Twitter and Facebook Flagging Accounts

So with the election going on and everyone flipping out and worried about who the President will be, I am over here worried about how the news, twitter and Facebook is censoring people. I have literally watched someone say Biden is going to win a state and be perfectly fine. Then I watched Trump say he is going to win a state and it be flagged with false information because all ballots have not been counted. Neither was the state the person said Biden won. This is happening a lot and I read today where Candace Owens is suing because she shared a post where a doctor gave his opinion on COVID and her Facebook page got demonetized because of it.

If Donald Trump says Joe Biden is racist and gets flagged and/or removed then the same should happen when Joe Biden says it against Donald Trump and it is just not happening and it is really scary. Am I the only person that this is worrying?

I don’t know which explicit posts you mean, and I’ve never heard of Candace Owens, but a lot of Trumps posts are getting flagged, and looking at what he is posting, it is little wonder they are being flagged - as a non-American and therefore neither a Democrat nor a Republican, just basing it on my knowledge of the US constitution.

As to Trump being a racist, he has openly made racist statements over the last several years and has openly supported racist “organisations”, so flagging a post that stated he was racist wouldn’t be necessary. I’ve no idea about Biden, I’ve not seen enough of his speeches to say one way or the other, whether he is racists, but what I’ve seen in the international press, he is trying to run on a platform of inclusion, so it would be, theoretically, less likely that he would be (openly) racist…

The other thing is, again looking in from the outside, Biden has spent the last couple of days trying to calm people down and wait for the results to come in, whilst Trump and his son seem to be pushing people towards violence and making claims against the constitution that any immigrant taking the citizenship test would know are false… Also, he is trying to stop the count and not stop the count at the same time!

The current situation is making the USA into an international laughing stock.

Over here, anyone posting the things Trump is posting, regardless of position, would be arrested for incitement to riot!

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It is fine to say that. From what I’ve seen, the flagged tweets state ‘we have won’ or ‘we have claimed.’ Big difference.

This is what we’re up against. No idea how we solve it though TBH, with millions of posts a day.

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I think part of the problem is social media and the 24 hour news cycle.

In the past, the counting stations would do their job and post their results, when they were finished. That meant the first thing you knew was the final totals. You didn’t get updates several times and hour and people continually postulating on what is going on.

I think this is one situation where the 24 hour news cycle and social media are actually detrimental to democracy and actually “getting things done”. If the counting stations and the state only have to make a single publication of statistics, they have time to double and triple check what is being sent out, if they are under pressure to post the results every 5 minutes, accidents happen and people type the wrong values and nobody has the time to sanity check the number they are sending out, they are in a data deluge and can’t see the wood for the trees.

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In the past, the counting stations would do their job and post their results, when they were finished .

Not sure this is true for the US though. They call results ahead of the full formal count, allows (usually) the administration to progress with governing/transitioning rather than being in limbo for a month.

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Okay, in the UK and Germany, the counting is usually finished within 12 - 24 hours.

Therefore you had the wildly inaccurate “exit polls” to keep the evening news happy, then you’d have the semi-official result for the newspapers and the breakfast news and the official result by lunch time.

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Normally the organizations that matter only call a state when it is mathematically impossible for them to call it incorrectly. That is still a minor risk, if for example there is a county that doesn’t follow the overall trend in the state. AZ was called for Biden early by some organizations, but probably should not have been… I don’t think there has been any other state called too early.

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I get all what you’re saying however I am looking past Trump. People can say he is racist however that is an opinion based on his actions. it is not a fact. Like for instance, I think Biden is racist based on the eulogy he gave to an ex KKK clansman. However, it is my opinion and not fact.

I am looking more at what happened with Candace Owens. A doctor gave his opinion on COVID, she retweeted it, the fact checkers for Facebook deleted, flagged her account, and now she is suing. That is more what I am looking at. I remember a while back a group of doctors was on YouTube given their testimonies of what they think and what helps them to treat it and YouTube took the video down saying it was dangerous.

