When is Factchecking Actually Censorship?
Dinesh D’Souza, one of the most valuable, credible voices on the American Right, has taken on Facebook’s “factcheckers.” In a recent article for Epoch Times, D’Souza provides several examples of how Facebook has “flagged, demonetized for periods of time, and reduced the distribution” of his posts. But why?
In answering this, D’Souza goes beyond explaining what we already know – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, with impunity, censor anyone they wish, right up to and including a former U.S. President. But D’Souza goes on to explain the symbiotic relationship between the “Factcheckers” and the online communications monopolies.
By way of example, D’Souza details how two of the factchecking organizations relied on by Facebook have distorted the facts surrounding VP Kamala Harris’s slave owning ancestors. This well documented fact of the VP’s lineage, achieved via the marriage of the slave owner’s white grandson to a free woman of color. That couple gave birth to Christiana Brown, a great grandmother of the VP.
Politifact, as D’Souza puts it, “seems to confirm my account completely but then mysteriously concludes, ‘In the end we don’t have enough documentation.’ Evidently a genealogical chart and Kamala Harris’s own father’s testimony does not seem to be enough.”
Snopes was worse. Despite clear evidence, they declared the claim “unproven,” then go on to write “Even if it is the case that the Harris family, by way of Christiana Brown, are descendants of Hamilton Brown, those who seek to attack or undermine Harris for the wrongdoing of a man who died almost 200 years ago should first gain a better understanding of the complicated, traumatic histories of black families in the United States.”
As D’Souza says, understating the point, “this is tendentious editorializing.” Indeed it is. These are partisan organizations, masquerading as “fact checkers.” As D’Souza alleges, they are providing cover for Facebook to flag or remove content they find politically disagreeable. They are allowing partisan organizations to selectively target inconvenient truths as “misinformation,” while exercising excessive leniency towards anything – truth or lie – that supports their ideology.
D’Souza is not only a valuable and credible spokesperson for the right, he is eloquent. How he summarizes this sad situation bears repeating verbatim:
“How tragic it is that platforms that once symbolized freedom and open inquiry have now become frightening cauldrons of restriction, repression, and censorship. The very people who said they would save us from Orwell’s Big Brother have become Big Brother.”
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