US Government removing social media posts it views as misinformation ?

lawpoke87

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Pretty crazy stuff not to mention a slippery slope. Even those who agree such posts are misleading should be alarmed with the government silencing speech based on its sole determination that said speech is not accurate. I seem to recall governments in the not so distant past who silenced those it deemed to be spreading “misinformation”.

 
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astonmartin708

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I agree that this slope is somewhat slippery… but we’ve also seen how divisive and misinformed our society has become when blatant lies are allowed to be spread, and what sorts of dangers that can lead to (Lies about Covid for example)

I’d like to see something done, but whatever it is, we have to be very careful about what we are doing.
 

lawpoke87

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“Somewhat slippery”? A government is actively searching for and silencing speech (in some cases eliminating the speakers ability to continue to speak on social media platforms) based on a subjective standard that speech contains “misinformation”. I would call that a lot more than “somewhat slippery”. Haven’t we seen governments attempt to silence people who they deemed were spreading misinformation in the past?

When did the left switch from the party of protects free speech from government tyranny to the tyrants ? Never dreamed I would see the day where the Democratic Party would actively engage in the suppression of free speech because they deemed it to be “misinformation”.
 
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astonmartin708

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“Somewhat slippery”? A government is actively searching for and silencing speech (in some cases eliminating the speakers ability to continue to speak on social media platforms) based on a subjective standard that speech contains “misinformation”. I would call that a lot more than “somewhat slippery”. Haven’t we seen governments attempt to silence people who they deemed were spreading misinformation in the past?

When did the left switch from the party of protects free speech from government tyranny to the tyrants ? Never dreamed I would see the day where the Democratic Party would actively engage in the suppression of free speech because they deemed it to be “misinformation”.
Oh come on. This is hardly the first time that speech has been regulated and the Dems weren’t the ones doing it back then. Go back to the red scare or how pornography was treated. “You know it when you see it”.

There have always been certain types of speech that have been restricted. Certainly we can include speech that would promote imminent danger (Fire! In a theater for example)

There are certainly some forms of speech on social media platforms these days that promote just as much potential danger as yelling fire in a theater might. Though it is at times a bit more prolonged in its timeline of effect, misinformation online has serious consequences as has been proven by the Russians / Chinese, it is a weakness of our society that is easily exploited. I would say that we need to promote better behavior, but as long as we let places like Fox News or MSNBC stay on air, who actively profit from sensationalist and often clearly false forms of speech, we aren’t going to see any improvement from the part of the speech-makers. Our two options are basically careful regulation with avenues to contest the validity of the removed speech or suffer the consequences imminently related to widespread false speech.
 
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TUMe

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Somewhat slippery describes Grand Canyon in an ice storm.
 

lawpoke87

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Oh come on. This is hardly the first time that speech has been regulated and the Dems weren’t the ones doing it back then. Go back to the red scare or how pornography was treated. “You know it when you see it”.

There have always been certain types of speech that have been restricted. Certainly we can include speech that would promote imminent danger (Fire! In a theater for example)

There are certainly some forms of speech on social media platforms these days that promote just as much potential danger as yelling fire in a theater might. Though it is at times a bit more prolonged in its timeline of effect, misinformation online has serious consequences as has been proven by the Russians / Chinese, it is a weakness of our society that is easily exploited. I would say that we need to promote better behavior, but as long as we let places like Fox News or MSNBC stay on air, who actively profit from sensationalist and often clearly false forms of speech, we aren’t going to see any improvement from the part of the speech-makers. Our two options are basically careful regulation with avenues to contest the validity of the removed speech or suffer the consequences imminently related to widespread false speech.
Wow. Have no words.
 

