Using Fake News Laws for Censorship

When the Government Says You're Fake News

In April [2019], legislation was introduced that would empower the [Singapore] government to demand that sites take down stories deemed—by the state—to be "fake news." Officials would also be able to force social media sites such as Facebook to include "warnings" on posts declared false. Resisting these orders and maligning the government could earn a person or company fines of up to $740,000 and potentially incarceration.

Representatives of the Asia Internet Coalition, an industry association of leading internet companies including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, warned that the bill "gives the Singapore government full discretion over what is true or false." The group calls the plan an "overreach" that "poses significant risks to freedom of expression and speech, and could have severe ramifications both in Singapore and around the world.”

In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law that allows government officials to charge individuals and online media for spreading fake news or information that insults state symbols or officials. As in Singapore, violators face fines and potentially jail time.

When critics yelled "censorship" at the Russian government, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that this area of "fake news" is "under strict regulation in many countries of the world, even in European states.”

Last November, at the urging of President Emmanuel Macron, the French parliament passed a law allowing judges to order the removal of what they deem "fake news" during the three months before an election. It also gave the country's national broadcasting agency the authority to suspend foreign television channels that distribute allegedly false information that might affect a French election. State-run Russia Today interpreted that part of the law as explicitly targeting itself and complained about the censorship. Then Russia put into place even harsher laws.


That France, Russia, and Singapore are all on the same page is a stark reminder that governments almost universally want to stop the distribution of some political messages while mandating the distribution of others.

A third component of Macron's policy recently bit the French government on the derriere. The country now requires media companies to disclose who paid for political advertisements and to maintain a database showing who is responsible for sponsored political messages being promoted through their platforms. Rather than deal with these new obligations, Twitter stopped accepting political advertisements in France altogether. As a result, the company decided in April it would not run government ads encouraging citizens to vote in May elections for the European Parliament.

I'm sure that the current POTUS is seeing these developments around the globe and thinking, "I want that!".

Blame baby boomers for fake news on Facebook

Blame baby boomers for fake news on Facebook by Emily Stewart

When ideology was scrapped and the study just focused on age, they found that older users were much likelier to share fake news. The over-65 group shared almost seven times as many fake news articles on Facebook than users ages 30 to 44, and more than two times as much as users ages 45 to 65.


According to Pew Research Center, 41 percent of Americans age 65 and older are on Facebook. That proportion is growing and is likely to keep doing so — meaning the fake news problem among older users could get worse.

The Ability to Fake Voice and Video is About to Change Everything

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This sort of artificial intelligence would redefine the term “Artificial Reality”.

Imagine that your enemy take a video or photo of you and manipulates it so that you are seen sexually molesting a minor and emails it (anonymously of course) to your friends, family, the police. Ugh!

I don’t know which is worse, being accused of a horfific act you didn’t commit, or not being able to prove that a crime did happen.

We are living in interesting times with more interesting times to come.

Have you seen the episode of Netflix’s “Men Against Fire”?