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The Election Year Censorship Regime Ramps up Again                  

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; … If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose … the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

It is an election year again and the Democrat Censorship Colluders have geared up their censorship regime to block stories in order to help install someone the peasants don’t really want in the White House (again).  A few days ago I witnessed a compatriot post this article on Facebook that purports to provide written evidence that the FBI authorized the use of “deadly force” in the raid on Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-lago.  This would seem to be true since the FBI has admitted that “the policy statement on the ‘use of deadly force,’” which appeared in an operations order for the Mar-a-Lago search is the “standard” order that

Department of Justice officers “may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person.

This statement admits that the order for the raid on Mar-a-lago permits the use of deadly force when necessary.  It only claims that this permission is “standard”.  That does not mean that this “standard” permission for the use of deadly force is either necessary or wise in a raid on a former president’s private residence over a civil documents issue.  Naturally, their beloved Hillary and Joe were not faced with this threat over their document’s issues.

            It was, therefore, with some surprise that the next day my compatriot informed me that Facebook had accused their post of “missing context and could mislead people” and so “We’ve added a notice to your post.”   Facebook’s notice is an article that states that

Trump falsely claims Biden authorized FBI assassination attempt

Donald Trump and some of his staunchest allies are claiming newly unsealed court filings reveal that US President Joe Biden authorized federal agents to kill him during the FBI’s 2022 raid of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in search of classified documents. This is false; …

The only problem is that the article posted by my compatriot makes no claim whatsoever that Biden authorized an FBI assassination attempt on Trump. That article states only that the “FBI Was Authorized to Use ‘Deadly Force’ Against Trump During Mar-A-Lago Raid,” and, if one can read at the 9th grade level, one must admit the FBI has admitted that is true.  Had that Federalist article claimed the FBI authorized an assassination attempt my compatriot would not have posted it and I would not now be defending it.  

Although it should not be necessary to go to these lengths to explain such a simple matter, consider the Cornell Law School statement on the use of “deadly force”:

Deadly force means that force which a reasonable person would consider likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Its use may be justified only under conditions of extreme necessity, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.

Contrast this with the Mirriam Webster definition of assassination:

Murder by sudden or secret attack often for political reasonsthe act or an instance of assassinating someone (such as a prominent political leader)

On the outside chance that, despite the collapse of our educational system, basic logic can still be assumed, the fact that there are cases in which “deadly force” is “justified,” while assassination, being murder, is never justified, means that the authorization to use deadly force is not eo ipso authorization to commit assassination.  The two, one referring to a legally justified action and the other to unjustified murder, are not even close.  Got it now Facebook?

That is, the Facebook “fact-check” checked an alleged assertion that was not in the Federalist article posted by my compatriot.  Other people may have made that assertion but the article posted by my compatriot did not. That Federalist article told the truth and Facebook apparently felt a need to provide distorting “context” for telling the truth.  That is where we are in our country are today.  Telling the truth must be, so to speak, “fact-checked”, that is, misrepresented

The question is, “Why?”  Facebook states this “fact-check” was made by AFP Fact-check.  Unfortunately, AllSides, which ranks the “fact-checkers” for political bias, rates AFP Fact-check as having “a Bias Rating of Left.”  AllSides explains that “Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Left display media bias in ways that strongly align with liberal, progressive, or left-wing thought and/or policy agendas. This is our most liberal rating on the political spectrum.”  Facebook’s “fact-checker” earns “our most liberal rating on the political spectrum!”  No wonder AFP Fact-check sees things that aren’t there.

Further, AFP Fact-check is allied with the Poynter Institute.  Unfortunately, the Poynter seal of approval is undermined by the fact that it is largely funded by the “connoisseur of chaos” George Soros Open Society Foundations and the “increasingly liberal” anti-Trump Omidyar Foundation that funds the Left, which means that “social media … follows left wing rules”.  Poynter was forced to withdraw its blacklist of many mainstream  conservative sites, including the Washington Examiner, the National Review and the Washington Free BeaconPoynter even enlisted Yoel Roth, comically the Head of Twitters “Trust and Safety Department,” as the  keynote speaker at a Fact-checking Summit.  Recall that Roth gave his memory challenged sheepish testimony before congress about Twitter’s censorship of the true Hunter Biden laptop story “30 days before the 2020 election” even though Roth admitted that story “did not violate Twitter’s terms of service”.  Excellent choice Poynter! That’s the way to gain the trust of the peasants (if that even matters anymore).  Indeed, in 2017, Bloomberg, not exactly a bunch of right wing wackos, warned that Facebook erred in “making a small group of vetters the arbiters of “truth” because that “undermines its own impartiality and may open the way for censorship on social networks.”  No kidding!

The traditional way of correcting misinformation in a free society is not by censoring speech that some frightened partisan thinks is incorrect.  As SCOTUS Justice Brandeis stated, the remedy for false speech is not less speech (censorship), but more speech, that is, a free and fair respectful discussion between all parties.  The alternative is tyranny. 

It is not, therefore, surprising that Facebook’s fact-checkers are not doing very well.  There is currently an article on Facebook in which Rep. Jamie Raskin falsely claims that Trump is an “adjudicated rapist” and another in which beloved homophobe Joy Reid whines that more people should be calling Trump a NAZI.  Somehow that is allowed.  Such claims are not just wrong but silly.  It is long past time for Facebook to stop playing games, and playing God, by pretending it has the capacity to separate truth from falsehood.  It doesn’t.  The best institutions ever devised for finding the truth are free thought and speech.  But before one tries to play God, one must first, at minimum, learn to read at the 9th grade level. 

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Richard McDonough

Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi.

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