TUcandoit

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Add NPR to that and ABC and CBS and NBC and and and and... They all survive of sensationalism. I love NPR programs but I have a hard time listening to their "news" programs anymore because they have gone so far left it's unbelievable and yet all my liberal friends see nothing wrong with it but yell at fox news being so far right. I am off no party and want more centralized politics and I think everyone has gone crazy...so there's that as well
 
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astonmartin708

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Add NPR to that and ABC and CBS and NBC and and and and... They all survive of sensationalism. I love NPR programs but I have a hard time listening to their "news" programs anymore because they have gone so far left it's unbelievable and yet all my liberal friends see nothing wrong with it but yell at fox news being so far right. I am off no party and want more centralized politics and I think everyone has gone crazy...so there's that as well
I think that ABC, NBC, etc… are much more careful than the cable news stations, though they are still sensational, as you said. I think there is such a thing as moderation of speech which is not full-on suppression. Heck, every website chat room has a moderator on the internet. The only difference is the government answers to the people where a private individual or a company (for example Chris Harmon, or Twitter) doesn’t.
 

lawpoke87

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One of many problems here is the federal government isn’t silencing its citizens’ free speech rights on some random subject. Our federal government is banning speech via social media which is critical of one of its own programs. Conveniently determine said speech to be “misinformation”. This is much different than porn or the old fire in a theater example. This is a government banning speech critical of its own initiative. It’s unprecedented to my knowledge in this country. We obviously have seen it done by other regimes throughout history. Just didn’t ever expect it here.

Hopefully the Supremes take a look at this.
 
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astonmartin708

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One of many problems here is the federal government isn’t silencing its citizens’ free speech rights on some random subject. Our federal government is banning speech via social media which is critical of one of its own programs. Conveniently determine said speech to be “misinformation”. This is much different than porn or the old fire in a theater example. This is a government banning speech critical of its own initiative. It’s unprecedented to my knowledge in this country. We obviously have seen it done by other regimes throughout history. Just didn’t ever expect it here.

Hopefully the Supremes take a look at this.
I agree that this instance might be a misuse of government power. I do believe social media misinformation is a problem and it’s one who’s volume is unique to our time in history. It’s obviously happened often in the past, but it also had serious consequences back then, usually war. (Thinking about the sensationalism of the Founding Fathers and the Loyalists in Boston pre-Revolution, and the yellow journalism close to the Spanish American War).
 

watu05

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Consider that you are president and take seriously your oath to protect the American people; it is your primary duty. There's a pandemic that has already killed over 600,000 Americans. We have spent a year holding out for a new vaccine that is remarkably effective but misinformation is holding up its use and allowing the virus to infect and kill more Americans and continue to develop variants. Shouldn't the President do everything his power to misinformation from killing more Americans?

While this is clearly sensitive area, it should make a difference if this is an order or a request. IOW was coercion, threats or political pressure involved? Is this the president using his Bully Pulpit in a national emergency? Or is it an official government action at odds with the First Amendment? Social media doesn't need a government broadcasting license, and most of the cable and broadcast media have editorial positions in support of the vaccine and public health measures in general.
 
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lawpoke87

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Consider that you are president and take seriously your oath to protect the American people; it is your primary duty. There's a pandemic that has already killed over 600,000 Americans. We have spent a year holding out for a new vaccine that is remarkably effective but misinformation is holding up its use and allowing the virus to infect and kill more Americans and continue to develop variants. Shouldn't the President do everything his power to misinformation from killing more Americans?

While this is clearly sensitive area, it should make a difference if this is an order or a request. IOW was coercion, threats or political pressure involved? Is this the president using his Bully Pulpit in a national emergency? Or is it an official government action at odds with the First Amendment? Social media doesn't need a government broadcasting license, and most of the cable and broadcast media have editorial positions in support of the vaccine and public health measures in general.
A government is free to promote its policies. A government should not be free to violate the first amendment rights of its citizens who disagree or are critical with said policies. They certainly shouldn’t enlist social media platforms to do it for them or even suggest such a policy. History is full of governments who have silenced dissent and defended such actions in the name of the general welfare of the country or its citizens. Exactly what you are suggesting. There is NEVER justification for a government to silence opposition to its policies. The risk too great. The threat to our republic too grave. Our freedom too precious. This action should appall and frightened all Americans.

1800 Americans died today from heart disease
1658 Americans died today from cancer
314 Americans died today from covid

Any argument suggesting the US government now has the right to violate the constitutional rights of its citizens regarding IT’S OWN POLICIES is laughable.
 
