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Lack of Self-Awareness Award Winner: Elizabeth Warren Wants to Criminalize Spreading Misinformation Online

Lack of Self-Awareness Award Winner: Elizabeth Warren Wants to Criminalize Spreading Misinformation Online

Warren, whose fabrications about her life story are legendary and were spread online, obviously lacks self-awareness.

Another day, another desperate ploy by Elizabeth Warren as she continues to drop in polling in early Democrat primary states and nationwide. It would seem that she sees her nosediving poll and donation numbers as a sign that her bazillion plans to upend every segment of our economy and society don’t go far enough.

Her latest plan is to hold big tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google responsible for the spread of misinformation intended to suppress, among other things, voter turnout.  Considering that suppressing voter turnout is a pretty common tactic used by Democrats (and Republicans), this is a pretty interesting move.

NBC News reports:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday released a plan to fight disinformation and to hold tech companies accountable for their actions in light of the 2016 election.

“Disinformation and online foreign interference erode our democracy, and Donald Trump has invited both,” Warren said in a Tweet Wednesday. “Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election must be fully prepared to take this on – and I’ve got a plan to do it.”

Warren proposed to combat disinformation by holding big tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google responsible for spreading misinformation designed to suppress voters from turning out.

“I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information, which has the explicit purpose of undermining the basic right to vote,” Warren said in a release.

The answer, of course, is a bigger government and more control over information, big business, and individual voters.

NBC News continues:

As president, Warren said she would reinstate the position of cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council, a position crucial to protecting the U.S. She added she will also open up data for research so that academics and organizations can provide the public with knowledge on disinformation.

“The stakes of this election are too high — we need to fight the spread of false information that disempowers voters and undermines democracy,” Warren said. “I’ll do my part — and I’m calling on my fellow candidates and big tech companies to do their part too.”

Part of her plan extends to her own campaign. She hilariously pledges not “knowingly use or spread false or manipulated information, including false or manipulated news reports or doctored images, audio, and videos on social media.”

As for Big Tech, here are just a few of her plans for them and her big taxing, big spending, big government:

  • Create clear consequences for accounts that attempt to interfere with voting: One of the most harmful forms of political disinformation on social media is false information aimed at keeping people from exercising their right to vote. Facebook and Twitter have focused their efforts on banning fake accounts and identifying foreign interference, but not all disinformation comes from fake accounts or foreign interests. Social media platforms should ban accounts that knowingly disseminate false information about the time, place, and manner of voting.

  • Open up data for research: Research by academics and watchdog organizations has provided the public with important insights into how disinformation spreads online, but these efforts are greatly limited by social media platforms’ unwillingness to share data. Platforms like Facebook currently provide only limited and inconsistent access. Research can help evaluate the extent of, and patterns within, disinformation on social media platforms. It can also offer the public an objective evaluation of how the features that platforms offer, including those that allow for rapid dissemination of content, contribute to disinformation. Social media companies must provide an open and consistent application programming interface (API) to researchers.

  • Share information about algorithms and allow users to opt out of algorithmic amplification. Algorithms decide what information users see and don’t see on social media platforms — and experts worry that they work to promote false or misleading information. Social media platforms owe the public insight into how these algorithms that affect their lives so deeply actually function. Increased transparency would allow researchers and policymakers to understand how algorithms contribute to the spread of disinformation, and it would give the public more insight into how their worlds are shaped by companies’ decisions about what information they will or will not see. Further, users should have more choice in determining how their data and preferences are used to influence the information they see. Social media platforms should allow users to understand how algorithms affect their use of the platform, and to opt out of algorithmic amplification.

For the government, she also has big plans:

  • Push to create civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating false information about when and how to vote in U.S. elections: Voter suppression efforts of any kind offend basic American values. In both the 2016 and 2018 elections, online disinformation sought to depress voter turnout by telling people they could vote via text, giving people the wrong date for election day, and more. I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information, which has the explicit purpose of undermining the basic right to vote.

  • Reinstate the position of cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council: The Trump Administration eliminated this critical position, weakening our defenses against cybersecurity threats and disinformation. As president, I will reinstate the position and empower the coordinator so that our country is safe.

  • Convene a summit of countries to enhance information sharing and coordinate policy responses to disinformation: Countries around the world are struggling to address disinformation — and certain governmental and non-governmental actors are targeting multiple countries. As president, I will push to convene a summit of countries dedicated to addressing this problem so that they can share information and coordinate responses to disinformation.

