The Truth Behind the Federal Assault on Social Media

Congress’ Bid to Take Over Social Media has a Boogeyman to Help Them – The Birth of the Department of National Social Media Affairs (NSMA)

Facebook, Russia, Senate Intelligence Committee,  Fake News, Trey Gowdy

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The people who would arrogantly assume that a few hundred people could somehow rule over more than 320 million people are now looking at the whole “Russia Stole the Election” hysteria as an opportunity to seize more power for the power that butters their bread, the coercive enterprise known as the Federal Government of the United States of America.

For their part, most of the state-friendly tech outlets are following their marching orders and writing stories that play up the hype and play down the scary ramifications of the Federal Government creating regulations to control Social Media, you know, for the kids.

There’s always a boogeyman behind every Federal attempt to take control of another part of our lives, and this boogeyman, of course, is Russia, Russia, Russia.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Russia didn’t try to meddle in US elections.  Of course, I’m not saying the US doesn’t meddle in any and every election in any and every nation that it possibly can either.  So, listening to a bunch of self-righteous, pampered gov-privileged wanna-be-patricians act appalled that Russia attempted to meddle in US elections is…well….laughable if it weren’t so frightening what they are trying to do.

Take this quote from Democrat Mark Warner, the Vice-Chair on the Senate Intelligence Committee (let’s just gloss over the fact that Senate and Intelligence is an oxymoron), “We have a president who remains unwilling to acknowledge the threat that Russia poses to our democracy.  President Trump should stop actively delegitimizing American journalism and acknowledge and address this real threat posed by Russian propaganda.”

See how Warner protects the state media in that statement?  Yeah, he’s not even trying to hide the manipulative nature of these hearings. Fake news, Mr. Warner, might be coming from Russia, but we got plenty more, way more fake news coming from those very same state media outlets you want to call “journalism” right here, right now.

The tone of this hearing, that took place yesterday, Wednesday, November 1st, was Orwellian.  The self-righteous Senators, all of whom have to know what the United States does to try to control other countries (since, after all, they do sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee), employed scare tactics, using phrases like “fake news” and “misinformation.”

Another Democrat, Chris Coons, used a dramatic display of two Russian-bought Facebook ads to attempt to whip the crowd to a Russia-Hate frenzy.  He displayed two posts from two different groups allegedly run by Russian Hackers, “Being Patriotic” and “Miners for Trump.”

Coons stated in the usual tone of histrionics that petty wanna-be tyrants employ, “This ad is nothing short of the Russian government directly interfering in our elections, lying to American citizens, duping folks who believe they are joining and supporting a group that is about veterans and based in Texas, when in fact it [was] paid for in rubles by Russians.  Should Facebook be allowed to be a platform that foreign adversaries can use to run political ads, sir?”

Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch responded, “Senator, that advertisement has no place on Facebook and we are committed to preventing that sort of behavior from occurring again on our platform.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>NEW: These are the first two Russian-bought Facebook ads to be released by Congress. <a href=”https://t.co/1ThgzYNdTf”>pic.twitter.com/1ThgzYNdTf</a></p>&mdash; Donie O&#39;Sullivan (@donie) <a href=”https://twitter.com/donie/status/925456668481253384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 31, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

There’s the camel’s nose under the tent Coons is trying to set up.  Facebook is allowing foreign adversaries to buy ads on its platform.  That needs to be monitored by the Federal government.  Now, do you think that, once the Federal government has gotten its nose under that Facebook tent that it will stop there?

Just take a look at the Department of Homeland Security if you ever think the government’s nose under the tent doesn’t bring the whole damned camel with it in short order.  DHS was started as a simple agency that was simply intended to allow different intelligence departments to communicate with one another.  It was created following the terrorist act on 9/11/01.

DHS has now become one of the most powerful, largest departments in the Federal government.  It has become a de facto standing army, targeting citizens, not foreign threats.

Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chair of this committee (lest you think the Republicans are any more likely to prevent the state from claiming this social media territory) trotted out the Russia boogey man and accused Russia of conducting “an information operation intended to divide our society along issues like race, immigration and second amendment rights.”

Senator Burr, we don’t need Russia to do that kind of work, and, again, if they do, we have far more examples, examples with far wider audiences, coming right here from the state media in America, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, La Times, etc…

Even Mr. Boom in the Room, Trey Gowdy himself, the man who has destroyed Obama and Hillary a thousand times with his words but never moved in any significant way to actually hurt either of them, got in on the whole “Russians are evil so we need to protect you from them by taking over social media in America” narrative.

He said, “For the life of me, I do not understand how a republic is served by provably intentionally false information.  And I get it that you don’t want to be the arbiter of opinion. I don’t want you to be, either. But today is not Thursday. So if I say it is, I swear I don’t understand how my fellow citizens benefit from me telling them something that is demonstrably false and saying it with the intent to deceive. For the life of me, I don’t get it.”

What the hell does that mean, Mr. Boom and no Lightning?  Why are you questioning social media about ‘protecting’ the American people from misinformation?  Are you a conservative?  Do you believe in liberty, even dangerous liberty, or did you just come out as a socialist at heart?

To me, the answer is yes, you just supported the government meddling in the affairs of a private company because that company might not be protecting people from misinformation being shared on its platform.

And when you can definitively define what fake news is and what misinformation is, let me know.  Outside of the clear example you gave, there is a TREMENDOUS gray area that gives great opportunity for the government to deem anything that it doesn’t like as being fake news, as being misinformation.

What emerged from this hearing, as I talked about in a video I made concerning the hearing on Tuesday, October 21st, 2017, was a Republican narrative in which those damned Russians are working to undermine conservative issues.  This is why Burr brought up the second amendment.

Meanwhile, the Dems focus on Russians depriving the woman who called 25 percent of the country unredeemable deplorables from getting elected.  BOTH the R’s and the D’s (two letters on the opposite sides of a trough they both support) are simply appealing to their base to gin up support for the regulating of social media, with each side’s gullible sheep imagining that in doing so they will be protecting themselves from the other side’s sheep.

I predict what will come out of this is some broadly written legislation intended to protect Americans from fake news and foreign influence.  Soon, right behind that legislation, will emerge a whole new federal department dedicated to monitoring social media and controlling the pro-government narrative on these platforms.  And the lefties will welcome it because it will protect their next Hillary from Russians.  And the righties will welcome it because it will protect conservatives from being unfairly censored on these platforms.

Neither one of those hopes will come to fruition.  Rather, the only reality that will emerge is one in which the Federal government can now more openly do what it has most likely been doing for a long time, tracking our every move on social media.

Now, it wants to go beyond that, beyond even what the state-friendly media can do right now, it wants to alter algorithms, in the name of keeping us safe from misinformation and the Russians, to assure their narratives get the most views.

In closing, one of the saddest parts of this story, so far, is news of a recent poll, a Harvard/Harris Poll that shows that 49% of those Americans that were asked favor government regulating social media and search engines, while only 51 percent were opposed.  If America were truly the land of the free, the home of the brave, those numbers would show AT LEAST 90 percent of Americans would oppose the notion that the Federal government should control search engines and social media.

The press, the state-friendly press, seem to be supporting this as well.  But I bet they’d be a lot less hesitant to support it if, say, congress was considering regulating THEM to assure that THEY were not disseminating fake news (which, of course, they are, on a daily basis).

I’ll end by saying this, I would rather face dangerous liberty rather than dangerous tyranny.  Sadly, 49 percent of my neighbors would rather face dangerous tyranny, and that makes them far more of a threat to my liberty, to my safety, to my security than any Russian hacker buying ads on Facebook could ever be.

 

Voters in the US are evenly divided over whether to regulate technology companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook that enable the targeting of users based on their political interests, according to a survey that suggests many Americans remain undecided over whether Silicon Valley is a force for good.

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About Paul Gordon 1367 Articles

Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv