Yes, Facebook Treats Trump Fans Differently: It Has Relaxed The Rules To Give Them More Leeway

from the because-of-course dept

I know that it's become accepted wisdom among some that the various social media platforms have an "anti-conservative bias" in how they moderate content. However, we've yet to see any evidence to actually support such a claim. Indeed, one study that has been pointed to frequently seemed to show that Twitter, at least, had an anti-Nazi and anti-troll policy -- and unless you think "conservatives" are synonymous with Nazis and trolls, then that doesn't really prove very much. Of course, there was another report that came out around that time noting that some Republican politicians' accounts were indistinguishable from Nazi accounts -- so... who knows?

Either way, the narrative has continued that somehow all the social media companies are somehow "unfair" to "conservatives" (which does not seem to have anything to do with actual conservative values, but mainly whether or not they support the current President). Indeed, a big part of the "antitrust" hearing a few weeks back was Republican Congressmen ranting and raving about the unfair treatment they and their friends receive on Facebook (though, at least one Congressional Rep confused Facebook and Twitter).

But, again, if anything, all of the evidence has shown the opposite to be true on Facebook. Pages and individuals who support the President (whether or not you consider that to be "conservative" is up to you) seem to do much better than other sites. And, now, new reports suggest that Facebook has bent over backwards to appease those sites, even when they break the rules. Indeed, according to an NBC report looking at internal documents, Facebook treated pages that support the President differently, giving them much more leeway than other users:

According to internal discussions from the last six months, Facebook has relaxed its rules so that conservative pages, including those run by Breitbart, former Fox News personalities Diamond and Silk, the nonprofit media outlet PragerU and the pundit Charlie Kirk, were not penalized for violations of the company’s misinformation policies.

Facebook's fact-checking rules dictate that pages can have their reach and advertising limited on the platform if they repeatedly spread information deemed inaccurate by its fact-checking partners. The company operates on a "strike" basis, meaning a page can post inaccurate information and receive a one-strike warning before the platform takes action. Two strikes in 90 days places an account into “repeat offender” status, which can lead to a reduction in distribution of the account’s content and a temporary block on advertising on the platform.

Of course, it's noteworthy to see PragerU, especially, getting special treatment, since that company has basically built its reputation by playing the victim with regards to social media content moderation. Indeed, it lost its ridiculous lawsuit against YouTube, but that hasn't quieted down the site's founder, Dennis Prager, who continues to whine about social media censorship for his "conservative" views.

Of course, the truth now appears to be that he's the beneficiary of... a kind of affirmative action.

In another case in late May, a Facebook employee filed a misinformation escalation for PragerU, after a series of fact-checking labels were applied to several similar posts suggesting polar bear populations had not been decimated by climate change and that a photo of a starving animal was used as a “deliberate lie to advance the climate change agenda.” This claim was fact-checked by one of Facebook’s independent fact-checking partners, Climate Feedback, as false and meant that the PragerU page had “repeat offender” status and would potentially be banned from advertising.

A Facebook employee escalated the issue because of “partner sensitivity” and mentioned within that the repeat offender status was “especially worrisome due to PragerU having 500 active ads on our platform,” according to the discussion contained within the task management system and leaked to NBC News.

After some back and forth between employees, the fact check label was left on the posts, but the strikes that could have jeopardized the advertising campaign were removed from PragerU’s pages.

Facebook seems to apply affirmative action to help aggrieved grifters who support the President. And, really, part of the argument many have made is that this was the point of these sites and users whining all this time. They knew they were spewing bullshit, and ran the risk of getting penalized, but if they pre-whined about it, perhaps they'd get special treatment. And now that's exactly what's happened.

The list and descriptions of the escalations, leaked to NBC News, showed that Facebook employees in the misinformation escalations team, with direct oversight from company leadership, deleted strikes during the review process that were issued to some conservative partners for posting misinformation over the last six months. The discussions of the reviews showed that Facebook employees were worried that complaints about Facebook's fact-checking could go public and fuel allegations that the social network was biased against conservatives.

The removal of the strikes has furthered concerns from some current and former employees that the company routinely relaxes its rules for conservative pages over fears about accusations of bias.

Two current Facebook employees and two former employees, who spoke anonymously out of fear of professional repercussions, said they believed the company had become hypersensitive to conservative complaints, in some cases making special allowances for conservative pages to avoid negative publicity.

Indeed, Facebook seems so sensitive to this issue that it has since fired an employee who collected the information showing that these Trump-supporting pages got special treatment.

Facebook, of course, is free to manage its platform the way that it wishes too, but it is somewhat amusing, at least, to think that if folks like Senator Josh Hawley got his way on some of his anti-Section 230 bills, then Facebook would actually open itself up to lawsuits from aggrieved parties (such as those who oppose the President's agenda) who didn't get that same "beneficial" treatment...

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Filed Under: affirmative action, anti-conservative bias, bias, content moderation
Companies: facebook


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 9:33am

    'That's not a rules problem, that's a YOU problem.'

    It is well past time for tech companies to stop pussy-footing around the whining children and tell them that that if they and their buddies are getting hit by moderation efforts aimed at trolls and liars more often maybe it's because they are more often than not trolls and/or liars.

    Point out specific examples of violations of the rules and demand that those complaining about 'conservative persecution' either own those violations or admit that they were rightly blocked/taken down, because as it is their spinelessness has resulted in them bending over backwards in an attempt to appease the whiny brats, something which very clearly is not working as they are still getting hammered by people complaining about how unfairly 'conservatives' are treated by social media, despite the fact that as this report shows they are if anything getting preferential treatment.

    After some back and forth between employees, the fact check label was left on the posts, but the strikes that could have jeopardized the advertising campaign were removed from PragerU’s pages.

    There is some serious dark humor to be found in someone who threw such a tantrum that he went to court to accuse social media of treating him 'unfairly' exposed as in fact being treated much better than others, simply because the platform in question didn't have the spine to take a hit to their profits by applying the rules consistently.

    Still, nice of Facebook to make crystal clear that while they may claim to be against misinformation if you're paying them enough the rules can be ignored outright, as I'm sure a number of people and groups will be all over that. Be nice if they were at least honest enough to admit it and drop the facade of giving a damn about the truth though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 9:55am

    Give the bullies in politics what they want and you rapidly become a fascist state.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:20pm

      Re:

      If only there were some sort of history regarding appeasing fascists we could look at and figure out what it buys us.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Zyklon, 12 Aug 2020 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re:

        Improved railways.
        Better infrastructure for cars.
        Increased sales in cars.
        More sales in millitary equipment.
        More jobs.
        Increased sales in Zyklon B.

        Admittedly there have been some minor inconviniences to some people, but don't let us be hampered by minor details, when we can improve the economy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:00am

    opinion or fact.

    Thats not the truth, so it has to be opinion.
    There is no such thing as a lie/falsehood/fabrication.
    If this country ran on truth for the last 40+ years..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:10am

    were not penalized for violations of the company’s misinformation policies.

    Disagreement is not the same as misinformation. Especially when the so-called "fact checkers" are just a bunch of democrats. Just because you disagree politically with someone does not give anyone the right to label it as misinformation for censorship purposes on a supposedly objective platform. If your company employees are so biased that they demand to censor political opponents for disagreement, then showing deference may be the only solution to maintain the thin veneer of objectivity.

    Personally, I think that social media companies should just drop the facade, and announce that they hate conservatives, so they will be banning anyone who voices a conservative opinion. It would be very honest if them to do that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      Do you work in a vineyard? Because that is a heck of a lot of whine there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      Why would they still need to be concerned Koby?

      I thought conservative snowflakes were going to do a mass exodus from libtard-controlled social media to the bastion of freeze peach and freedumbs that is Parler?

      Didn't that work out?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re:

        Why would they still need to be concerned Koby?

        Actually, that's my take on why Facebook is currently making these types of decisions to attempt to stay objective. Similar to how Patreon and Twitter now have competition, Facebook is savvy enough to not want to encourage a competitor. I can't say if it will work out for Facebook, but they're attempting not to shoot themselves in the foot on account of some SJW employees.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They're not staying "objective", they're giving conservatives special treatment because they don't want Trump to fuck them up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah, but as that directly contradicts the 'persecuted conservative' narrative it simply must be fake news, and as such can and will be ignored by dishonest individuals who don't mind lying in order to get their way and/or defend their position.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Special treatment to not be persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition is not special treatment, that's called being treated normally.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Facebook is trying to maintain Catholic orthodoxy?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But Facebook is letting their own rules to be broken and not carry out punishment to conservatives. Why are you complaining about their favortism?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then why are you upset now?

              This is exactly what I'm referring to when I call conservatives "perpetual victims" - no matter how many concessions you get, you still come back whining.

              So what's the problem now, Koby? Getting the treatment on Facebook you want or losing something to bitch about?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is special treatment when literally everyone else gets persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. That’s literally what “special treatment” means!

              Also, how is getting ads and such limited on Facebook for spreading misinformation in any way equivalent to being persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              JMT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 12:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I genuinely struggle to understand how you could read that conservatives are being given special treatment by not being punished for breaking the rules and call that "being treated normally". Are you just trolling? Willfully ignorant? Just a bit slow?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 12:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Special treatment to not be persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition is not special treatment, that's called being treated normally."

              Reality; Everyone BUT the Trump cult does get persecuted by the spanish inquisition of Facebook, getting their accounts banned over topics a pro-Trumper retains his/her account over.

              Koby; "But black is white, war is peace, freedom is slavery!"

              It's points like these where your arguments devolve into Orwellian newspeak and doublethink that ensure so many of your posts get flagged as the drivel they are.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 12:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Special treatment to not be persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition is not special treatment, that's called being treated normally."

              The problem is, you see yourself as the poor persecuted in this analogy, but in reality you're working for Torquemada.

              Nobody wants the Spanish Inquisition near them - this is why you and your Inquisition buddies have been booted off Twitter.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sure, after all I'm sure Facebook is shitting its collective pants over the mass exodus that resulted in what, 2.8 million Parler users versus Facebook's 2.6 billion.

          That must be what it is!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's have it, Koby. What's wrong with SJWs, and climatological facts? What is it that makes them partisan to "democrats", and antithetical to "conservatives"? What "conservative" viewpoints are being silenced? Be specific. Extra credit: Why are some people's opinions supposed to hold equal weight with facts?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      FurryOne, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      And there you have it - another example of a whiny conservative bitching about their perceived persecution, and blaming it on the other political party. You can disagree with anything you want, but when that disagreement is held up as "fact" when it's a lie it becomes misinformation. The right wing nut media specializes in misinformation, preaching to a legion of "Manchurian candidates."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:40am

      If by 'conservative' you mean 'lying asshole' then yes, they do

      Personally, I think that social media companies should just drop the facade, and announce that they hate conservatives, so they will be banning anyone who voices a conservative opinion. It would be very honest if them to do that.

      Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views
      Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?
      Con: LOL no…no not those views
      Me: So…deregulation?
      Con: Haha no not those views either
      Me: Which views, exactly?
      Con: Oh, you know the ones

      (All credit to Twitter user @ndrew_lawrence.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      Glad to know that the number of polar bears is a political disagreement.

      Now what the hell are the "facts" that don't care about people's feelings?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        Glad to know that the number of polar bears is a political disagreement.

        PragerU apparently cited a number of researchers, and there is a high margin of error depending on who is counting, and when: 26,000 to 58,000, with 39,000 being a best guess estimate. But because the populations of the "threatened" polar bears keeps increasing, there is disagreement. Climate alarmists predicted that as ice breakup continued, that polar bear populations would decrease. Was their prediction wrong, and polar bears are thriving? Is the ice breakup not nearly as severe or important as predicted? Or is the polar bear apocalypse only moments away?

        These are arguments that reasonable folks can have. And it is why attempting to "fact check" with biased fact checkers leads to the same crummy results as police departments running an internal review that determines their members have done no wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 3:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "PragerU apparently cited a number of researchers"

          You might want to pick an actual objective reliable source for your figures. Prager is the opposite of those things. Although, if you take them seriously I can see where your whining about social media comes from.

          "These are arguments that reasonable folks can have."

          We try, then people like you start shitting misinformation all over the place and whine about persecution when you're questioned.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      Disagreement is not the same as misinformation.

      That's true. But the issue here was misinformation.

      Especially when the so-called "fact checkers" are just a bunch of democrats.

      See, Koby, that is misinformation. Most of the fact checker partners are explicitly non-partisan and have strong track records as such. Indeed, the one fact checker that is explicitly partisan... is The Daily Caller, which is partisan in the other direction.

      So you're lying. Again.

      Stop it.

      Personally, I think that social media companies should just drop the facade, and announce that they hate conservatives, so they will be banning anyone who voices a conservative opinion.

      What a little snowflake. We present actual evidence that you and your friends are getting preferential treatment, and you STILL whine.

      Grow up already.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:01pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't think Koby is lying. I think he honestly believes what he writes. Which makes him seriously delusional and close to functionally insane, but not a liar.

        The truly sad thing is that Koby does make a sincere and honest attempt from time to time, then seems to get sucked back into his fact-optional (hell, in reality fact-devoid) echo chamber and comes back to us freshly indoctrinated and as obnoxiously self-righteously mistaken as ever. Or so it seems from what I can see.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          See, I actually give them more credit than that in assuming that they aren't utterly delusional and literally incapable of seeing contradictory evidence and just chalk them up as a dishonest liar, at least when it comes to this subject.

          It's one thing to simply be wrong, that happens to everyone, but to see evidence that directly contradicts your position and act like it simply doesn't exist is the sign of a seriously warped mind or a grossly dishonest person, and as they can make good arguments on other subjects, indicating that their mind does work, all that seems to be left is dishonesty.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re:

        See, Koby, that is misinformation. Most of the fact checker partners are explicitly non-partisan and have strong track records as such. Indeed, the one fact checker that is explicitly partisan... is The Daily Caller, which is partisan in the other direction

        Back in June, research into Facebook's so-called fact-checking organization called Lead Stories revealed that the group is mostly left wing.

        Lead Stories Chairman and founder Perry Sanders is a Democrat, and donates thousands of dollars to democrat candidates every cycle.

        Over half of its employees have worked for the CNNLOL.

        90% of Facebook's fact checking oversight board belong to George Soros’ left wing Open Society Foundation.

        So this is just the Facebook "fact-checking" outfit, and we haven't gotten to other social media companies yet. It's a bunch of Democrat activists playing judge, jury, and executioner for their other Democrat friends.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I see you are using left wing to mean anybody who disagrees with you, again.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Mostly I mean people who donate to Democrats, and take payments from, and belong to left wing activist groups. They're free to do so, that's fine. But they don't get to disguise themselves as magically non-partisan or independent.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So then the big move to Parler didn't work out for you guys? Otherwise, why would you even care?

              So much for voting with your conservative wallets, amirite big guy?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That does not necessarily invalidate them as fact checkers, while following the party line makes you a religious believer who takes everything on faith.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, you’re defining “left wing” as someone who doesn’t agree with you.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 3:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Most democrats are nowhere near a fucking "left-wing", and you bloody well know it. Most right-wingers are way beyond where conservatism used to live.

              I remember when conservatives hated liars and fascists. Now all three are the same thing, or mutual apologists.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 3:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Mostly I mean people who donate to Democrats"

              Democrats aren't left wing.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Kitsune106, 12 Aug 2020 @ 8:05am

              Odd

              Trump also donated....

              Also, work ethics and honest. Mind... I am a weird non neurotypical person who does not get politics. I do enjoy observing ideas....

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 12:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Mostly I mean people who donate to Democrats, and take payments from, and belong to left wing activist groups."

              And there's your problem. Very few democrats are "left-wing". In fact most of the US isn't, by any definition the rest of the world uses, "left-wing" or even "centrist".

              By the standard used by the US right wing today, Eisenhower and Reagan would be considered "left-wing".

              I suggest that if the icons considered right-wing icons like Ike, Reagan and many of the founding fathers are today considered "leftie liberals" by the current alt-right then you guys might need to re-examine just how far you've moved the political poles - because you're at the point where you now need to deny factual reality and normal logic in order to make your narratives fit.

              The fact is that on the political scale most people use, the alt-right is, today, dipping into that extreme end of the right where that scale turns full circle and you end up with your desired political narrative swinging between Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler.

              Blind faith in the state as incarnated in the Fearless Leader, A belief in "law enforcement" über alles, a convenient scapegoat or three to blame every wrong in the country on, and blinding hatred and contempt visavi the "other". Any inconvenient fact found undermining the narrative to be met with hysterical screaming.

              And, of course, the conviction that belief will overturn actual science at every turn. Orwell wrote books about, apparently, the current US.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But I thought you guys were going to stick it to those libtards by taking your thoughts to Parler? You never answered me - is that plan not working, or have you found out that without an audience, you're all just a bunch of redneck hicks bitching to each other?

          And what's wrong with Facebook now? They seem to be buckling to your "pressure campaign" - so why are you still complaining, snowflake?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Funnily enough in March, a group with conservative links called "Check Your Fact" got Facebook to remove post that claimed Trump false called covid19 a hoax, on the basis that it was false. What Trump said was, as usual, confused enough that it supported various interpretatoins equally well, including Trump calling covid19 a democrat hoax.

