American Elephants

Bill Clinton Wants to Censor and Monitor the Internet! by The Elephant's Child

Bill Clinton doesn’t like all the rumors and misinformation that seem to be floating around on the internet.  He thinks the United Nations or the U.S. Government should create an agency to police the loose talk.

The agency, Clinton said, would “have to be totally transparent about where the money came from” and would have to be “independent” because “if it’s a government agency in a traditional sense, it would have no credibility whatever, particularly with a lot of the people who are most active on the internet.”

Let’s say the U.S. did it, it would have to be an independent federal agency that no president could countermand or anything else because people wouldn’t think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out.That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors. And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it’s a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money.

There is some suggestion in the Politico article that Mr. Clinton may have had Wikileaks in mind, but still—for a former president, fully aware of the ability of government to violate the rights of citizens, to suggest such a thing is appalling.  And as paragons of truth and virtue to offer up the very liberal NPR and the very far left BBC as judges of what is true on the internet is simply absurd.

Perhaps it does not seem so to the former president, for liberals see every conservative fact as a lie and only liberal claims as true.  We once shared facts, at least, and differed on the policies the facts suggested.  Now we no longer even share facts.  All is politics and politics is all.

2 Comments so far
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I doubt the former President had Wikileaks in mind. Mr. Assange wans’t spreading false info, if he was it would have been a lot less harmful. The guy spread very real, leaked information. Frankly, law has done a good job of keeping pace with technology. If Mr. Clinton was worried about liable, slander, blatant falsities, there is a lot of legal recourse. I think, dare I still express an opinion on the ‘net, that Bubba doesn’t like the instant transmission of contrary points of view, complete with facts to back up those views.

Of course, the Internet is hardly a right-wing bastion of anything. What it is, in free countries at least, is a way to convey ideas and counter arguments very quickly, and often quite effectively with just a very few people, left or right wing leanings not being relevant, capable of putting together a lot of information using a lot of media formats. The Internet is to old format media is the printing press to the scriptorium in another age.

Fact checking what Bill Clinton says has never been easier. Anyone can now bring up and look at the definition of “is.”


Comment by zeusiswatching

Liberals have an interesting relationship with the truth. They all repeat the same talking points, and the repetitiousness convinces them that the talking points are indeed fact. And if conservatives disagree with their policy preferences, that, by definition, is falsehood. Because their opinions are represented by talking points, or bumper-sticker short slogans, when challenged they are unprepared to defend their point of view, and fall back on claiming that their opponent lies. Makes intelligent conversation difficult.

With such a flood of information on the internet, it might be useful to teach kids how to sort the wheat from the chaff. There are clues to discern misinformation and propaganda, and ways to confirm what you read without extolling any particular site as a certified purveyor of truth. Or why Wikipedia is not always the answer. Good comment, Zeus.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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