February 22, 2019

NewsGuard is for snowflakes

Microsoft has decided it needs to police what is considered news.  They have created an app - NewsGuard - that tells you if a news story is from a trusted site or a fake news site.  Of course it is something that they will decide for you so you do not need to be bothered with the cumbersome exercise of critical thinking.  Why on earth would a society want people actually thinking for themselves?

Of course there are a lot of twists to the NewsGuard story. Firstly, it's clearly inconsistent.  It's arbitrary; do you want some unknown cabal of liberal Microsoft techies deciding what is trustworthy? It's ham-fisted.  If a news site is deemed untrustworthy ANY story they produce, even if completely factual, will be deemed fake news.  In other words if you've been damned, it's for eternity.

But it's also about continuing the old media oligopoly at the expense of upstart rivals.  When you have Fox News supporting NewsGuard as a valuable tool, you know it's less about left and right politics (although it's still definitely about Left over Right) than it is about the big media giants versus smaller outlets.  It's anti-competitive, and that is anti-American. Period.  Competition keeps people honest or else it drives them to such levels of craziness they out themselves as kooks.  You can see that in the polls showing Americans' distrust of media in poll after poll.  Yet apparently Silicon Valley (and yes, others will follow Microsoft with similar tools), doesn't believe you are capable of discerning fact from fiction.  They want to do that for you.  If you hand that power over to them, you deserve your fate.

So who would do such a thing?  Snowflakes who are afraid to see differing points of view and also do not have the critical thinking abilities to look at divergent opinions and interpretations of facts and decide for themselves.  They'd rather be spoon-fed their own world-view in a constant stream of reaffirmation. 

This is where conservatives and liberals, particularly social justice warriors, diverge.  Conservatives are forced to ingest liberal opinion on a daily basis because it is so prevalent in media it cannot be avoided.  Whereas in the case of liberals, it's pretty easy to avoid coming face to face with conservative opinions or ideas.  In addition to a liberal media, you have safe spaces, trigger warnings and now - NewsGuard.  Keep taking your soma and live in blissful ignorance.  Be an individual free-thinker in your sameness with everyone else.  

As for me, and many like me - no thanks.

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