Democracy itself is on the line here.
If ordinary people are allowed to use the internet to generate their own content, critique the political establishment, talk to each other, fundraise, network, organize, build a consensus and even vote without the supervision of corporate moderators and hall monitors to control their conversations, well, they might decide that they have had enough of living under a bunch of worthless oligarchs and the charade offered to them on television.
“Clinton speaks to the Guardian via Zoom from her home in Chappaqua, New York, in an interview to mark the newspaper’s bicentenary this month. “I think the Guardian has been a great exemplar of press freedom for 200 years,” she says. …
The traditional the-truth-is-somewhere-in-the-middle approach will no longer do, Clinton argues.
“They’ve got to rid themselves of both-sidesism,” she says. “It is not the same to say something critical of somebody on the other side of the aisle and to instigate an attack on the Capitol and to vote against certifying the election. Those are not comparable, and it goes back to the problem of the press actually coming to grips with how out of bounds and dangerous the new political philosophy on the right happens to be.”
The press cannot be expected to restore a common baseline of truth on its own, however.
“The technology platforms are so much more powerful than any organ of the so-called mainstream press, and I do think that there has to be not just an American reckoning but a global reckoning with the disinformation, with the monopolistic power and control, with the lack of accountability that the platforms currently enjoy,” Clinton said.
She added: “In particular Facebook, which has the worst track record for enabling mistruths, misinformation, extremism, conspiracy, for goodness’ sake, even genocide in Myanmar against the Rohingya. So governments are going to have to decide right now that the platforms have to be held to some kind of standard, and it’s tricky.” …
“On the other hand, the mainstream press had a very hard time coming to grips with the mendacity and the danger posed by Trump and his enablers and followers.
“It was very difficult. I understand the challenge that they faced. I think they were too slow in coming around to understanding that this was not an ordinary difference of opinion, this was not a different kind of leader in degree. This was a wholesale jettisoning of what we had come to understand as being appropriate boundaries for our leaders to operate within.” …”
PMCs must have the sole power to have the views of their social class amplified to the masses on cable television and social media. They have to preserve their monopoly on constructing our shared reality and narrative as was the case in the passing phase that was the film and television era.
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