New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose tweeted screenshots of multiple trending stories on Nov. 9 that showed allegations of voter fraud. Roose lamented above the screenshots: “Facebook is absolutely teeming with right-wing misinformation right now.” He followed up by later conceding that “The tricky thing, for Facebook, is that some of the most viral stories aren’t strictly false.” He continued to complain: “But they are feeding a stolen election narrative that is going to be hard to dial back.”
Roose was then scorched by The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon for brazen hypocrisy:
“Roose tweets about ‘right-wing misinformation’ and ‘pro-Trump misinformation’ but never mentions ‘left-wing misinformation.’ He’s never even said the word ‘left-wing’ on Twitter.
“If someone’s highlighting only one side’s misinformation, then they’re misinforming you, too.”
The Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra responded by quipping, “Someone should tell The New York Times’ columnist that his own newspaper is promoting ‘right-wing misinformation’” and shared screenshots of recent headlines from The Times.
Roose was disturbed not only by the fact that conservative news outlets are able to speak, but also at how popular they are. He mentioned what he called, “A Newsmax video full of debunked voter fraud conspiracy theories (dead people voting, poll watchers barred, software glitches)” and remarked on how it “is the 3rd most-shared post of the past three days. 15 million views, 345,000 shares.”
Roose acknowledged that Facebook has labelled conservative posts in an attempt to discredit them, but derides that tactic as useless:
“Many of the top-performing voter fraud claims have labels IDing Biden as the winner. But some (like the Newsmax video) don’t. And it’s not clear that labels are doing much. 6 of the top 10 most-engaged posts from US pages in the past 24h are from Trump, including 4 with labels.”
To Roose, it seems that any conservative swaying public opinion is radicalizing people, whereas far-left influencers indoctrinating them is just creating upright citizens. He has frequently tweeted lists of Facebook’s trending topics and users, complained that the platform is often dominated by conservative commentary.
Roose launched a podcast earlier this year called “Rabbit Hole” to observe how the internet changes people. As liberal Vox summarized: “Roose followed one man — Caleb Cain, now 26 — who, as he put it, ‘fell down the alt-right rabbit hole’ and became a viewer of videos like [conservative YouTuber Steven] Crowder’s.” He was redeemed, according to the article, by far-left YouTubers who apparently deradicalized him to accept liberal views.
Contrary to Roose’s recent accusation of Facebook enabling conservative election skeptics, Facebook has cracked down on conservative information in the past year.
Facebook, alongside Twitter, engaged in an unprecedented crackdown this October on the New York Post’s Hunter Biden bombshell story.
In a shocking revelation released by the Post on Oct. 14, purported emails from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter reportedly exposed the alleged nefarious dealings of both father and son in the European state of Ukraine. The story claimed emails were found from a Ukrainian executive Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, thanking Hunter Biden for the opportunity to meet his father, Joe Biden, in Washington D.C.
Facebook responded by reducing the story’s circulation on its platform, crippling its ability to spread.
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