          So there you have it, Koby, democrat Facebook fact checkers in all their despicable glory.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 4:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Back in June, research into Facebook's so-called fact-checking organization called Lead Stories revealed that the group is mostly left wing.

          That is one organization. There are seven.

          90% of Facebook's fact checking oversight board belong to George Soros’ left wing Open Society Foundation.

          LOL. Dude. Please, stop spewing Russian propaganda put out by a disgraced journalist who once thought her computer was hacked because her keyboard keys got stuck. I read that report too, and it claims that John Samples, a staff member at Cato (which is a right wing think tank, founded by the Kochs) is an Open Society person. I mean, jfc.

          You have no credibility and appear to be the most gullible sucker on the planet.

          It's a bunch of Democrat activists playing judge, jury, and executioner for their other Democrat friends.

          It is not. Also, you don't even know how the FOB works (or the fact it hasn't even launched yet).

          You truly are a silly person.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re:

        How your wrote that with a straight face is beyond me.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:55am

      Re:

      "Especially when the so-called "fact checkers" are just a bunch of democrats."

      Oh look, you're lying. I'm shocked.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Has anyone else noticed that some republicans (a large percentage of the ones I have the opportunity to observe, but that is a very small percentage of the total) are highly prone to association fallacies? Some Portland protesters have rioted, therefore all Portland protesters (and New York protesters and ...) are constantly rioting and city streets are all unsafe all the time. Some moslems in Paris rioted (really rioted in this case, unlike the Portland protesters, as far as I can see) therefore all of the French Banlieus are lawless no-go areas. Some student bodies at some universities shout down or protest out would be speakers who they don't like, so all democrats are seeking to stifle free speech. Some objecting to Trump's lies are democrats, therefore all criticism of Trump is politically-inspired democrat fakery. If one white woman is raped by a Mexican criminal (and let's face it, only white women matter to these types) therefore all of Mexican descent are rapists and must be deported (regardless of nationality).

        If a republican does something obnoxious or stupid, he (usually) is "defending freedom". If a democrat does, then "all democrats are X", where X denotes the type of person usually believed to indulge in such behaviour. It's not that democrats are immune to this fallacy, but it really seems that (Trumpist) republicans have seized the ball and run with it way beyond all others.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 3:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Has anyone else noticed that some republicans (a large percentage of the ones I have the opportunity to observe, but that is a very small percentage of the total) are highly prone to association fallacies?"

          I have, and I've also noticed that they're the first to whine when you correctly note how many Nazis and white supremacists they seem to hang around with.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 12:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I have, and I've also noticed that they're the first to whine when you correctly note how many Nazis and white supremacists they seem to hang around with."

            Bingo.

            The Trumpists (or former neocons) love to talk about how they represent republicans (a political denomination which inherently values individuality and liberal conservatism) but the reality of it is that those people who today insist on calling themselves "alt-right" are, in fact, collectivists. They think in tribes, not individuals.

            The political reality of the US "Alt-right" is that effectively they are somewhere between Mao and Mussolini, united in a fervent belief that there is one right way of doing everything and there will be a strong man to tell them what that one way is.

            So if they see one bad black man the mental toolbox they've taught themselves to use delivers the "fact" that it must mean all black men are bad. One protestor who loots means all protests are in reality riots. Half a dozen children throw rocks at the police must mean all of Portland is going up in flames.

            And when all you look for is the simple solution it closely follows that you will be most unwilling to accept that Jack and John you usually pound a few brews with after work might be bad people just because they tend to rail about the "god damn <n-words> and jews". Tribal collectivism and a hefty dose of willful blindness is all you need to end up with Orwell's "Animal Farm".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      "Disagreement is not the same as misinformation. "

      I do not agree with those conservatives who recommend ingesting chlorine as a treatment for covid-19 because it is misinformation - it's worse than misinformation, it can kill you. But those damned fact checking democrats have to make a big friggin deal about it ya know?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      Ah yes, we all know facebook management is filled with democrats who would never have off the record private meetings with Trump. And don't get me started on their liberal fact checkers, those darned leftists at the Daily Caller run by known progressive, Tucker Carlson.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 4:35am

      Re:

      "Especially when the so-called "fact checkers" are just a bunch of democrats."

