that it will take a real effort to find a judge that wants to render a decision in such case. Or if the judge has ever read Richard Marckinko’s ‘Rogue Warrior’ series of books, he’ll tell the YAA "S squared!".

restless94110says:

Insisting

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? to anyone with a brain. So-called fact checking is censorship. You are saying your facts are the TRUTH while my facts are DISINFORMATION.

How on Earth can you accept that as an American?

Anonymoussays:

This silly attack on fact checking is now part of the Fox stable, which has hired an English critic of Markle, after he walked out on a critic, who was asking him what basis he had for his character attacks onMeghan Markle. The idea that right always prevails over wrong, truth over fallacies and good over evil comes from John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in "On Liberty" but Mill was overly confident of the capacity of free speech to be self-correcting on the ground that "fact checkers" would expose falsehood. Evil can triumph over good in the short term, just ask the victims of WWII.

Anonymoussays:

This silly attack on fact checking is now part of the Fox stable, which has hired an English critic of Markle, after he walked out on a critic, who was asking him what basis he had for his character attacks onMeghan Markle. The idea that right always prevails over wrong, truth over fallacies and good over evil comes from John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in "On Liberty" but Mill was overly confident of the capacity of free speech to be self-correcting on the ground that "fact checkers" would expose falsehood. Evil can triumph over good in the short term, just ask the victims of WWII.

Anonymoussays:

This silly attack on fact checking is now part of the Fox stable, which has hired an English critic of Markle, after he walked out on a critic, who was asking him what basis he had for his character attacks onMeghan Markle. The idea that right always prevails over wrong, truth over fallacies and good over evil comes from John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in "On Liberty" but Mill was overly confident of the capacity of free speech to be self-correcting on the ground that "fact checkers" would expose falsehood. Evil can triumph over good in the short term, just ask the victims of WWII.

Anonymoussays:

This silly attack on fact checking is now part of the Fox stable, which has hired an English critic of Markle, after he walked out on a critic, who was asking him what basis he had for his character attacks onMeghan Markle. The idea that right always prevails over wrong, truth over fallacies and good over evil comes from John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in "On Liberty" but Mill was overly confident of the capacity of free speech to be self-correcting on the ground that "fact checkers" would expose falsehood. Evil can triumph over good in the short term, just ask the victims of WWII.

Anonymoussays:

This silly attack on fact checking is now part of the Fox stable, which has hired an English critic of Markle, after he walked out on a critic, who was asking him what basis he had for his character attacks onMeghan Markle. The idea that right always prevails over wrong, truth over fallacies and good over evil comes from John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in "On Liberty" but Mill was overly confident of the capacity of free speech to be self-correcting on the ground that "fact checkers" would expose falsehood. Evil can triumph over good in the short term, just ask the victims of WWII.

Davidsays:

Re: So in essence

Well yeah. Newton said "if I have been able to look far, it is because I have been standing on the shoulders of giants." That’s progress. If the giants try standing on their own shoulders, that’s yoga and nobody gets to see far anymore. And then standing on their shoulders gets downright dangerous.

Anonymoussays:

Re: So in essence

No other businesses should be allowed to either: only natural persons acting in their personal capacity should have the right to engage in political activity of any kind, and there should be spending caps (including spending in kind) to ensure that everyone (including candidates) is able to participate on a level playing field. If it were up to me I’d limit the right to citizens too, though enforcing a restriction on non-citizens would be impractical.

justmesays:

Re:

and here we have misinformation right in your post. should you be censored? the fact is that masks don’t work. if you believe otherwise you’re an idiot. we have enough data and studies to show that to be the case. apparently you can’t "follow the science".

Anonymoussays:

Re:

As a hilarious aside, while ivermectin (human formulation) can’t save you, there’s also no record of people in Oklahoma being admitted to ER for ivermectin (animal formulated) overdose.

While one might read Rolling Stone for the articles, at least ensure the articles have been fact-checked before publishing. No, being a music-based publication does not mean you can’t shirk that responsibility.

James Burkhardtsays:

Re: Re:

whether or not anything "works" typically has rested on 2 factors. One, how you define what it is supposed to do, and how well it does it.