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watu05

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They certainly shouldn’t enlist social media platforms to do it for them or even suggest such a policy.
Why?
And what is the problem with asking for help in counteracting a lie killing Americans and endangering others?
 

lawpoke87

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Why?
And what is the problem with asking for help in counteracting a lie killing Americans and endangering others?
You don’t see the danger in a government silencing its critics? It’s been done throughout history with dire consequences. Governments always defend their actions by referring to the general welfare of its citizens. Our government isn’t just silencing any speech. It’s is seeking to ban speech which criticizes its own policies. I can’t make this any more clear. History can’t make this any more clear. If the government wants to protect its people from death and endangerment then ban speech regarding sugary and fatty foods. 1800 > 314.

I’m vaccinated but I see nothing wrong with posts questioning the long term effects of the Covid vaccine. We simply don’t have those answers. Or posts pointing out that this vaccine was produced in record time and hasn’t gone through the normal trial process. These are true statements yet are often flagged by FB and I assume now the Biden Admin.
 
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aTUfan

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la la land
the earth is flat. and the sun revolves around the earth because the government said so. and you can not publicly challenge that because you have been deemed spreading disinformation.
 

TUcandoit

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Shouldn't the President do everything his power to misinformation from killing more Americans?
No!!!! Absolutely not. They can work on finding better ways to getting the correct information out there. They can do better job of placing an emphasis on getting the vaccine. Do more to promote the cause.....What they can't do is start silencing people who are skeptic no matter how wrong they are. I do not want to live in a place where people's opinions are silenced. It's on a person to rise above their own ignorance.
 
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aTUfan

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la la land
political campaigns are nothing but misinformation, so they will be banned.

recent government sponsored PSMs should have been banned since they were totally misnformation.

late night tv should be banned. many news programs.
 

astonmartin708

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No!!!! Absolutely not. They can work on finding better ways to getting the correct information out there. They can do better job of placing an emphasis on getting the vaccine. Do more to promote the cause.....What they can't do is start silencing people who are skeptic no matter how wrong they are. I do not want to live in a place where people's opinions are silenced. It's on a person to rise above their own ignorance.
There’s a difference between skepticism and outright lying, and when you’re dealing with transmissible disease and treatment for it, exceptions have to be made. In ancient history, these anti-vaxers would have probably been rounded up by some despotic monarch and thrown into a quarantine area of the city which they wouldn’t have been allowed to leave. I would say that telling them they can’t lie (not doubt, lie) to others who can be saved is very much an improvement for all parties.
 
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astonmartin708

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What’s ironic is that the freedom of speech protection was inserted into the constitution as a direct result of attempted regulation on revolutionary newspapers that were in all likelihood, outright lying about events in the colonies (like the Boston Massacre)
 

TUcandoit

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In ancient history people were buried up to their necks and left to have their eyes eaten by vultures. This does not equate to allowing government to limit speech today.

As far as it goes we can only do what we do with other transmissible diseases. If you have a disease that can be spread, you should alert those you have been around and let anyone who you might come into contact with that you are currently carrying the virus/disease/whatever. If you have aids you can get jail time for knowingly transmitting the disease to others. I think the same case can be made for things like this. Maybe not jail time but fines. If you knowingly have the disease and break quarantine, knowingly come into contact with others then you can be fined. However, we can't stop them from saying "Vaccines are dumb! If you get them you are dumb!" They have every right to be....well...dumb.
 

lawpoke87

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Never dreamed I would see the day where intelligent well read people would be defending a government silencing those critical of its own policies. Ironically at the same time our communist neighbor to the south has taken over social media sites in that country to prevent the communication of dissent from those critical of its policies. All under the guise of public safety and welfare. Again…the problem isn’t necessarily a government banning speech. It’s a government specifically targeting and banning speech which is critical of its own policies. We’ve seen this before and it seldom turns out well for the vast majority of the citizens.