      Facts are facts even when incovenient to democrats. You don't see this with republicans, though. Weird, no?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 5:39am

        Re: Re:

        "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

        Some people when faced with facts that challenge their worldview will investigate and either disprove the "fact" or accept that their worldview needs to change. Others will say "fake news" and dive ever deeper into fiction.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think it's funny the yellow Cheeto's 'fake news' caught on so quickly under Republicans cause you know whenever they use this phrase the accusation brought to them was indeed correct.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 9:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            'Every accusation, a confession.'

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 10:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Like so many things the right-wing say when they're trying to be "funny", they just co-opted someone else's words but missed the original point. "Fake news" was a term coined to accurately describe the misinformation coming out of Russian and general propaganda outlets - literally things that masqueraded as news but were not true. The right wing now uses it to mean "news I don't like", which ironically usually means accurate factual reporting about their actions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 14 Aug 2020 @ 7:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And they use the phrase "telling it like it is" to refer to things that masquerade as news but aren't true (FOX).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2020 @ 10:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Indeed. One of the problems that the right-wing echo chamber has its audience brainwashed to believe that only they are the source of facts, even as to any casually informed observer they are presenting fiction. This is why they are so to deal with - they're literally addressing a fictional version of the world.

                Trump is the most notable member of the cult, which is why he's sidelining or even blocking his own pandemic experts while promoting the views of a witch doctor who believes in demon sperm induce illnesses. She also happened to agree with the echo chamber's adopted miracle cure that the actual scientists were correctly pointing out wasn't medically proven, so he went with the crazy person instead of verifiable reality. Facts don't matter as long as she is making the same noises as Fox (or, actually OANN, since Fox have dared to criticise Trump in recent times so he's edging more to promoting the conspiracy theory outlet with known Russian ties).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2020 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      Article: Facebook give Conservatives more leeway.

      Koby: Damn Facebook giving Conservatives a hard time again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:29am

    They are very very fragile souls, those Trumpkins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:33am

    "Conservative" and "liberal" are not political terms... unless you're a politician, someone for whom all terms are political--merely tools to be used for "us" and against "them" (BAU). "Fascist" on the other hand is a political term--among other things (economic, sociological, etc). The GOP is more and more fascist with every passing day that it's allowed to prosper. Trump is the perfect symbol for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      "Conservative" and "liberal" are not political terms...

      Of course they are.

      merely tools to be used for "us" and against "them" (BAU).

      Using language to control the masses is political. Orwell had a thing or two to say on the subject.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      "Fascist" on the other hand is a political term--among other things (economic, sociological, etc).

      The European fascists of the 1930s were left wing socialists. The Chilean fascists of the 1970s were right wing. People have struggled to find a common economic or social theme between the various groups.

      But we DO know what all facists have in common, and it what makes them scary: facists cannot tolerate disagreement, to the point that if someone disagrees, then the facist demands punishment.

      If a kid in school disagrees with a facist, then the facist wants the kid expelled from school, and humiliated. If the disagreer is an ordinary adult, then the facist wants that person fired from their job, and banned from social media. If the disagreer cannot be fired, perhaps because they own a business, then the facist wants a boycott to ruin the person financially, and then thrown in jail.

      Fascists are unsatisfied with presenting their political view. They demand that disagreement be destroyed. This is why facism is either ruled by a strongman (for as long as they can ride the tiger), or else descends into mob rule.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 11:51am

        Re: Re:

        facists cannot tolerate disagreement, to the point that if someone disagrees, then the facist demands punishment

        So Donald Trump, then.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Here is a list of the 14 characteristics of fascism.
        Apply them.
        The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
        by Lawrence Britt
        Spring 2003
        Free Inquiry magazine

        Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.

        The 14 characteristics are:

        1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
          Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

        2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
          Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

        3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
          The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

        4. Supremacy of the Military
          Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

        5. Rampant Sexism
          The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

        6. Controlled Mass Media
          Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

        7. Obsession with National Security
          Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

        8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
          Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

        9. Corporate Power is Protected
          The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

        10. Labor Power is Suppressed
          Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

        11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
          Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

        12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
          Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

        13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
          Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

        14. Fraudulent Elections
          Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Fascists are unsatisfied with presenting their political view. They demand that disagreement be destroyed.

        Like say, when conservatives demand Facebook and Twitter host whatever kind of garbage they feel like shitting out of their headholes or facing the wrath of the federal government?

        Those kind of fascists?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re:

        The European fascists of the 1930s were left wing socialists.