The purpose of wearing a cloth mask for the general populace is to catch wet air that might contain viral loads (even if you are unaware you are acting as a typhoid mary). This reduces the virus you release by breathing and reduces other people from getting infected. To this end, cloth masks work. Not 100%, but they work, much as airbags and seatbelts reduce car deaths but do not prevent them entirely. A cloth mask worn for this purpose does not prevent you from catching the virus. It reduces those chances, but not significantly. If preventing your own infection is how you define if the mask you wear works than you have pointed out a scenario they don’t work, but that is by redefining what masks are recommended to do.

Masks are in fact more complicated, because masks come in various types that serve different requirements. Early on, the CDC stated the public shouldn’t wear the suddenly in demand and in short supply N95 masks. This mask would help prevent your own infection, if used in the disposable fashion they were designed. But as much more expensive solution that requires specialty manufacturing the short supply makes them a poor solution for the public.

Given the short supply and the Trump administration policy of preventing panic (as the N95 shortage was already causing), the CDC advised against the use of the n95 mask by the general public. Used shit messaging to do so. But the science does not support masks not working to prevent spread, and real world examples like the contrast of the BLM protests (that showed a lack of associated outbreaks) and events known for right-leaning attendees like Sturgis (where large numbers of cases could be traced) suggests masks play a part in reducing spread in large scale crowds.

As well, no. The answer is to fact check, as presented in this article. To let everyone know why TAC is wrong, and potentially flag the misinfo. Not to remove it, not to claim he never said it, but to include contradictory information, as we do here with your "Masks don’t work" bullshit.

If you want to try fact check me, please define the metric by which we measure the effectiveness of masks.

Baron von Robbersays:

Re: Re:

You’re an idiot, masks work.
"Uniting infectious disease and physical science principles on the importance of face masks for COVID-19"
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666634020300726

"Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany"
https://www.pnas.org/content/117/51/32293?fbclid=IwAR0VHb462M7hZ_dOUo82g9dcmkxPsabzOxNKCopm6deQ852cpYTuTo-i_B0

"High-Quality Masks Reduce Infections and Deaths in the US"
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.27.20199737v2.abstract

Davidsays:

Re: Re:

the fact is that masks don’t work. if you believe otherwise you’re an idiot.

They don’t provide dependable protection. Neither does a goalkeeper, and yet most trainers prefer them not to be running all around the field.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

"we have enough data and studies to show that to be the case."

Umm dude… Karen on Facebook saying they don’t work is not data or a study.

Obligatory –
https://xkcd.com/285

Also, I have REAL research!
https://9gag.com/gag/azmvnvN

Yes I know I am going into moderation, but its worth it.

Also, I’m very excited that you agree with me that dudes an Asshole. 🙂

Anonymoussays:

Re:

“But if it means just deleting anything the fact-checker doesn’t like with no explanation, then it’s not speech.”

Sounds like someone needs their opinion fact checked.

Adamsays:

Re:

It’s still speech, just not an effective way to change the minds of those who believe in the falsehoods. Explaining why a statement is false is much more effective than just pretending the statement doesn’t exist.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re:

"Many things are speech in someone’s opinion."

…and the only relevant opinion on what is allowed speech or not is the owner of the house or platform where you are saying it.

If you show up in a bar, someone’s house, or on Facebook claiming that vaccines don’t work, Hitler was a saint, and jewish space lasers are to blame for the wildfires raging over the western US then you have no call for redress or complaint if the owner shows you the door.

To get that message out build your own platform or shout it from on top of a soapbox in the nearest public square.

Anonymoussays:

Re: What Good Is A Phone Call

You can’t do that when you get censored for speaking out against the official government narrative that the social media lapdogs accept as dogma.

And do you have any proof that backs up this statement, or are you just trying to push your narrative?

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Which specific people have been censored by social media companies, such that they are not allowed to express themselves on platforms outside of the major social media platforms? And for what specific speech were they censored?

Be specific.

Anonymoussays:

Re: What Good Is A Mothers Basement

Yeah buddy, time to shut this account down.

Unless you are actually going to put some actual effort in.

It’s hardly worth watching your betters to mock you with all their fancy "facts" and "figures" that they checked for "veracity" and "accuracy."

