Wednesday, December 08, 2021

A Modest Proposal To Decrease Demonstrable Falsehoods Published On Social Media Platforms.


A few weeks ago I noticed that a couple of websites that I, myself, had linked to awhile back had started to post what I considered to be objectionable material that showed up, in real time, on the 'Blog Crawl' that used to be over on the left sidebar.

I was concerned enough by this that I tried to remove the websites concerned.

Unfortunately, the archaic 'Blogger' service that I still use to host this site no longer allows one to edit the 'Blog Crawl' widget.

As a result, I removed the widget altogether.


Because I am responsible for the material that is posted on this blog.

In other words, I consider myself to the 'publisher' of the thing, and all that shows up on it, as small as those potatoes may be.



It would appear that the folks that run the biggest of the biggliest social media sites do not feel the same way as I do.

Essentially, they consider themselves to be passive platforms rather than publishers and thus conclude that they are not responsible for what shows up on their subscriber's sites.

I can go along with that argument when it comes to the material generated by individual subscribers themselves.

However, I completely disagree when it comes to any and all material that is recommended to/foisted on those same subscribers, much of it based on promotional algorithms designed to keep said subscribers engaged and/or enraged for as long as possible.

Why does the latter point matter?

Because if they were designated publishers it would force the bigly platforms to take ownership of all the 'third party' stuff that they promote which void them from the protections such as those afforded by that Wild Wild West provision of the US Internet Code that is 'Section 230'.

And, as such, they should be subject to all the rules, regulations and libel laws that any publisher is.


Of course, others have thought hard about this already....The point is that if this change were made it would actually incentivize fine folks like Mr. Zee of FaceHarbour to actually reign in their  algorithms for real and, perhaps even more importantly, permanently.
Image at the top of the post...Carol Burnett after she won a libel suit against the tabloidiest publisher way back in 1981 as reported by the UPI.


1 comment:

e.a.f. said...

Love it! Good move.

Now as to Carol Burnett, I'm not loosing my memory yet. When I read the mention of lawsuit I remembered it and they had written she was drunk. There was quite a bit said at the time about the case.

the amount of misinformation on many of these sites is having a very negative impact on society. people actually believe this stuff. The companies which "own" these sites need to comply with the same rules as publishers. For these companies to say, they're just there, right, they're just there to make money and they don't care how they do it. These sites are being used for purposes which are contributing to a deterioration of not only health care but democracy. Hate speech and lies are not part of free speech.