        No, no they were not. When people think of European fascists, they think of Hitler and Mussolini, both of whom were very hard right politically. They were not socialists either because they didn’t own the means of production or most businesses. Same goes for the fascist dictator of Spain (whose name escapes me at the moment).

        I’m beginning to think you don’t actually know what “fascism”, “left[-]wing”, or “socialist[]” actually mean. Fascism is explicitly a far right ideology, not left-wing, and socialism specifically refers to the economic system where the means of production (e.g. ownership of businesses and employment for said businesses) are owned by the government/head(s) of state rather than private individuals/organizations. Fascism is essentially a subset of totalitarianism, totalitarian governments may or may not be socialist, and socialist countries may or may not be run by a totalitarian government. I think you’re confusing “fascism” with “totalitarianism” and “socialism” with either “left-wing totalitarianism”, “not 100% capitalist”, or “leftist”.

        If the disagreer is an ordinary adult, then the facist wants that person fired from their job, and banned from social media. If the disagreer cannot be fired, perhaps because they own a business, then the facist wants a boycott to ruin the person financially, and then thrown in jail.

        That’s not exclusive to fascists, you know? And outside of the “thrown in jail”, those aren’t even necessarily indicative of fascism or vice versa. Seriously, you don’t seem to understand what the words you keep using actually mean.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Franco

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          Koby (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 3:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, no they were not. When people think of European fascists, they think of Hitler and Mussolini, both of whom were very hard right politically.

          Quick history lesson: for the German variety, the very name stood for Nationalist SOCIALIST. In their 25 point plan, they included land expropriation, nationalization of certain industries, and expanded welfare. The economic policy was unquestionably leftist. Socialism was baked right into the name for a reason. They didn't include it at random.

          As for the Italian variety, that was based on Giuseppe Gentile, who was a socialist, as was Mussolini.

          Fascism is essentially a subset of totalitarianism,

          Fascism is a mindset that can be completely devoid of government, and does not depend on totalinarianism. It can very well exist within mob rule and anarchy. Naturally, it becomes even more horrific if embraced by an organized government.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 5:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Quick history lesson: for the German variety, the very name stood for Nationalist SOCIALIST. In their 25 point plan, they included land expropriation, nationalization of certain industries, and expanded welfare.

            The National Socialist Party changed drastically once Hitler took over. It’s also worth noting that America nationalizes certain industries, too, that having some welfare is true of many European parties on both sides of the aisle, and that land expropriation is not socialism.

            Fascism is a mindset that can be completely devoid of government, and does not depend on totalinarianism.

            Fascism is about government. It is not separate from that; that’s what makes it political. The whole idea involves having a totalitarian government that explicitly excludes certain “others” and suppressing dissent and favors national pride over all else.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 3:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Quick history lesson: for the German variety, the very name stood for Nationalist SOCIALIST"

            Yes. Quick logical lesson - someone calling themselves something does not mean that's what they honestly are. Just as North Korea and Congo aren't really democratic nations.

            " Socialism was baked right into the name for a reason."

            Yes, to fool gullible idiots like you, and then when they gained enough power not to need them any more the actual socialists and communists were the first to be herded into camps and murdered.

            Once again, you think you're being clever, but you're just proving that you'll fall for any tired old crap as long as they appeal to your personal prejudices.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 1:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Once again, you think you're being clever, but you're just proving that you'll fall for any tired old crap as long as they appeal to your personal prejudices."

              I'd argue that in quoting the third reich's own 25-point plan he's essentially trying to hold as authority the same people who wrote and justified the legislation for the final solution.

              I wonder if he's similarly using ISIS manifests in attempts to accurately describe the real goals of the caliphate? Or Capone's own public statements as to the state of his taxes?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 1:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Quick history lesson: for the German variety, the very name stood for Nationalist SOCIALIST. In their 25 point plan, they included land expropriation, nationalization of certain industries, and expanded welfare."

            Are you, seriously, quoting Hitler's own publicized plan in order to tell people WHAT the third reich was all about???

            I suggest you read a third-party account which wasn't actually written by third reich officials if you want to know what nazi germany was like. The same source you quote ALSO validated the ermächtigungsgesetz and the endlösung as necessary, after all.

            A good place to start would be "Rise and fall of the third reich" by William, L. Shirer, a US journalist who followed and documented Hitler's rise to power from start to finish.

