The future is trash. At least that’s the message 2020 is sending me so far between the warmongering, violent racism and now blatant misinformation.
The Hill reports that Twitter is refusing to delete a misleading clip of Democratic candidate Joe Biden at a town hall. The initial clip has Biden talking about changing domestic and sexual abuse in American culture, tying it to the country’s European roots. He states:
“Folks, this is about changing the culture. Our culture. Our culture. It’s not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation. It’s our English jurisprudential culture. Our European culture. That says it’s all right.”
The version of the clip that went viral removed the initial context and was framed to imply that American culture was distinctly European.
That video was viewed over 1.8 million times. Twitter told The Hill that it is not in violation of the Twitter Rules but that they are drafting new policies that limit the reach of videos that have been altered so much as to be misleading.
I really, truly don’t understand why this is such a struggle for tech companies. I mean, I do. They’re multi-national corporations and to put a limit on misinformation would wind up directly hurting the politicians responsible for legislating their bank accounts. Capitalists are always going to be capitalists. I’d like to think there would be some limit though, some fiscal incentive to create a baseline of truth. Half of the problems we face today stem from the fact that there is no factual baseline, people will believe what they want to believe. This isn’t helped by the fact it’s easier than ever to build a platform where you tell people what they want to hear, facts be damned.
You would think that a conspiracy about a pizza place leading to gunfire and Russia successfully using social media to meddle in an election would have been enough to get these companies to crack down on misinformation. Twitter can ban as many political ads as it wants to but if doesn’t crack down on the outright lies, what really is the point?