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America really doesn’t need Silicon Valley to enter the fact checking business



America really doesn't need Silicon Valley to enter the fact checking business

No American, not even the president, has the right to a social media account. Technology companies are free to ban the users they want. They are free to “examine the facts” of anyone and enforce their policies consistently or fickle. They are free to do all these things.

Even if they shouldn’t.

This week, after years of pressure from the left, Twitter labeled two President Trump tweets – in which he warned of fraud related to ballots sent – as “potentially misleading.” It is a mistake for any platform to drop its neutrality. It will damage trust without changing a single thought.

Once Twitter starts tagging some tweets and not others with “what you need to know,” it will lurk partisan positions. Trump’s Tweet that speeds up the first fact check is a good example. It would make far more sense for the social media giant to mark Trump’s ugly and slanderous tweet about Joe Scarborough. Instead, the company formalized its policy by alleging that Trump had dishonestly claimed that incoming ballots would lead to “fraudulent elections.”

Even though this dispute is totally unfounded, it would be just as untrue to say Russia cheated the 2016 election – a claim that politicians like Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, along with most of the major media outlets, have made for years. But while the president’s rhetoric about voting is debatable, it is also within the normal parameters of contemporary political discourse.

It is not “unfounded” to say that more incoming ballots “will lead to voter fraud,” as Twitter holds. There are dozens of examples of potential voter fraud that are investigated every year. The Heritage Foundation has cataloged 1,285 cases that have been prosecuted.

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That said, arguing that “voter fraud” is a matter that is no more misleading than a conflicting tax cut will harm the poor or that canceled net-neutral rules will destroy the Internet. In practice, “voter fraud” is no more a conspiracy theory than “voter oppression.” Both occur occasionally, but there is no evidence that they have toppled the results of modern elections.

The problem is that only one of these two problems will get the tag “more information” from Twitter, because only one of these two issues offends liberals.

In another tweet, Trump claims that everyone in California will be sent a ballot. This is not true. But so is the tweet pinned by Democratic nominee, Joe Biden: “I don’t believe I have to say this, but please don’t drink bleach.” The president never instructed anyone to drink bleach, but Biden repeated it without stopping, along with many other misleading statements about his GOP notes and policies.

Which brings us to the problem: Who will Twitter make its judge? The fact-checking page redirects users to the disclaimer by CNN, The Washington Post, Vox, HuffPost and other outlets that often deceive their audience with sophistication that is far more sophisticated than the president’s.

These outlets like to invoke the authority of experts, but not experts whose conclusions conflict with them. There is a reason why we debate the issue rather than appointing “truth judges” to pass verdicts: For the most part, politics is a dispute not because of facts but values.

As often happens, Trump immediately leaves high ground by threatening to “severely regulate” or shut down social media platforms. Such threats are not new to this president, who often threatens the media with regulations and legal actions, although one cannot help but see a paradox. Trump usually does not follow through on his destructive threats to hinder speech – but follow through on his promises to cram a trial full of judges who have respect for the First Amendment.

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People expect the judges to impose their latest executive order aimed at removing the protection of the responsibilities of social media companies.

Meanwhile, his opponents “saving democracy” routinely pressured technology companies to censor. Sadness over social media is based on the idea that the average American is too dim to wrestle with the chaos of unrestrained speech. Many leftists – those who want to institutionalize the doctrine of justice or cancel Citizens United – admit this openly when they declare that unregulated speech damages “democracy.”

Trump is the first president to take advantage of direct and instant access to millions of Americans. Whether this is useful for its purpose is debatable. Of course, we are blessed that the president’s policies and rhetoric are often interrupted.

Whatever the case, we have an entire industry ready to challenge the veracity of its statements. We don’t need Twitter to join the fact-checking game. Silicon Valley doesn’t have the resources, knowledge, or people to do it right.

Twitter: @DavidHarsanyi

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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