Dude, she’s not running. How else to explain this from a woman who has literally dozens of claims rated by PolitiFact — not exactly a bastion of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” — as either “mostly false” or worse? Give Hillary Clinton credit for arguing against personal interests, I guess (via Twitchy):
Facebook's decision to allow false information in political advertisements is appalling.
Voters are being confronted by millions of pieces of misinformation.
A world where up is down and down is up is a world where democracy can't thrive.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 30, 2019
Speaking of voters being confronted by misinformation, it’s useful to review the most recent ratings from PolitiFact on Hillary’s claims. In March of this year, she claimed that she lost Wisconsin in 2016 because … she forgot to show up there? Not exactly:
“I was the first person who ran for president without the protection of the Voting Rights Act. I’ll tell you, it makes a really big difference. And it doesn’t just make a difference in Alabama and Georgia. It made a difference in Wisconsin, where the best studies that have been done said somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people were turned away from the polls because of the color of their skin, because of their age, because of whatever excuse could be made up to stop a fellow American citizen from voting.”
That one also earned four Pinocchios from the Washington Post as well as a Pants On Fire rating at PolitiFact. For one thing, Wisconsin wasn’t covered under the special provisions of the Civil Rights Act, which meant that the Supreme Court decision had no impact in that state. That’s one of many problems with that claim, so be sure to read them all.
The most recent rating given by PolitiFact applied to this bon mot about Wisconsin, delivered last month, in which the numbers changed but the falsehoods stayed the same:
“Experts estimate that anywhere from 27,000 to 200,000 Wisconsin citizen voters, predominantly in Milwaukee, were turned away from the polls,” Clinton said. “That’s a lot of potential voters. They showed up, but maybe they didn’t have the correct form of identification. Maybe the name on their driver’s license included a middle name or an initial that wasn’t on their voter registration. But officials made every excuse in the book to prevent certain people from voting in that election.”
That’s a lot of people to be “turned away” from polling places.
So let’s recap this. Again.
Spoiler alert: Clinton’s numbers still aren’t anywhere close to accurate.
That also got Hillary a Pants on Fire rating. When it comes to misleading voters and promoting misinformation, Facebook has nothing on Hillary Clinton, even when she’s not running for office. We haven’t even dug into the 73 other Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire ratings she’s collected over the years.
Hillary’s ire in this case is directed at Facebook’s decision not to edit or vet paid political advertisements from established candidates and parties, which seems rather … sensible. Facebook is a medium for advertising, not a generator of it. If this was a case of Facebook creating and then running its own misleading advertising or news articles, then the criticisms might have merit, but in this case Facebook is acting pretty much as most media outlets do in handling advertising. They let voters assess credibility rather than attempt to regulate and censor political messaging.
As Campbell Brown — who now runs Facebook News — pointed out on Twitter, that’s actually an FCC position for broadcasters, too:
Dick, as I am sure you know the FCC requires broadcasters like my former network NBC to run ads by politicians true or false. We have the same standard. https://t.co/rjH7kfSBHv
— Campbell Brown (@campbell_brown) October 30, 2019
The Wall Street Journal sees the political pressure on Facebook to act as censor and concludes that it’s an attempt to silence opposition to the progressive agenda:
No, the scandal is that Mr. Zuckerberg said two weeks ago that Facebook is committed to supporting free expression. Most scandalously he said his company, like broadcast stations, won’t fact-check candidate election ads. Instead it will allow disputed claims to be debated by the public and press in America’s democratic tradition. …
The media anger about Mr. Zuckerberg’s free-speech policy is especially odd. Shouldn’t reporters want to know what candidates are saying so they can dissect and report on it?
Instead journalists are offering sophisticated-sounding arguments for why political speech should be controlled by tech companies. One popular argument is that Facebook’s algorithm rewards appeals to emotion so legitimate debate can’t take place. Yet political advocacy in the U.S. has always included emotional appeals. If Facebook’s algorithms favor polarizing content, that’s a separate debate.
Others resent the way the platform has upended news delivery in a way that takes power from the press. “The news media have traditionally borne the responsibility for insuring that the actual purpose of the First Amendment is fulfilled,” said the New Yorker. It’s an unfortunate conceit of some in the media that they ought to have a monopoly on free expression to the exclusion of ordinary people and their elected representatives.
It’s a bizarre argument against free expression and debate by people whose livelihoods depend on it. Having Hillary champion that argument is even more bizarre, especially with her latest iteration of conspiracy theorizing over which presidential candidates are Russian sleeper agents. Of all the potential poster people for this argument, Hillary is the worst … and therefore the best for a truly horrid position.