Would the institution of mandatory activity requirements the obese must follow be any more of a violation of our constitutional rights then banning speech critical of government policies. It would certainly be far less dangerous based on human history. At this point such actions would certainly save more lives if that’s our end goal here.
 
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astonmartin708

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Never dreamed I would see the day where intelligent well read people would be defending a government silencing those critical of its own policies. Ironically at the same time our communist neighbor to the south has taken over social media sites in that country to prevent the communication of dissent from those critical of its policies. All under the guise of public safety and welfare. Again…the problem isn’t necessarily a government banning speech. It’s a government specifically targeting and banning speech which is critical of its own policies. We’ve seen this before and it seldom turns out well for the vast majority of the citizens.

Would the institution of mandatory activity requirements the obese must follow be any more of a violation of our constitutional rights then banning speech critical of government policies. It would certainly be far less dangerous based on human history. At this point such actions would certainly save more lives if that’s our end goal here.
I never said anything about silencing people critical of policies. I said there is such a thing as public safety. Promoting deceit which materially threatens public safety should not be allowed. The voice of one individual shouting lies from a street corner is not as important as the health of the thousands around him if his lies are putting them in some imminent danger. I would equate it to Jonestown or the Manson Cult. At what point should we be allowed to protect people from malicious (or at least Self Agrandizing) deception? How many people have to die before I’m allowed to punch the liar in the mouth so to speak? Moreover, what about the people who didn’t choose or have the desire to believe the lies, but were killed as a result of them?

I’m thinking about my Mom here. If I could go back and punch some of the conservatives who lied so incessantly about Covid (especially ones in positions of influence), if it would have saved my Mom due to less spread of the disease (not due to her belief in their lies mind you), then I surely would have. I’ve begun to view the spread of misinformation detrimental to public health and safety as a cultural form of negligence. People died. It might have been chance, that they died, but their chances of survival could have been drastically improved with fewer deceivers and more cooperation.

If you are speaking in a public forum, it is my belief that you have a duty to your audience and those effected by the actions of your audience to do them no harm by your speech. That partially means being well versed on the facts or assertions you present to them and to present them in a truthful and non-deceptive manner.

I do contend that speakers aren’t allowed to occasionally be wrong by mistake, but they should also have a duty to publicly retract their statement with at least the same level of publicity that their false statement was made, if their statements were proven to be false by an authority on the subject.
 
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lawpoke87

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I never said anything about silencing people critical of policies. I said there is such a thing as public safety. Promoting deceit which materially threatens public safety should not be allowed. The voice of one individual shouting lies from a street corner is not as important as the health of the thousands around him if his lies are putting them in some imminent danger. I would equate it to Jonestown or the Manson Cult. At what point should we be allowed to protect people from malicious (or at least Self Agrandizing) deception? How many people have to die before I’m allowed to punch the liar in the mouth so to speak? Moreover, what about the people who didn’t choose or desire to believe the lies, but were killed as a result of them?

I’m thinking about my Mom here. If I could go back and punch some of the conservatives who lied so incessantly about Covid, if it would have saved my Mom due to less spread of the disease (not due to her belief in their lies mind you), then I surely would have. I’ve begun to view the spread of misinformation detrimental to public health and safety as a cultural form of negligence. People died. It might have been chance, that they died, but their chances of survival could have been drastically improved with fewer deceivers.

But that is in fact exactly what you’re defending. Questioning the safety of the vaccine isn’t a lie. Pointing out it hasn’t gone through the ordinary safety protocols isn’t a lie. Just like putting forth the theory that Covid was created in a lab wasn’t and isn’t a lie. Yet FB flagged that theory and along with politicians attempted to partially silence that speech. Which leads us to another problem. Often speech which the government labels as “misinformation” isn’t. It’s a subjective standard being used by the government to ban speech critical of itself.

I am sorry for your loss. Imagine if you had a elderly relative living in nursing homes in the northeast where Democratic politicians forced Covid positive patients to be housed next to our most vulnerable and then attempted to cover it up. Talk about wanting to punch someone in the face. Still not sure why this wasn’t manslaughter (an action demonstrating the reckless disregard for life directly resulting in ones death).

