Thinking recently about the Facebook and Twitter Thought Police, aka, “Fact Checkers” and it occurs to me how “fact checking” by supposed “independent” fact checkers, at least at the industrial level we now see them operating, are a recent phenomenon, a recent creation of the last four or five years.
No one has a problem with fact checking per se but in the era of Donald Trump, it’s quite apparent that the job of the fact checker has been to curate the facts not so much to inform but to fit and drive a narrative. A version of events and a version of history.
At it’s core, the fact checking industry has become just another political tool. Another version of mass gas lighting. It’s about developing, controlling and prosecuting a narrative and is about convincing you not to believe your lyin’ eyes.
Notice too how “the facts” are always one way and on one side of the political divide?
On a number of occasions we have seen the fact checkers say that a story is missing or lacks context, is not confirmed or has been debunked when in fact it has most definitely been confirmed and hasn’t been debunked.
Industrial level fact checking, in most cases driven by computer algorithms with some outrageous and ridiculous results, is all a spin-off of social media.
Having taken the high ground as gatekeepers of a great deal of news and information, it has become about using “fact checking” as a blunt instrument of intimidation to shut down discussion that is outside of, or strays from the tightly controlled narrative. It’s designed to force correct thinking and compliance and to get in line.
The very phrase of “fact checking” is designed to sound authoritative. That is, the last word. End of conversation. No arguments.
You can’t argue with the facts after all. Or rather you can’t argue with THEIR facts as they try to diminish and disregard any other point of view as invalid, inaccurate, contested or a conspiracy theory even when the facts are well known.
Worse, they are the ones shouting conspiracy theory when it is in fact, they, who are actually peddling the conspiracy. Russian collusion, anyone? Spygate, perhaps.
It’s worth taking the time to listen to the latest podcast by investigative journalist Sharryll Akissonn where she runs the microscope over Wikipedia and confirms what most people already know. That it is a source definitely not to be trusted, on anything.
Although on Wikipedia you can edit trivial inconsequential things, on the more important and hot button issues of great moment like climate, Covid, the US election etc, the official editors and special interests that populate and control Wikipedia, have locked everyone else out from proffering a countervailing point of view whether it’s valid or not.
Bottom line is that even when Wikipedia is wrong, they’re right.
You can log in and change something but if it runs counter to the approved view and narrative, it will be deleted within minutes.
These official, approved editors are exactly the same as Winston Smith of 1984. They sit there all day rewriting history in real time.
By way of example Attkisson cites the term “President Elect”.
By using the Wayback Machine, (a handy tool I’ve used once or twice) she illustrates the very recent change of how it has come to mean what the media says it means not what it actually means according to the US Constitution.
For future generations who know no better and use Wikipedia, that will, overtime, supplant the real meaning.