There is an interesting article in Time Magazine by Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Ali G, etc.) titled “We Must Save Democracy from Conspiracies”. Here’s a sample:
Using unhinged lies and conspiracies to gain power and subjugate others is, of course, nothing new. The blood libel—the myth that Jews murdered Christian children and used their blood for religious rituals—is the world’s oldest conspiracy, dating back to the Middle Ages. The lie that Black people are genetically inferior or inherently violent is at the core of white supremacy. The lie that women are biologically or mentally unequal to men—to be treated as property and body-shamed—has perpetuated millennia of patriarchy. The lie that there is an epidemic in the U.S. of babies being executed shortly after birth has helped fuel state bans on abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.
Today, however, is a uniquely dangerous moment. Donald Trump—who averages 23 lies a day and is the world’s greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies—has caught the virus himself. He has a dutiful ally in Facebook—the greatest propaganda machine in history. And this is a time when Americans are especially vulnerable to lies and conspiracies. This trifecta has created a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness.
I’m glad that SBC mentions Facebook. It turns out that he is part of an organization called “Stop Hate for Profit“. It is obvious that Facebook is only too happy to take money from organizations that spew hate and lies, while pretending that they are trying to do something about it (they aren’t).
Facebook largely refuses to fact-check political ads and posts—which it then microtargets to voters. And Facebook still hasn’t taken down Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Astonishingly, Facebook continues to give a platform to white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.
I’m all for internet freedom, but Facebook has turned themselves into a publishing platform, and that means they have a responsibility to prevent hate speech.