As I said above, Cuba has now shut down social media speech in the name of public safety. I can list tyrant after tyrant who silenced speech critical of his admins policies. This is far beyond a slippery slope. Sadly, it appears we are headed to that end….and people are trying to justify the same because they share political party affiliation.
 
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astonmartin708

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But that is in fact exactly what you’re defending. Questioning the safety of the vaccine isn’t a lie. Pointing out it hasn’t gone through the ordinary safety protocols isn’t a lie. Just like putting forth the theory that Covid was created in a lab wasn’t and isn’t a lie. Yet FB flagged that theory and along with politicians attempted to partially silence that speech. Which leads us to another problem. Often speech which the government labels as “misinformation” isn’t. It’s a subjective standard being used by the government to ban speech critical of itself.

I am sorry for your loss. Imagine if you had a elderly relative living in nursing homes in the northeast where Democratic politicians forced Covid positive patients to be housed next to our most vulnerable and then attempted to cover it up. Talk about wanting to punch someone in the face. Still not sure why this wasn’t manslaughter (an action demonstrating the reckless disregard for life directly resulting in ones death).

As I said above, Cuba has now shut down social media speech in the name of public safety. I can list tyrant after tyrant who silenced speech critical of his admins policies. This is far beyond a slippery slope. Sadly, it appears we are headed to that end….and people are trying to justify the same.
I won’t make excuses for any democrat who did that with negligence. I will say that there is a difference, at least in my judgement, of a person trying to help, who made an honest mistake despite good intentions vs one that conducted themselves with reckless abandon and their sole purpose was to validate themselves in front of others, or gain some sort of benefit from their deceit (like trying to get voter support).

I’m not sure which of those two categories (failed good Samaritan, or self-interested liar) every Dem who supported the policies in the Northeast falls into, I’d imagine it’s a mix of both. The latter category, I would certainly denounce given the right evidence. I’d (given a hypothetical time machine) punch them too. Lol
 

astonmartin708

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I suppose I’m saying that there should be certain restraints on speech for public safety purposes, but that discourse in critique of an entity should be allowed given the right qualifying statements of the speech-maker (acknowledging that an idea presented as fact is under question by certain parties for example). I also believe that just as important about the contents of deceptive speech is the intent of the speech by the speaker.

Hitler’s speech about Jews would be a good example of the wrong type of speech being allowed. It had fallacious claims, it threatened public safety, and had bad intent.

1. Was the speech materially false?
2. Did it present any threat to public safety?
3. Was the speaker’s intent either serving their own malicious purposes or made without forethought towards the potential public safety ramifications of the speech?

Those are my criterion for speech that should not be allowed. Fire in a crowded theater. The Jews are the problem. The vaccine will kill you… etc…
 
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astonmartin708

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I’d be very interested for anyone to present a historical or hypothetical example of an instance of speech that SHOULD be allowed but would answer “Yes” to all three items of criterion I’ve listed. (To provide me a counter for my argument) Can anyone think of anything?

The closest thing that I’ve actually been able to think of is speech common in the propaganda of a pre-revolutionary society that is trying to drum up support for revolt; however I’m not sure whether the benefits of Revolution out-weigh the potential cost to public safety in every circumstance.
 
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lawpoke87

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I suppose I’m saying that there should be certain restraints on speech for public safety purposes, but that discourse in critique of an entity should be allowed given the right qualifying statements of the speech-maker (acknowledging that an idea presented as fact is under question by certain parties for example). I also believe that just as important about the contents of deceptive speech is the intent of the speech by the speaker.

Hitler’s speech about Jews would be a good example of the wrong type of speech being allowed. It had fallacious claims, it threatened public safety, and had bad intent.

1. Was the speech materially false?
2. Did it present any threat to public safety?
3. Was the speaker’s intent either serving their own malicious purposes or made without forethought towards the potential public safety ramifications of the speech?