As with most of Warren’s ideas, it’s a solution in search of a problem, with the solution itself being far more onerous a threat to our freedoms than the alleged issue it seeks to address.

Townhall reports:

Sen. Warren has been a vocal critic of big tech companies on account of preserving Democracy, but policies such as this do destructive damage to the system. Criminalizing the spread of misinformation, which may also be code for information which Sen. Warren disagrees with, is a complete infringement on freedom of speech. In addition, to compel private businesses to share make public their algorithms is government overreach.

Citing interference by Russia, Sen. Warren weakly advocates for authoritarian policy in her typical alarmist fashion. This policy is nothing short of a breach of free speech rights, and the Constitution as a whole, disguised as ‘election reform’ and ‘holding big tech accountable.’

Warren, whose fabrications about her life story are legendary and were spread online, obviously lacks self-awareness.


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In the end, they tell you who they are. Fauxcahontas is a fascist.

Obama told us he was going to fundamentally transform our nation.

Eventually, they don’t lie in that regard.

Pelosi has not yet said: “I”m a crazy asshole.” But give her time.

This person is one horrible scold.

Conservative Beaner | January 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm

As her polls go down her rhetoric goes up.

Colonel Travis | January 30, 2020 at 8:32 pm

One of the biggest liars in public office right now lecturing others not to lie.

I never thought I’d live to see such Orwellian behavior in the United States.

Before reading the story, I noticed that orange seems to be a good color for her. After reading the story, orange looks even better on her.

Miserable, mendacious demagogue-crone Warren is a true, unabashed totalitarian apparatchik, in the classic mold of the tyrants of old. Stalin and Mao would be proud of her.

See her question to Roberts? She’s lost it completely.

Elizabeth Warren asks if Chief Justice John Roberts loses legitimacy by presiding over a trial without witnesses

    Miles in reply to 4fun. | January 31, 2020 at 12:56 am

    I’d bet the internal polling on her presidential campaign must be so lousy she figures she has to throw such an idiotic spitwad just to stay in the news cycle.

Every Demoncrat and those voting for that political mafia of socialists, fascist, communists, anarchist, and perverts are on cusp of receiving the Darwin Award. I for one want them to take that final step. The USA would be a much better place without these idiots. They have only one working synapse and it is fused to the Demoncrat plantation channel disseminated by the sycophant (brown nosed) fake news syndicate.

I should’ve included Baby murderers in the above comment about Demoncrats.

In both the 2016 and 2018 elections, online disinformation sought to depress voter turnout by telling people they could vote via text, giving people the wrong date for election day, and more.

Do people still do that? Seriously, not as a joke? Constitutionally I don’t see any problem in banning such unambiguously false and malicious speech, since as a general rule “there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact”. But really, anyone who falls for such a prank doesn’t deserve to vote and should be encouraged not to, so these pranksters help democracy rather than hurting it.

So if her proposal is limited to such obvious and clear lies, which contribute absolutely nothing to political debate, then I think it’s merely inadvisable rather than an attack on our liberties. But I don’t trust her to stop there. Because I don’t believe that such lies could possibly have been a significant factor in 2016, 2018, or any other recent election.

Most complaints we hear about “disinformation” are not about these, but about matters whose truth is not so easy to determine, or about opinions, and as the Supreme Court put it “there is no such thing as a false idea”. Ideas can be right or wrong, but not true or false. And therefore all ideas are protected, and in political debate they are strongly protected, to the extent that in order to protect them even outright lies (which are not in themselves protected) must often be allowed to stand.

    drednicolson in reply to Milhouse. | January 31, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Ultimately it’s up to the individual citizen to divide right ideas from wrong, and the core purpose of free speech is to enable the citizen to hear as many ideas–and the arguments for and against them–as possible.

    Any and all attacks on free speech, regardless of the rationale, are attacks on you and your primacy as an individual decision maker, and veiled insults against your intelligence and independence.

And she’s already drafted a bill to impliment Virginia’s proposed law restricting criticism of certain elected officials online.
Because people can’t be truly free if they can say any old thing. Or something.

    venril in reply to venril. | February 3, 2020 at 9:18 am

    The proposed ammendments to existing law mostly address threats to kill or commit bodily harm in general – amazed they didn’t exist already.

    But the last one —

    § 18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty.

    If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which the communication was made or received or in the City of Richmond if the person subjected to the act is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.