Tuesday, March 27, 2018

War Against the Digital Commons Circulates Globally


Today in the Wall Street Journal I found another example of the accelerating war against the digital global commons, whose anarchic operations displease governments and the corporate order everywhere:
Yantoultra Ngui (2018, March 27). Malaysia aims at 'fake news.' The Wall Street Journal p. A6
"Malaysia's government proposed a new law that would make spreading 'fake news' a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a move that critics say is aimed at silencing dissent ahead of national elections"
Not surprisingly, the article does not explain how "true news" will be distinguished from "fake news."

Although today true news must be protected from brash fake news, no one in government seems willing to provide a formula for reliable and consistent differentiation between the two.

Instead, fake news is designated by authorities by calling out its divergence from an imagined news network mean. Facts today are defined by the news networks but who is to say that their truths are purer than alternative accounts provided by on-the-ground citizen reporters and other sincerely motivated news' analysts.

For example, Poland's decision to make it a crime to report on Polish collaboration with Nazis during WWII illustrates this arbitrary and politicized approach to designating fake news.

Fake news is an object of a FASCISTIC logic of government.

The war on fake news is simultaneously a war on democratic pluralism.

Some readers might argue that there can be no democracy when fake news circulates.

I would argue against that position by stating that there can be no government by and for the people without a cacophony of voices. A war on pluralism is self-destructive.

Let fake news circulate and let the people decide for themselves what is true and what is false. For over two thousand years we have had well-developed critical thinking skills that allow an educated people to discern well-established claims from those without support.

The solution to anarchic communications is to promote critical thinking in audiences and transparency in communication sources.

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Majia's Blog: The Crisis of the Digital Commons and Algorithmic Truths
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Oct 4, 2017 - The Crisis of the Digital Commons and Algorithmic Truths* Majia H. Nadesan October 4, 2017. Allegations of election interference by “Russian” and other special interests have problematized the legitimacy of the democratic process in the US. An internal review conducted by Facebook concluded that ...

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