Facebook, like any social media platform, receives a significant amount of hate from users. The same users who post items to the platform nearly every day. There’s always a love/hate relationship among users of social media whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. The great thing about these platforms is we get to choose what we want to see despite some caveats regarding when we look at it.
What matters above all is that it is our choice. If you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, you can like pages and share content that shows you’re a fan. If you hate the Eagles, you don’t have to look at that material. If you’re the kind of neanderthal that likes straight-to-DVD Steven Seagal movies, you’re likely to find others on Facebook who enjoy the same.
The same goes for politics.
Many people in the United States seek political content that confirms personal biases. It’s likely that most people want access to stories and articles that provide them with the best information about politics. However, if you’re a person who believes Vladimir Putin controls Donald Trump, you’ll gravitate towards the information that confirms this bias. If you’re one who thinks the FBI and Department of Justice conspired with the Hillary Clinton campaign to take down Donald Trump, you’ll find similar information. That Facebook provides a place where people can share that information freely despite it being garbage is one of the areas where free speech can be annoying.
But efforts to get the government involved must stop. That means you, Joe Scarborough. Scarborough’s railing about Facebook has reached a fever pitch as of late, and now he’s actively calling for the government to regulate Facebook because he believes the platform is irresponsible for allowing people to spread lies and conspiracy theories that he says are hurting democracy. Watch what he says:
Joe should take a deep breath. Lies and conspiracy theories have been at the forefront of politics since the founding of our nation. No single social media platform people use today – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube – existed in 2001 when terrorists struck on September 11. That didn’t stop people from engaging in the worst kind of conspiracy theories about the attack, saying the United States government planned and carried it out. Did democracy survive? Of course.
Democrats floated the conspiracy that President Bush and his team knew the CIA assessment of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq showed they had none, so they made it all up to justify the Iraq War so that Bush could get a hold of the oil. Did democracy survive? Yes.
Scarborough should be ashamed of himself. If asked if he’s a journalist, he’d likely answer, “Yes.” So why on earth would a journalist want a social media platform regulated by the government? The slippery slope argument applies. Joe forgets he works for MSNBC. Shouldn’t they be under the same edict as Facebook? After all, there are plenty of shows on MSNBC where the hosts or guests spout bogus and sometimes conspiratorial information. Is Joe prepared to have MSNBC follow the same exact rules he wants for Facebook?
Knock it off, Joe. People are going to believe what they want, even if Facebook says otherwise.