Those are my criterion for speech that should not be allowed. Fire in a crowded theater. The Jews are the problem. The vaccine will kill you… etc…
Here’s the problem imo. Hitler was the one in power and was the one censoring speech critical of his policies. Such censorship eliminated any organized opposition to his extermination of the Jews. There’s a common theme here. 1). The people in power banning speech critical of their policies 2). The people in power justifying said censorship based on public good or safety.

Now could we have prevented the Holocaust and possibly WWII if Hitler wasn’t able to silence his critics? I’m not sure anyone has a definitive answer to that question. I am positive of the steps he took to quell his opposition and keep the facts regarding the concentration camps hidden along with the rationale he used. Not much different than we had we are now seeing today.

The point is if you allow a government to silence speech which is critical of its policies you are effectively allowing said government to operate unchecked. We’ve seen this play out far too many times. Always done under the guise of welfare and safety.
 
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astonmartin708

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Here’s the problem imo. Hitler was the one in power and was the one censoring speech critical of his policies. Such censorship eliminated any organized opposition to his extermination of the Jews. There’s a common theme here. 1). The people in power banning speech critical of their policies 2). The people in power justifying said censorship based on public good or safety.

Now could we have prevented the Holocaust and possibly WWII if Hitler wasn’t able to silence his critics? I’m not sure anyone has a definitive answer to that question. I am positive of the steps he took to quell his opposition and keep the facts regarding the concentration camps hidden along with the rationale he used. Not much different than we had we are now seeing today.

The point is if you allow a government to silence speech which is critical of its policies you are effectively allowing said government to operate unchecked. We’ve seen this play out far too many times. Always done under the guise of welfare and safety.
That’s a good point. That’s why I think if any entity is going to have the power to silence speech (only speech meeting the criterion I listed previously) it should be some sort of non-partisan / mulit-partisan commission of judges / arbiters, rather than members of the executive or legislative branches.

I’m not quite sure what that would look like. Right now, it honestly looks like the arbiters of speech are the advertisers in the marketplace. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad way to do things. Speech is protected from government oversight except in far-flung cases, but advertisers rule over sponsored speakers with an iron fist. People like to complain about that too though.

As an aside to your previous comment. I never mentioned “public good” as a measuring stick in my criterion specifically for the reasons you mentioned. I think you have to tie it back to threats on actual physical safety. “Public Good” is not usable because it starts to delve into the realm of monetary policy and evidence / outcomes of monetary or trade policy is much more speculative and much more noisy. You can’t always pin down which proposed changes or previous policies harm whom or the real cause of that harm. Also, public good becomes political at many points. Like mandating the pledge of allegiance, good or bad? Who knows? What we do know is that saying it, or not saying it, isn’t easily tied back to a threat to physical public safety.
 
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watu05

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No!!!! Absolutely not. They can work on finding better ways to getting the correct information out there. They can do better job of placing an emphasis on getting the vaccine. Do more to promote the cause.....What they can't do is start silencing people who are skeptic no matter how wrong they are. I do not want to live in a place where people's opinions are silenced. It's on a person to rise above their own ignorance.
There’s a difference between personal skepticism and actively pushing debunked lies. Asking, not demanding, that groups help reduce misinformation is bad why?
 

watu05

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That’s a good point. That’s why I think if any entity is going to have the power to silence speech (only speech meeting the criterion I listed previously) it should be some sort of non-partisan / mulit-partisan commission of judges / arbiters, rather than members of the executive or legislative branches.
Is the president asking for help or commanding silence? Are there penalties for private groups not cooperating? For example will Shon’s bogus sites do anything different? No.

The discussion about silencing is a good one, but does it apply to what Biden has asked of private companies In this case?
 

noble cane

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Is the president asking for help or commanding silence? Are there penalties for private groups not cooperating? For example will Shon’s bogus sites do anything different? No.

The discussion about silencing is a good one, but does it apply to what Biden has asked of private companies In this case?
We need to suppress the false speech going around about good King George..lots of misinformation out there..
 

astonmartin708

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We need to suppress the false speech going around about good King George..lots of misinformation out there..
Is it of threat to public safety? Can we prove the misinformation is demonstrably false? Was the misinformation made with malicious or negligent intent (was it in Jest?)
 

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