Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2015.
Simon Jenkins at The Guardian writes—Ignore Zuckerberg’s self-serving rubbish. Facebook must be regulated:
Let us be grateful for small mercies. Thank you Twitter for banning political advertising. Given that such advertising is by its nature biased, tendentious and hard to check, Twitter is behaving as a good publisher should. Politicians may make full use of its outlet. That is democracy. But as the organisation’s chief, Jack Dorsey, points out, with social media awash in “micro-targeting, deepfakes, manipulated videos and misinformation”, those who control it should keep it as clean as possible. Money may not buy truth, but it should not drown fairness.
Facebook disagrees. Its boss, Mark Zuckerberg, declares it “not right for private companies to censor politicians or the news”. He subscribes to the romantic view of social media as the yellow brick road of digital’s global village. The road should not dictate who travels along it, it should just collect the tolls. That includes advertisers, the sustenance of Zuckerberg’s $500bn empire. This argument reruns the celebrated – or notorious – US supreme court ruling on Citizens United in 2010, which overturned restrictions on campaign finance as being an offence against free speech. From then on, lobbyists, corporations, tycoons, anyone with money, could spend what they liked during an election. It declared open season for fake news, targeted ads and dark money “Super Pacs”. That season gave us Donald Trump, and has yet to close.
There was some argument for the 2010 decision, as there is in Zuckerberg’s opposition to curbs on advertising. If an ad is mendacious, let the reader judge it as such. Don’t censor the web. If you suppress one form of debate, you shift power to another – in this case editors of the “elitist media”. The democracy of the web should be free to air, come poor and rich. This might have cut ice in digital’s golden age, the nineties and noughties. If you let everything hang out, was the line, global peace would emerge as if from a celestial algorithm. It has not turned out that way. [...]
We can all see benefits in the digital revolution. We can also see bad driving out good. As catalogued in Shoshana Zuboff’s tome of our times, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, we get intrusion, bullying, obscenity and extremism in a thousand devious guises.
Zuckerberg’s oft-repeated claim that he is not a “publisher” is self-serving rubbish.
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
~~Bill Shakespeare, MacBeth, Act IV, Scene I (1605)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Suppressing the vote:
The late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist cut his political teeth suppressing the vote in Arizona. It was an issue at his confirmation hearings, but it didn't prevent his being seated.
One of the more under-reported stories about the stolen Florida presidential election of 2000 was the racist and partisan purging of legitimate voters, to suppress the Democratic vote count. And in Florida, it didn't end there. […]
We later found out that the Bush White House had been replacing U.S. attorneys for refusing to play along with their attempts to intimidate voters.
In 2007, the Republican Secretary of State of Louisiana purged tens of thousands of mostly minority voters, without going through proper procedures.
This year, groups tied to Koch Industries are continuing their efforts to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, where a champion of campaign reform may lose his Senate seat to a climate denierand enabler of pederasts.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Nats lock it up! Greg Dworkin has impeachment news & the vote on ground rules. Igor (not a Halloween Twitter name) Fruman wants looser bail terms, despite his airport arrest. Exploding gender reveals? Bad idea. Bannon's back, with Team Falun Gong
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