March 8, 2020
The fact is that people who read about Pizzagate were already going to vote a certain way.
No one who typically reads the New York Times and believes in true democracy values found out about satanic pedophiles from a Russian-backed QAnon Facebook group and decided to vote for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.
The entire conversation was always retarded and was always about shutting down freedom of speech.
Regardless of one’s own political beliefs, there’s no getting around the fact that Donald Trump’s victory was a shock to millions that Wednesday morning in 2016. Many believe to this day that calculated and nefarious misinformation campaigns across online outlets and social media platforms greatly contributed to the outcome. Now, researchers from Dartmouth University have come to a conclusion sure to surprise more than a few: fake news didn’t play all that much of a role in the 2016 election.
The team at Dartmouth, in collaboration with researchers from Princeton University and the University of Exeter, tracked visits to untrustworthy and dubious “news” websites during the lead up to and immediate aftermath of the election. They found that less than half of all Americans visited any of these websites during that time period. Furthermore, only 6% of Americans are estimated to have been regularly visiting such sources in 2016.
An online survey of of 2,525 Americans, as well as internet traffic data collected between October seventh and November 16th that year from the survey respondents’ computers, were used for the research.
There were some noticeable differences regarding how much fake news conservatives and liberals appeared to read. While questionable and often times blatantly false content from conservative sites accounted for almost 5% of respondents’ news diets, fake news sources considered liberal made up less than 1%. Similarly, respondents who identified themselves as a Trump supporter were much more likely to visit a questionable news website (57%) in comparison to self-identified Clinton supporters (28%).
Facebook is often pointed to as ground zero when it comes the spread of misinformation, and this study backed up that notion. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform was found to be the biggest gateway to fake news leading up to the election. Study participants were more likely to have logged on to Facebook than Twitter, Google, or Gmail immediately before visiting a questionable news site.
“These findings show why we need to measure exposure to ‘fake news’ rather than just assuming it is ubiquitous online,” says Brendan Nyhan, a professor of government at Dartmouth, in a release. “Online misinformation is a serious problem, but one that we can only address appropriately if we know the magnitude of the problem.”
People should be allowed to read whatever they want to read and think whatever they want to think.
If the fact that “we live in a democracy” means that we have to regulate people’s thoughts, maybe we should consider switching to a system that allows freedom of thought.
If allowing the masses to think freely means you can’t allow the masses to vote, then let’s not allow the masses to vote. Let’s go back to the traditional American system of only allowing landowners to vote. Landowners have a stake in the future of the country and they also have demonstrated an ability to be discerning and make adult decisions.
If we went back to limited suffrage, then the masses of people could read whatever they wanted on the internet, instead of having their thoughts controlled by multinational corporations who are trying to determine how they vote by manipulating the information they have access to, which is creating this bizarre dystopia of censorship and total information control.
No one is enjoying this lockdown on freedom of speech, and people are going to start enjoying it less as it continues to affect more and more people. It is also going to become increasingly unmanageable for the people attempting to manage it, as people who post on the internet continue to invent new forms of coded language in order to communicate ideas which the censors have decided are banned.
No one wants to have to deal with this.
So let’s all just agree to allow freedom of speech and freedom of thought and ban democracy instead.