House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asks a question of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, during a committee hearing, Tuesday Sept. 24, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
If you really want to know what the end game is for Democrats, I’ve always found that listening to California Rep. Maxine Waters grill someone during a congressional hearing is a good way to find out. This is the same Waters that told an oil and gas CEO that the end goal was for the government to take over their companies, after all.
In the case of the hearing featuring CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, we learned a few things. For instance, we know that Democrats don’t know what the purpose of a social media network is, but we also know what they want it to be.
Waters was asking Zuckerberg about what kind of fact-checking Facebook does when it comes to political ads. The social media CEO told Waters that they do no fact-checking themselves, and find it important to allow politicians to display their ads because they believe it is important for politicians to be heard plainly.
Waters continuously interrupted, seeming to drive the point home that Facebook does no fact-checking itself. Zuckerberg kept attempting to explain that it does occur thanks to third-party fact-checkers that activate whenever a post is flagged by the Facebook community, or by its technical systems.
Waters didn’t seem to be interested in the answers Zuckerberg was giving and cut him off to say that her time had expired.
.@RepMaxineWaters: “You plan on doing no fact checking on political ads?”
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) October 23, 2019
What can this tell us?
We know that Democrats view the mainstream media as their territory, and mainstream media tends to agree. Much of what we see from major news networks tend to look more like propaganda than actual news, with an ever-present slant constantly giving the left the high ground.
It’s why ABC News attempted to pass an event at a gun range in Kentucky off as Turkey attacking Kurds in Syria after Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. military out of the region. It’s why they’ll breathlessly report on the heinous racism of a smirking high school student wearing a MAGA hat without looking for any more details.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are some of the most highly trafficked websites in the world, with a constant stream of news and opinion floating through it thanks to its users. Left alone, this could be really bad news for Democrats, who rely on throwing out talking points in a vacuum for a narrative to thrive.
It would behoove people like Waters to ask questions that create a narrative about the nature of Facebook itself. They need to paint it as unreliable and dangerous to the public. This, in turn, does one of two things. It makes people wary of anything they may see on the platform that runs counter to their narrative, and it also sets up the possibility for government regulation with public support.
The end goal is simple. Make Facebook a publisher and not a platform. If they can do that, they can likely make a social media company another propaganda arm.
Judging by the amount of censorship, blacklisting, shadow banning, and punishing that we know occurs on social media platforms against right-leaning people already, they pretty much are publishers already. But it’s much more lucrative and less dicey for Facebook to claim platform status than admit they’re a publisher already. It results in less government oversite and intervention.
Waters wants that intervention. She and the Democrats want to drag Facebook under the control of the state so that they can then decide what is and isn’t proper conduct when it comes to news dissemination. Like she admitted to the oil companies, Waters’s goal is to have the government run the show.