Anonymoussays:

Re: What Good Is A Phone Call

First off, you NeoNazi, that is not how the 1st Amendment works. If the GOVERNMENT censors someone for speaking out, that is a very fucking clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

Secondly, do the opinions being censored include, but are not limited to, Holocaust denial, COVID denial, conspiracy theories, genocide denial, promotion of terrorism (both CIA-backed and otherwise), and promotion of slavery?

A yes or no will suffice. This should not be too hard.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: What Good Is A Phone Call

"You can’t do that when you get censored for speaking out against the official government narrative that the social media lapdogs accept as dogma."

How fortunate for you that you can say that out loud in any public square and any privately owned platform which doesn’t have a policy on acceptable conduct, then.

We’ll just have to take your repeated implied demands the "social media lapdogs" be deprived of their own property ad notam once again.

Personally I’ll just repeat my stand; There’s nothing wrong with property owners being the ones who dictate what is to be said or not to be said on their own property.

mADneSssays:

Re:

Hey, thanks for that! I’ve long had the understanding that Voltaire was the source of that quote (well, not the latter half, anyway).

As it turns out, it comes from a 1906 biography by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in which it was intended to represent a summary of his thinking on free speech issues. “I did not mean to imply,” she wrote later, “that Voltaire used these words verbatim.”

justmesays:

Re:

as i said there are studies that show masks are worthless, you just choose to not read them. also simple logic demonstrates this to be the case. just look at the super woke, blue cities where mask & "vaccine" compliance is high and you’ll see that the virus still continues. look at countries & states where there were never any mandates and you’ll find that the numbers are pretty much the same. if masks work then why don’t the work? if the vaccines work then why don’t they work? if you want to look like a moron and wear a mask then party on. i will NOT comply. i live in a very blue state with all kinds of ridiculous mandates but i will not comply. these mandates have zero to do with health or science and everything to do with control. be a sheep or be free — make your choice.

https://www.poverty-action.org/sites/default/files/publications/Mask_RCT____Symptomatic_Seropositivity_083121.pdf

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

Paul Bsays:

Re:

Of course there is not enough time in the day, or grains of sand on a beach to fact check every claim by every person.

This is why we have specialists, because it’s crazy for everyone everywhere to have to study everything to the point of mastery. By the time we can make a decision we’re dead of covid, old age, lead poisoning, or who knows what else.

Jeff Greensays:

Re:

The argument against fact checkers contains an interesting little snippet. If doing research can constitute fact checking and it is illegal to post fact checks it follows that anything published on the internet cannot be researched but has to be made up by the author or else it is illegal.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:

"To let everyone know why TAC is wrong"

stares but I’m never wrong. giggles

Unless you meant wrong in saying the things people are thinking but decorum keeps them from saying outloud… then I am wrong a lot.

Anonymoussays:

Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

They believe in the hecklers version of fee speech, where shouting someone down is an exercise of their free speech, and being ejected so that their target can speak is an infringement of their free speech rights. By their reasoning, their free speech rights are absolute, and trump everybody elses free speech rights.

Anonymoussays:

Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support.

Nah, that "or" should be an "and". And I’d add asterisks to clarify what it really meant.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

"To call that mindset childish, self-centered and grossly self-entitled would be a massive understatement and it only gets worse when you realize their hypocrisy of wanting only some speech protected, theirs or the speech of those they support."

The rest of the world will simply have to thank the US for demonstrating in vivo that Karl Popper’s "Paradox of Tolerance" is 100% correct. This is what it leads up to – a society where everyone with an ounce of rationality needs to spend significant time defending their right not to pay serious attention to every lunatic with a keyboard. And the utterly insane stand among elected representatives to belt out the message that jewish space lasers are setting the country on fire.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Yeah it is a grossly hypocritical view of free speech where the only speech and associated rights(fictional or otherwise) that they seem to consider valid are their own and everyone else is just supposed to sit down, shut up and let them say whatever they want unchecked since calling them out on their garbage is an assault on the very concept of free speech itself!

