Twitter is just trying to find any little place where they can make things more Orwellian.
Twitter will start labeling the accounts of media outlets affiliated with the governments of countries on the U.N. National Security Council, it announced Thursday.
The new labels won’t apply to all media outlets that receive government funding — only “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” according to Twitter’s blog post announcing the change.
The labels will go on the accounts for China Daily, Russia Today, Sputnik and other media outlets, a Twitter spokesperson said. But not Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, two media outlets funded by the U.S. government, or NPR and the BBC. The blog post described NPR and the BBC as “state-financed media organizations with editorial independence.”
Obviously, the editors of RT or China Daily would claim they have editorial independence, in the same way that the editors of NPR and the BBC claim to have editorial independence. That is to say, “state funding” is an objective measure, whereas “editorial independence” simply is not. At all.
Many people question the editorial independence of Washington Post, given that they are owned by Jeff Bezos, and tend to cover Amazon favorably. In fact, the editorial independence of every media outlet tends to be questioned, even if they do not have a direct and public conflict of interest. The editorial independence of the Daily Stormer has been questioned; for example, given that we have ostensibly reported favorably on certain countries, we have been accused of receiving money from these countries. We have never received money from any country or any individual who has ever attempted to change the direction of this publication, but the fact is, that can’t ever be proved, so it becomes a stupid discussion.
All of this is to say: information has to be taken at face value, and all information should be examined through a critical lens by adult readers. The social media companies are now dealing with people as though they are children, incapable of any kind of critical analysis whatsoever. I don’t know if people are or are not capable of critical analysis, but I do know that the primary, foundational assumption of a universal suffrage democracy is that every adult member of society is capable of rational analysis and critical decision-making. That’s the most basic claim of this system, as it justifies allowing them to vote and determine who runs the government.
By undermining the ability of people to make rational and informed decisions, Twitter is undermining the concept of universal suffrage democracy itself. Of course, they don’t care, because our rulers do not actually believe in anything other than power. They profess various ideologies at different times, but only use these ideologies to push their agenda that exists totally independently from the ideologies.
The right needs to start doing the same. We need to be going after power. There was nothing more enraging than watching right-wing shills say that Trump shouldn’t regulate social media because it would “expand government control.” I’ve already given my full analysis of that, so I won’t go into it here, but the fact of reality is this: the right chasing ideological spooks while the left continues to act purely pragmatically is why we are losing. That is the most basic of all reasons we are losing.
Remember that the Trump Administration started off on a failure because John McCain sabotaged the vote to repeal Obamacare. That set the stage for everything else.
It was open sabotage by McCain, of course, and anyone who knew anything knew that, and yet, none in the media or in the party would call him a saboteur or an anti-American traitor because he claimed to be acting under loyalty to an ideological spook. Loyalty to ideological spooks is considered on the right to be respectable and good, even though it is purely destructive, and has zero upsides.
We should take note of the fact that Twitter is allegedly acting in the name of democracy while undermining what is literally the single most important foundational principle of democracy when we consider the fact that we allow our own representatives to act out of alleged loyalty to ideological spooks.
The far-right is even more obsessed with ideological spooks than the mainstream conservative right, frankly. These people are the literal Spook Patrol.
We have an agenda that is a real agenda based on real world policies we want to enact. The process of enacting this agenda should not and cannot be laden with spooks. A spook-laden agenda cannot ever be realized.