            The nazis were never socialist. They were a totalitarian state of fascists. And today still stand as the far-right boundary of the political left-right scale.
            It's just that once you go to either extreme end on that scale you find that it loops. Once you go totalitarian left and right completely loses meaning, which is why Hitler and Stalin, despite being on extreme opposites, were essentially running identical systems of government.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2020 @ 1:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Joseph Goebbels - so good at creating misleading propaganda he's fooling people who weren't born for decades after his death.

              "A good place to star"

              Lol. You're suggesting he read something not spoon-fed to him by Goebbels' modern day imitators? That would be a first.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 3:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They were not socialists either because they didn’t own the means of production

          But they sure as hell controlled it, forcing a takeover if an owner did not obey orders.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re:

        The European fascists of the 1930s were left wing socialists.

        lol, no.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Fascists are unsatisfied with presenting their political view. They demand that disagreement be destroyed.

        You do realize that this is exactly the kind of moderation that Parler has, right? They ask to verify your identity, then kick you out if they think your posts or interactions are too mean towards conservatives.

        So even after the conservatives took their ball to play in their own super-exclusive clubhouse for making fun of everyone who doesn't agree with them, you want them to go to everyone else's clubhouse, be allowed to defecate all over the place, and demand that nobody be allowed to be angry about it. Un-fucking-believable.

        (Unbelievable, but somehow not surprising.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 1:24am

        Re: Re:

        "The European fascists of the 1930s were left wing socialists."

        Not really, no. The nazis may have called themselves "national socialist" but that was a shameless plug in order to pander to both corporations AND proles. And shortlived, at that.

        Stalin's Soviet union might have called itself a "socialist republic" but was, in fact, an oligarchic dictatorship.

        The fact is that as soon as you end up with a de facto dictatorship the concept of "left" and "right" simply ceases to matter - which is also why Mussolinis "corporatist" state wasn't that, either.

        No successful communist nation has ever existed. Ever. It's always devolved into a form of neo-feudalism where state and corporation is one and the same.
        No successful fascist nation has ever existed either, for the same reason. It devolves into a neo-feudal government where state and corporation are one.

        "But we DO know what all facists have in common, and it what makes them scary: facists cannot tolerate disagreement, to the point that if someone disagrees, then the facist demands punishment."

        A great spiel and true as far as it goes. Are you going to imply that the refusal of people to suffer bigoted assholes to speak on their own property is "punishment?

        I have don't often hear of democrats trying to advocate legal penalties for speech which doesn't fit the majority narrative. The same does not hold true for republicans which with incessant regularity wants to have dissenting speech declared "treasonous" and people making use of the right of assembly brutalized by police.

        If a nazi wants to hear nothing of equal rights then that nazi is free to go postulate on that on his own property, or march up and down the street waving the swastika. This may have consequences as the people they are calling bad names may have rightful grievance about it, but from a government and legal perspective they can still do that.

        Liberally inclined people who believe in the sanctity of human rights are, of course, similarly free to own property where they and no one else set the rules on who is invited or not.

        And this, Koby, is where your arguments keep falling apart; If your argument gains no traction with the majority and thus gets banned from the venues where the majority discourses while the premises accepting of those specific views are silent and unpopular then that is simply what we call democracy in action.

        It's not our fault that - mainly due to the right wing, factual reality and common sense now stand to the left of ALL your values.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:11pm

    So what else is new?

    Anyone who's ever worked in customer service knows it's standard practice in corporate america to bend over backwards to give preferential treatment to the loudest, most obnoxious complainers. Not even the slightest bit surprised Facebook is exactly the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 3:34pm

      All cost, no gain

      Originally no, not too surprising that they'd try to accommodate the whiners, the 'what the hell are you thinking?' issue at this point comes from the fact that they are still doing it, as it very clearly isn't doing them any favors and only undercuts any claims that they give a damn about 'misinformation', leaving both sides pissed at them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 6:50pm

    We could no longer recognize the truth if it offered to give us $300 million dollars as soon as we send some cash to pay the export fees to that nice prince.

    Everything is a plot.
    Everything is a conspiracy.
    Everyone is out to get us.
    Everyone is treated better. (as it should be).

    'Merica where the spoiled bratty kids are in charge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2020 @ 2:45am

    Conservative manipulator Facebook (role in brexit etc) helps spread a distorted narrative depicting itself as anti-conservative, so that it can further spread conservative propaganda. Brilliant!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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