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re:

I was just circling back about that…

Obviously he hasn’t read some of the textbooks used in the nation where people were taught that slavery was good for the darkies & without us helping them that way they would still be in the jungle killing each other.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re:

Obviously he hasn’t read some of the textbooks used in the nation where people were taught that slavery was good for the darkies & without us helping them that way they would still be in the jungle killing each other.

He doesn’t even have to look very far. There are lots of them in Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh is it sad how that first one went from something that should be desirable and happen more often to considered censorship! and an attack on free speech to a higher-than-zero number of people…

Ngitasays:

Re: Re: Re:

This,

The science is reasonably good on they mostly prevent you passing it on.

The science on does it prevent you from catching covid is a little more debatable. At one end we know that emergency personnel, with gloves, Booties, scrubs, masks and face shields have still have caught covid. That the difference between a mask and a "fitted" mask can be statistically measurable.

Is that cloth mask you have been wearing for weeks, and is probably full of bacteria, "safer" for YOU then no mask at all. Debatable.

Its a little like fact checkers, I do not see any problem with being fact checked.

But fact checked by some invisible minion, you have no way to debate with and no way to reverse when he is wrong. It not like you can post counter speech with proof. That will be fact checked and censored as well

Anonymoussays:

Re: Insisting

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? to anyone with a brain. So-called fact checking is censorship. You are saying your facts are the TRUTH while my facts are DISINFORMATION.

My facts say that I’m the smartest and wisest person on the planet and I should rule over everyone as global King. Your argument says that any attempt to fact-check me is censorship. Therefore, you may now bow down before me, your King.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Insisting

How on Earth can you accept that as an American?

I’m not, but I do like America.

Again, censorship is, according to the American First Amendment, when the GOVERNMENT modifies a person’s written or spoken word, removes an article, or does something to restrict individual freedom of expression and/or association.

Fact-checking does NONE of that. At best, it adds lines to your expressed speech, pointing the reader to something a bit more accurate. At worst, it’s a small article on page 26 of any newspaper. Sometimes right after the obituaries. Usually gets buried under the top stores on the first page, however.

And yes, that also includes government fact-checkers, if they were really doing their job.

Your "facts", as they stand, can be easily googled to show that you are WRONG. Me calling you "a fucking jackbooted thug", on the other hand, can be easily fact-checked by looking at your comment history.

For example, on Sep 10, your comment "A Pail of Cold Water" under the article "Cop Who Killed A Suicidal Man Less Than 11 Seconds After Entering His House Convicted Of Murder" is very telling of where you stand. Again, on the same day, I point to your comment "Hear Ye" on "Brazilian President Bans Social Media Companies From Removing Disinformation & Abuse". That one’s a bit murkier, but your support for that sort of thing is very telling.

Finally, "Coming Around". Your last sentence vaguely sounds like a threat.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Insisting

I’m saying your hero Trump fucked up putting Hilary Clinton in jail and building a wall across the Mexican border like he promised. That isn’t just truth. That’s entirely verifiable fact.

Your side lost bigly and the best you can come up with in response is tantrum after tantrum. Your tears are delicious. That’s about the only reason why you aren’t "community managed" the same way your heroes at Parler do things.

bhull242says:

Re: Insisting

You are saying your facts are the TRUTH while my facts are DISINFORMATION.

Isn’t that exactly what you do? Come to think of it, that describes most arguments about facts, but it especially applies to conspiracy theorists like you.

How on Earth can you accept that as an American?

Perhaps the single most important right in America is the right to free speech, including stating one’s opinions. That includes the right to say, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

Seriously, are you new to this?

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Insisting

"…as an American?"

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. "Soviet Commissars" are not sterling examples of the american mindset. Except among the alt-right who seem to have gone so far down the extreme right they warped space and found themselves circling back around on the extreme left.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Because you moron, posts that are fact checked aren’t neccesarily deleted, which is why the fact check text is shown – to guide people to read ahead with ‘a pinch of salt’.

That One Guysays:

‘It was the strangest thing, we ran their posts through our fact-checking software and the code became sentient just long enough to kill itself, set the computer on fire and then explode.’

Anonymoussays:

Re: I have a feeling

This is why focusing on social in particular is unhelpful, and we must campaign to get all of big business out of politics and ensure a level playing field between the richest and poorest citizens.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Re:

He doesn’t even have to look very far. There are lots of them in Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive.

Frankly, you make it sound like a thing of the past.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:

Nah he strikes me as the sort of asshole who believes the hype that the Internet Archive is just a massive IP theft ring so nothing they have can be trusted.

ECAsays:

Re: Re: I have a feeling

1.
WE need to educate people to Know that WE’ are the ones that are supposedly in control. We need to let others know that Those on TV the most are NOT the ones we should vote for. at this time.

  1. Disband the 2 group ideal. Take allthe money they get to sponsor 1-2 candidates, and put it in pile and Spread it evenly with those OTHERS that have an abundance of people supporting those others. REALLY piss off the 2 groups.
  2. system to keep those elected as evaluated by those that elected them YEARLY. later we can spread the time out more, as we get better people in office.

There is a big problem tho. and it involves City and states, and how many people are in them. Voting federally, is lopsided. Even when the farm states get a bonus, to balance the vote.

In all of this, we need more control over our regulators, and they have had a great time Changing things in the past 40 years, to Keep themselves in office. There were laws, and laws brought up to FIX things but all went to the wayside.
Get rid of the lobbyists. Get rid of the regs that give the corps MORE rights, then the consumer. GO BACK to the old idea of import taxes, that we Only taxes those things that are equal to the products the USA makes.
then get someone to monitor the Subsidies we are paying for to see if they are getting to WHAT they were supplied for. Like farming, is not generally getting tot he farmers.

And if you really want a big hit? Walk thru the stock exchange and see if its Doing whats its supposed to do.
And if nothing else, lets go bankrupt. It would make our money worth more in the long run. Drop our economy Down. WE DONT need to be on top.
This is our economy:
https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/industry-trends/biggest-industries-by-revenue/
INSURANCE. Just dont do it.
And under all that is Food exports. and you really dont want to know about that.,

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: I have a feeling

"…and we must campaign to get all of big business out of politics and ensure a level playing field between the richest and poorest citizens."

You mean like in socialist Europe where campaign financing is seriously audited and in many cases parties have to make do with the funds and aid they’re granted by subsidies?

Yeah, that’ll get you politicians not bought and paid for by the open market but that’s the road the US has persistently rejected.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

To explain that the speech they really want protected are the sort of things Texan Republicans wanting Facebok to host.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: 'How dare you not want to host deadly lies?!'

Ah, I imagine most people know what kind of speech they really want protected at this point but I suppose it is always good to rub the faces of the ‘persecuted conservatives’ in it since it’s so rare for them to actually admit to what the ‘speech’ they value so highly is.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Hey guys, don't be mean

Well, judging from his posting history the only goal he ever had in mind was to somehow "own the libs" no matter the cost.

This is the sort of guy who’ll run naked around the public square while voiding his bowels and consider it worthwhile since at least a few of the outraged and embarrassed bystanders will be liberals. Nevermind cutting off the nose to spite the face, the current crop of alt-right fuckwit will consider it fair trade to slit their own wrists if that means a lib gets stuck with a cleaning bill to get the blood out.

Or more down to earth, to watch their elderly relatives die as long as it means that liberal vaccine and mask doesn’t enter the house.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s almost enough to make you long for the bad old days when the Klan and the Nazis weren’t ashamed in the least to air their repulsive opinion and didn’t give a damn what the public thought of it.

You don’t get racists the way they used to make them, these days.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

They believe as long as they aren’t screaming the n word at random black people they aren’t racists.

They lock their doors when they see one, clutch their purse harder, cross the street, look away when some one attacks them.

They believe black people should just do what the officer told them to, while not listening to the 35 different commands being screamed at a 5yr old stretch out on a scorching parking lot because a license plate reader misread & rather than check they put the whole family down at gunpoint.

They call protesting unamerican, to pull the focus away from why they are protesting.

They believe that black people can protest, but only how & when white folk tell them they can.

They think that black people are treated the same as white people & just want special treatment.
Y’all ever noticed that the white folk get really uppity about special treatment demands, but if you look at what people want, its to be treated the same as white folk?

