Don’t Censor! Stop The Hoaxes! Facebook, Twitter Face A Catch-22

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Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter ban certain posts from its platform.

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As Election Day nears, Facebook and Twitter are finding themselves in a Catch- 22, between conservatives who accuse them of stifling free speech when they block or put warning labels on questionable posts, and others who say the companies need to do more to stamp out online misinformation and conspiracy theories. “Nineteen days before voting closes in the 2020 election, I believe we are more vulnerable to online disinformation from both foreign and domestic sources than ever before,” Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation expert at the Wilson Center, told members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during a virtual hearing on Thursday. Pointing to the group that plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Jankowicz cautioned lawmakers that what happens online can have real-world consequences, including violence. “The social media platforms played a huge role in allowing that group to organize. It seeded the information that led them to organize,” she said. Other false messages, she said, were often aimed at women or minorities, with the goal of keeping them from participating in democracy and even …

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