Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

We Need To Worry About Facebook’s Truths

Facebook is insisting that lies and falsehoods about the coronavirus may not be spread nor even mentioned upon the company’s platform. Well, OK, private business, their business:

Almost a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, Facebook is taking its strictest stance yet against vaccine misinformation by banning it entirely. The ban won’t just apply to Covid-19 vaccine misinformation. That means, for instance, posts claiming that vaccines cause autism, or that measles can’t kill people, are no longer allowed on Facebook. At the same time, the platform will also encourage Americans to get inoculated, and will direct people to information about when it’s their turn for a Covid-19 vaccine and how to find an available dose.

These moves, part of a broader push by the company,

It’s that broader push that we need to worry about. The background claim that things which are untrue should not be allowed to be said. For of course, that meal of truth is a variable feast, often enough it depends upon who is defining what is true.

It’s entirely possible to wonder whether the statement “a higher minimum wage causes jobs losses” will be banned as an awful lot of people do insist that it’s not true. We can all make our own lists but the point is obvious – if only the truth may be said then it’s really rather important it is who gets to decide what is true.

Leaving it to Facebook doesn’t really work either. From their list of things that cannot be said:

Claims that can discourage someone from getting a government approved COVID-19 test, including:

Claims that COVID-19 can be successfully tested without an approved test

Claims that COVID-19 tests actually come pre-infected or can infect you with COVID-19

The problem there being that neither of those things are true. Or, read the other way, false.

Logically, the idea that an unapproved test may be able to diagnose must be true. For how is approval gained? By an unapproved test showing that it is indeed a valid test. Thus at any one time there will be tests that are valid but as yet unapproved.

As to the second pre-infecting tests is exactly what CDC did do at one point. Sure, they didn’t mean to, they screwed up as bureaucracies are occasionally known to but that is the truth.

Allowing anyone to define the truth that may be said, untruths that may not be uttered, is a somewhat dangerous game….

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Total
1
Shares
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jgh
jgh
3 months ago

That’s all fiction discussion forums screwed, then.

And the socialist economic discussion forums.

Spike
Spike
3 months ago

How about claims that the officially approved Covid test, set to PCRx40 (until, magically, the start of Biden’s term), is so hairtrigger that it detects a small number of dead virus pieces, so that a “case” no longer means an “infection”? How about discussion of effective but unapproved preventive measures like HCQ/zinc? How about claims that exposing yourself to contact tracing, two-week quarantine, and mandatory, unspecified, open-ended Public Health intervention is riskier than enduring Covid?

Spike
Spike
3 months ago

PS – This further cements into policy the rules that Facebook/Twitter have invariably implemented with double standards against advocates of positions management disfavors.

The human race can hardly develop understanding of new phenomena if disfavored (and even provably false) assertions are not allowed to be published.

To the good, the “broader push” may hasten the day that we treat Facebook with the same suspicion as we do the New York Times.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
3 months ago
Reply to  Spike

Eppur si muove.

Steven C Watson
Steven C Watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Spike

If you are not already treating Facebook with the same suspicion as you do the New York Times you can’t have been paying attention for at least the last four or five years. It has ALWAYS been full of nonsense from people in authority or so-called “experts”, no less so than nonsense conspiracies or woo drivel.

Boganboy
Boganboy
3 months ago

Since they’re getting away with it, the cancellation of free speech is really taking off.

TD
TD
3 months ago

Whoever is in power will always see the merits of curtailing free speech. It’s whoever is out of power who wants to defend it.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
3 months ago
Reply to  TD

Ah my recommended daily intake of cynicism has been satisfied.

8
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x