In regards to determining misinformation: “Do you trust yourself to figure these things out?” If you do, is it any business of Facebook to decide these matters for you?
The Case of Alaska Watchman
Every morning I scan through search results on specific issues I follow. One of the hits introduced me to an independent news operation called Alaska Watchman. While I find some of their articles of interest, it was an article they posted in regards to Facebook that caught my attention. It presents an unique example of “censorship” on Facebook. You would think that what they posted would have been “hate” speech or an attack on a particular group. But it was broader than that. It was “misinformation.” In fact, it wasn’t even information itself that was in question. It was simply a link to a website that posted “misinformation.”
In my new retirement career, exploring “misinformation” is part of the cycle of writing on any particular subject. I have been tracking a lot of Russian propaganda as well as YouTube postings from ordinary Russians to get some sort of gauge on what they are experiencing. You often wonder about what is genuine, what is “discreet,” and what is flat-out baloney. The same applies to information coming from Ukraine. While I enjoy seeing the good guys win, you have to remind yourself that what you want to see and what is actually happening on the ground are two different things. I noticed that with most “mainstream” media, they are often cautious about which information is actually presented for this reason.
My approach is to leave it up to you. I often present at the end of my articles “Resources” that you can check yourself. My objective is to present the truth and to be as accurate as possible. But I also have my biases and it is reflected in the subjects I choose to write about and the measure of opinion I insert into my articles. Again – I leave it up to you to figure that out. You are an adult.
Facebook has trouble with that philosophy. No doubt, Alaska Watchman has its bent. But most anybody with an above average IQ can figure that out with one glance at their news site. The same applies to any website they refer to in their articles. You follow the link and you can decide.
The punishment Facebook doles out is rather harsh. To quote the article,
Due to this dubious infraction, we are unable to post until Wednesday, banned from posting in groups for five days, and all our articles will be algorithmically buried for 28 days. This is not the first time Facebook has censored Watchman content, and probably not the last.
I find the whole thing a bit wearisome to track. I really have no skin in this game. I find alternative treatments to COVID-19 interesting and non-threatening. I chose to get vaccinated. But the side-effects of the vaccines are real. Death for athletes has increased significantly this past year. This has not only been reported by an alternative news source like Epoch Times, but by German public broadcasting.
So it returns to this question: “Do you trust yourself to figure these things out?” If you do, is it any business of Facebook to decide these matters for you?
The punishment meted out to Alaska Watchman is ridiculous. It is one reason why Facebook is not a popular conduit for dispensing information. They can’t be trusted. Even John Stossel has been whacked by Facebook – you know him – one of America’s most trusted news reporters?
An article just loaded with misinformation: “Covid vax injury reporting system launches as alternative to CDC,” Alaska Watchman, by Joel Davidson, April 13, 2022
The belly of the Beast itself:
Truth for Health Vaccine Reporting Website
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© Copyright 2022 to Eric Niewoehner