I am looking at who gets to decide this censorship? Who ever is doing it is not doing a good job and it is taking peoples rights away. If a doctor wants to give his opinion let them. Let the people decide whether to take his opinion to heart and believe. If you take videos down and only let people see one side of things that is controlling and isn’t right.

Another example: I was obsessed with COVID-19 started. I remember no one knew anything about how it was spread, couldn’t test for it, not enough ventilators, CDC being confused. One thing I remember is how Dr Anthony Fauci said that the virus was nothing for the American people to worry about. My point is a lot of people didn’t know what to do and if the virus was serious.

Today, we can say that Trump is solely responsible for over 200,000 deaths from COVID. We can tweet it, say it, spread it and not worry about anything. It is an opinion not a fact. We can all look back and say we could have done things differently however no country has stopped it.

So we can say Trump is the reason 200,000 people died but he can’t say I won a state? It makes no sense to me. Someone shared a picture of their post being flagged because it asked the question about how Trump is to blame but Obama wasn’t for H1N1.

Its is kinda scary.

I am relieved to see Facebook and Twitter marking things as false and taking down lies and misinformation. My worst fear is seeing the country devolve into a civil war instigated by these self-appointed demagogues.

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So if you post you have an opinion that the sun is going to explode in 10 years and here is evidence of your theory, Facebook has the right to remove it and label it false information? If you did that then you can make the argument that 90% of Facebook and Twitter needs to be taken down but it isn’t.

I agree that we need to stop the false information because it is dividing. The perfect example is with officer shootings. Social media and news allows spread of false narratives for what happened and it causes people to go nuts and riot. 99% of officer involved shooting or incidents has always turned out to not be what it was from the beginning. You let social media spread that but not a man saying he won a state in an election? Which is more dangerous?

To me it seems like the fact checking companies that are allowed to do this is basing it on their beliefs and what they feel and that is dangerous.

The fact of the matter it’s not about facts. It was never about facts, and it will never be about facts. Social Media is about… wait for it… social statements. Social in this case mostly means popularity or “the things that are agreed upon by a consensus of people.” Facebroke and Twitter are trying to not take down anything because more things makes them more money. The problem they face is that some things are viewed as reprehensible by a majority of their [potential] customers, which makes them, indirectly, less money. So they are engaged in an effort to control the narrative in a way that maximizes social acceptability and thus their profits.

COVID and elections are two special cases for social media companies. Your examples are a bit all over the place, but I can understand why those doctors had their posts taken down, and candidates in elections can’t just post whatever they want, especially about the result.

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Facebook and Twitter are businesses, and in business to do just one thing - make money. If you don’t like what their business practices are, you have the option to delete your account. No one is forced to use the services.

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It is critically important that you separate these organizations within your line of thinking. Twitter and Facebook et. all operate in an entirely different way from accredited news organizations.

They are private corporations which enjoy none of the protections guaranteed by law that news orgs do, and they are free to do whatever they like with the content a person posts on their site.

Honestly, if you’re depending on these websites for news, you should take a hard look at the way the world is being presented to you.

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So y’all think it is okay that companies are censoring people to “control the narrative?” I think it is very dangerous for any social media company to suppress people’s opinions. I also think it is very dangerous for companies with the reach like Facebook or Twitter to be able to control what people see. I don’t use either one of them because of what they do and my belief that one of the reasons we have issues in this country is because of what they do.

My whole point of this topic was am I the only person concerned about this and should there be laws put in place that control how much companies can censor people?

I think it depends. And I think Twitter’s response is, generally, the right way to go.

You must also remember they are an international company, so they have to comply with laws in every country they operate in. Here, it is illegal for people to glorify national socialism (extreme right wing), call people to violence against individuals or groups of people, holocaust denial and there are also liable laws, among other things they have to take into account.

Here, such tweets as those issued by Trump over the last few years would have been immediately taken down and the account banned, over here, even if they came from a politician. A president calling people to take to the streets and his son calling it outright war, just over an election, would not be tollerated. Twitter and Google would be in serious trouble if they didn’t censor such tweets over here.