They are also the sort of people who hum zippity doodah & wonder why they can’t buy a DVD of Song of the South from Disney.
Of course they also ignore how much Disney has made selling DVDs of Song of the South in markets where slavery isn’t as ‘troublesome’ while making it sound like they care so thats why they do not make it available in the US.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: As Voltaire once said to Moses,

"Moses and Voltaire were both clueless libtard assholes and vaccines don’t work!"

  • George Washington, according to at least one alt-right fuckwit somewhere.
Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Insisting

On the extreme left, the government owns and runs all businesses. On the extreme right, they allow private ownership, so long as the government is allowed to run the business. For those not part of the elite, the result is the same, they are replaceable resources, deployed to obtain the objectives of the elites.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

stares

Its like you’ve never read this site & just showed up to harp on fact checking when you literally did no fact checking & missed they covered the Rolling Stone screw up.

Go to the corner, sit on the stool, wear the cap.

bhull242says:

Re: Re:

as i said there are studies that show masks are worthless, you just choose to not read them.

I have read the studies. They don’t show masks are worthless. We’ve been over this.

also simple logic demonstrates this to be the case. just look at the super woke, blue cities where mask & "vaccine" compliance is high and you’ll see that the virus still continues.

Almost entirely among the unvaccinated, and they are usually unmasked. Even in blue cities, the vaccination rate is not high enough to reach herd immunity, and there are still a lot of antimaskers as well.

Also, that the virus continues to spread at all doesn’t mean that masks don’t work at all. Masks are not perfect at preventing the spread of viruses like COVID; no one claims they are. What they do is reduce the spread, not stop it entirely.

look at countries & states where there were never any mandates and you’ll find that the numbers are pretty much the same.

This is completely false. States with relatively fewer unvaccinated people and no mandates (like Florida) are currently experiencing the highest per capita COVID infection and death rates in the country, and those rates are increasing.

if masks work then why don’t the work? if the vaccines work then why don’t they work?

Except they do. Very few fully vaccinated people experience any COVID symptoms at all, even fewer of them have to get hospitalized for COVID, and almost none of the COVID deaths have been fully vaccinated, so clearly the vaccines work. Cases of transmission of COVID (including its variants) primarily occur when at least one of the people in the transmission wasn’t wearing a mask, so masks work, too.

i live in a very blue state with all kinds of ridiculous mandates but i will not comply.

And yet you wonder why COVID still spreads in states with mandates. I mean, surely it has nothing to do with people like you who refuse to comply with the mandates. That’d be ridiculous! /s

these mandates have zero to do with health or science and everything to do with control

You have failed to demonstrate that claim.

ECAsays:

Re: Re: Re: I have a feeling

Agreed.
Its like explaining, the need for a few more people to help monitor something, but no one gives a darn, until it breaks.
Its broken, WE need to fix it.
They broke the toys Long ago, that helped this country. And those 2 groups kept promising that Nothing would happen, we are all honest.
Truth in adverts
Anti- lobbies
being able to ask, ‘where did the money come from’, and not getting, ‘I dont know’
The understanding that, a Person/group willing to pay 10+ times the value of the job, isnt there for the job.
A bit of nationalization. That our taxes already PAID for things, and that those things Should belong to the people. Our land, our water, our crops. Over harvesting for security and keeping people FED is 1 thing. Selling off 60%+ Isnt security. Esp after we Subsidize it.
When we pay for the exploration of New oil reserves. Then sell off the Goods to other countries, because its not the RIGHT type of oil. Then pay South America for MORE oil, and the oil corp made a 8Billion profit Exporting, and then another 8 billion after selling us the S. American oil. Didnt WE pay for allot of this, as tax payers?
Subsidizing things makes it Easy for the corps NOT to compete. And at this time there are only 1-2 MAJOR corps on top that sell to the smaller corps.

bhull242says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t see what’s preventing you from replying to your own post or something to explain to the public that you’ve been false fact-checked. In the case that the post wasn’t removed but simply had a message added to it, I really don’t understand what the issue is. That’s not censorship.

If the issue is that the post was removed, just put a post up saying that your post was removed for allegedly spreading misinformation, then maybe put a post up somewhere else (maybe Parler or something), and try to point people to that.

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