About a year ago, Alex Jones from InfoWars interviewed Robert David Steele, a supporter of President Donald Trump and former Central Intelligence Agency case officer and the latter affirmed that:
« This may strike your listeners as way out, but we actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride ».
As the revelation went on, Steele added that the kidnapped children were not only being kidnapped for space labor, but also murdered for their blood and bone marrow.
« Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children,” said Steele. “It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them. It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts.”
Of course NASA affirmed that “There are no humans on Mars. There are active rovers on Mars.”. You probably do not know Alex Jones, but he is known for pushing absurd conspiracies including: Sandy Hook being a false-flag operation and the baseless Pizzagate conspiracythat claimed Hillary Clinton’s campaign ran a child sex ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint.
As you understood, this conspiracy theory is as much false as it is stupid. Nevertheless, this Infowars website is being supported by Facebook.
On Wednesday, Facebook held an event about the prevention of misinformation and its own actions from the spread of « Fake News » (or misinformation) on its platform. As the discussion went, the question was raised whether InfoWars, a well-known conspiracy website, would see its status of « Official » Facebook page demoted. Facebook answered that: “[…] just for being false, that doesn’t violate the community standards ».
This is problematic since Facebook has recently given itself the mission of fighting misinformation and fake news by instituting a control of the content published on its site.
Facebook then defended itself by asserting that only specific fake-news posts are concerned :
Instead, we demote individual posts etc. that are reported by FB users and rated as false by fact checkers. This means they lose around 80% of any future views. We also demote Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news.
— Facebook (@facebook) 12 juillet 2018
In the race to misinformation’s management, it is important not to go too fast. After the accusations against Facebook of having shared and put forward misinformation advertising campaigns, the company decided to set up a shared content control system. A dangerous decision for both freedom of expression and the spread of Fake News. Indeed, it is not so easy to distinguish what is « true » from what is « false ». The first perverse effect imagined was of course a certain restriction on the freedom of the press, preventing, for example, the broadcasting of content that goes against the interests of Facebook. Nevertheless, we can (already) observe the opposite effect, namely: the « credibilization » of particularly false information.
The European Commission decided to not legislate on misinformation and to allow the opportunity to platforms to self-regulate. It further proposed to convene a multi-stakeholder forum on misinformation – composed of representatives of platforms, the advertising world, the media and civil society – to work on a code of good practice. This code is expected to be published in July, will have to build on the key principles identified by the High Level Group on False Information and Online Misinformation. It will serve the following purposes: «
- significantly improve the control of advertising and restrict targeting options for political advertising;
- step up efforts to close false accounts and improve access to reliable information;
- allow users to report cases of misinformation and establish clear marking rules for robots (bots);
- ensure that new online services offer safeguards against misinformation;
- enable reliable fact-checking organizations and universities to better analyze and monitor the dynamics of misinformation and to better understand how algorithms work. »
It also suggested the establishment of an independent European network of fact-checkers and the subsequent launch of a secure European online platform to support this network (funded by the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights). interconnection in Europe).
The observation time is over for the European Commission, self-regulation failed, it is now time for an European answer to misinformation.
For further information
On the Child-slave colony on Mars
The Daily Dot Website – https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/infowars-alex-jones-child-slave-colony-mars/
The Daily Beast Website – https://www.thedailybeast.com/nasa-denies-that-its-running-a-child-slave-colony-on-mars
Huffington Post website – https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nasa-child-slave-alex-jones_us_5956c4a7e4b0da2c732394d7?guccounter=1
On the EC proposition to tackle misinformation
European Commission website – http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3370_en.htm