Most of us are aware of how pervasive social media censorship has become over the last few years. But a recent commentary by Daniel Gelernter illustrates how bizarre some of the censorship has become.
He talks about a Facebook post about World War II that was appended with the “false information” tag. His comment was about the impact of gun control policies in Germany and how that could have led to the Holocaust. He had these relevant comments about the fact-checking on Facebook.
First, is the “touchingly naïve idea that a complex question, over which historians continue to argue, could be stamped true or false as though it were a fact you’d simply been too lazy to look up.” This fact-check label was placed on a Yale graduate who has written for the Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and National Review on numerous topics including military history.
Second, is the problem that the “fact-checking article is full of factual errors. But that’s not surprising when such articles are generally written by a twenty-something journalism school graduate who became an expert in World War II that afternoon after her supervisor told her to research a meme on the Internet.”
His experience parallels what so many other people have found. Often the fact-checker knows less about the subject than the person who posted the comment on social media. John Stossel recently documented that his YouTube video was slapped with a false label because the fact-checking group didn’t like one of the experts he interviewed.
The biggest problem with all of this is “that Facebook had decided that this question—remote and unimportant as it might be in our daily lives—was not something you should be allowed to think about.” We aren’t talking about quack medicine or false information that could affect an election. The fact-checkers are going after any post they don’t like. This is censorship greater than any of us would have imagined.