Kopierede/fra hoften

Den logiske overbygning af det PET kalder ‘antimyndighedsekstremisme’ er undertrykkelse af det frie ord, og en af de politisk korrekte metoder er faktatjek. Ingen med reelle hensigter kan være imod Sandheden er logikken, men Ministeriet for Sandhed har skiftende ministre. Hvem skal faktatjekke faktatjekkerne?

Herunder en alenlang gennemgang af faktatjek-fænomenet set fra USA.

Jacob Siegel kommenterer hos Tabletmag – Invasion of the Fact-Checkers.

“In the past five years, a cadre of fact-checkers has marched through the institutions of journalism and installed itself in the U.S. media as a privatized, quasi-governmental regulatory agency. What’s wrong with facts, you say? Fueled by a panic over misinformation, the fact-checking industry is shifting the media’s primary obligation away from pursuing the truth and toward upholding vague notions of public safety, which it gets to define. In the course of this transformation, journalists are being turned into rent-a-cops whose job is to enforce an official consensus that is treated as a civic good by those who benefit from—and pay for—its protection.

At Meta—the parent company of Facebook and Instagram—content flagged as false or misleading gets downgraded in the platform’s algorithms so fewer people will see it. Google and Twitter have similar rules to bury posts. In reality, America’s new public-private ‘Ministry of Truth’ mainly serves the interests of the tech platforms and Democratic Party operatives who underwrite and support the fact-checking enterprise. This, in turn, convinces large numbers of normal Americans that the officially sanctioned news product they receive is an ass-covering con job—an attitude that marks many millions of people as potentially dangerous vectors of misinformation, which justifies more censorship, further ratcheting up the public’s cynicism toward the press and the institutional powers it now openly serves. On and on it goes, the distrust and repression feeding off each other, the pressure building up until the system breaks down or explodes.

Has any story ever been more energetically fact-checked than Hunter Biden’s laptop? The news broke just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, and was so effectively buried by accusations of disinformation and social media bans that it became synonymous with the power of the new truth regulating bureaucracy. Shortly after the first reports of the laptop, The New York Times’ Kevin Roose modestly acknowledged the role that misinformation journalists like him had played in pressuring tech companies to take ‘more and faster action to prevent false or misleading information from spreading … in order to prevent a repeat of 2016’s debacle.’

And it worked! Only it turns out, as The New York Times now acknowledges, that the original reporting silenced by the fact-checkers was accurate. …

The industrial fact-checking complex is not a debate society or a branch of science pursuing the truth wherever it leads. It’s an institutional fixture with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding behind it, along with battalions of NGOs and formerly broke journalistic authorities who are more than happy to cash fat checks and proclaim that America’s ruling bureaucrats at the FDA, the CDC, the FBI, the CIA, the Fed—and the entire alphabet soup of government agencies—along with the ruling Democratic Party, are never wrong about anything, at least nothing important. …

… By putting an official stamp on obvious manipulations of language, the fact-checkers license false and misleading coverage by outlets that playact the quaint 20th-century practice of objective news reporting—calling balls and strikes—while also batting for Team Democrat. The convergence of fact-checking and Democratic Party priorities is not a matter of speculation. The Democratic National Committee calls for establishing a ‘political misinformation policy’ and repeatedly cites the International Fact-Checking Network’s partnerships with tech companies as a model for the party’s national censorship policy. …

The fact-checkers have proved to be crucial compliance officers for the state, filtering out troublesome information before it reaches the public, torturing ‘the facts’ until they conform to officially sanctioned narratives, and smearing dissenters as dangers to the public or stooges of Vladimir Putin. That’s the information ecology we are living in, and as a reporter I can tell you it stinks.

… Snopes, was started in 1994 as an early online community organized around urban myths. FactCheck.org followed in 2003, and PolitiFact—now operated by the Poynter Institute—was established in 2007. …

Today’s fact-checkers no longer have time to keep their own publications honest because they’re leading a crusade to hunt down and expose dangerous untruths everywhere else. An example from The New Yorker magazine, once justly famous for the care and quality of its in-house fact-checking department, illustrates the change. In 2018, Talia Lavin, a fact-checker at the magazine, used her personal Twitter account to falsely accuse a disabled U.S. Marine combat veteran working as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent of having a Nazi tattoo because she mistook an insignia used by the unit he served with in Afghanistan for a fascist symbol. After deleting the tweet while criticizing ICE for exposing her error, Lavin resigned from The New Yorker. ‘I just feel like I made a small mistake and it’s destroyed my life,’ she said at the time.

Hardly. Lavin’s mistake became a public audition that launched her career as a new-style ‘fact-checker’ and ‘expert’ on extremism. Weeks after leaving The New Yorker, she was hired by Media Matters as a ‘researcher on far-right extremism.’ In less than a year she had signed a book deal.