Taking his tweets as an example (I don’t know enough about the other cases you have mentioned to make an informed comment), he has incited people to hatred, called for violence, been openly racists and has repeatedly and demonstrably, to use his own words, spread “fake news”. It is little wonder his tweets are currently being censored, when he is blatantly lying or trying to cause disent among the population.

You have him claiming voting fraud and the election was stolen, yet you have his own, Republican observers in the voting halls giving interviews saying that everything was above board, that they have monitored the whole process and there is no sign of any fraud.

He hasn’t put forward any evidence that there was any fraud, other than his own appel on his supporters to not vote by post, but to do it in person, whilst the Democrats called more for postal votes and people to remain safe. Then he claims foul play, when the Republicans forced the vote counters in many states to not start counting postal votes until after the in-person votes have been tallied.

So, of course it looks “fishy” to anyone who hasn’t followed the news over the last 6 months, that after the in-person votes have been counted, suddenly the Democrats start gaining ground rapidly - because Trump / the Republicans wanted it that way.

With COVID, things are more nauenced, but there is a lot of misinformation being posted and the demonisation of the actual medical experts in the USA, by the President himself, makes it even harder for US English speakers to make an informed opinion.

On the other hand, you have countries like New Zealand, which has all but eliminated the virus on their shores, by being hard from the start and enforcing a severe lock down and taking to the population in a calm and rational manner.

The same in Germany. We have open borders and free movement and our lockdown wasn’t as extreme - and a lot of politicians were calling it unconstitutional as well. But Merkel and her cabinet have managed to keep relatively good control of the situation until the last couple of weeks - the numbers are now around 20,000 a day infected and a couple of hundred deaths - but they had a lot of opposition to their policies.

But, Merkel this week sat down for around an hour to do a non-scripted Q&A with the press to calmly discuss her policies and how the policies should see us opening up again enough by Christmas that families will be able to come together for the holidays. When was the last time you saw Trump sit down and rationally discuss his policies in an hour long, unscripted Q&A with anyone from the media?

The other thing with the USA was that Trump ignored his medical advisers and vilified or ridiculed them. The UK to a great extent as well. NZ and Germany, the Prime Minister and Chancellor not only listened to medical advisers, they actually didn’t answer questions beyond their competence, they just handed over the stage to the experts. At nearly every news conference in the first months, the medical experts explained the virus and how it was spreading and Merkel then discussed how policies were being implemented to curb its spread.

There are still people here who claim that it is a hoax or that it isn’t bad enough to encroach on their freedoms, but the majority of people understand the situation and while they might not be happy with it, they follow the official advice, for the greater good.

The US Government has done the opposite, it has demonstrated that it doesn’t think much of medical experts and the messages have been mixed, so it is little wonder that other theories are flourishing there. Does that mean that everyt theory should be given equal weight? What about theories that go against what the WHO and other medical experts are saying? I think putting a warning on them, that they don’t agree with the commonly understood facts and people should take their content and advice with a pinch of salt is the right way to go.

I don’t use Facebook (it is actually physically blocked at the network layer in my house), so I can’t comment on how Facebook is reacting.

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Censoring/controlling the narrative, or fact-checking? Many people seem to think they’re the same thing.

Facebook seems to be doing similar to Twitter now, maybe not quite as aggressively. The challenge is transparency, who decides the rules and reliably/efficiently applying it across the whole platform.

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Don’t overlook how powerful they are though in real time. My job included critical infrastructure pandemic preparedness, and in Jan I was getting heads up from contacts on social, watching WHO briefings on Twitter, and therefore able to prepare family/friends while our government was still in denial and doing little. I wouldn’t read the news on social though.

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I don’t think you understand how it works… Companies are made of people, and incorporated companies act as if they themselves were a person. You can no more control them than you can control your neighbour(s). Companies owe you nothing like freedom of, well, anything. You choose to do business with them on THEIR terms… don’t like it?? Don’t do business with them.

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