TheLizard — I am really happy you are engaged in this discussion because I worry that this whole…
Sunil Paul
111

I really want to respond to this. I think we’re coming from different viewpoints regarding free speech, especially when you invoke government power.

I will respond in full later, but I want to ask a question about your view of propaganda. Your premise, at least as initially stated, was regarding Fake News, from the perspective of false statements and factually incorrect information propagated (hmm) as true. That, I think, is a different issue than identifying propaganda. Should we address propaganda from the US government as different than Russian propaganda? Would Swedish propaganda be valued but Nigerian propaganda shunned? Would propaganda released by the EU commission be viewed as acceptable but propaganda issued by the Greek government censored? I would also include in these categories NGOs and other sources funded by various governments even indirectly.

I don’t think these discussions really have a place in a discussion of identifying Fake News. If a bit of propaganda uses a statement that is factually incorrect, that should be called out. But most propaganda is actually an opinion or “spin” on actually factual information. It is designed to persuade, yes, but most frequently without blatant lies (but typically omitting some inconvenient facts).

Propaganda from different sources is actually part of the marketplace of ideas (albeit a rather dark and disingenuous corner of it). It can be ignored or dealt with as appropriate without regard to its source.

So before I continue with a full response to your comment, I’d like your opinion on this issue. Are we working to promote a vibrant marketplace of ideas while marginalizing or constraining objectively false information out of it, or are we trying to promote a specific viewpoint that brings in propaganda from sources we agree with while excluding similar propaganda from sources we consider enemies?

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