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August 27, 2014

Feds Spending $1,000,000 to Build Database to Track "False and Misleading Ideas" on the Internet

Via MKH, you might not be interested in government, but be certain, government is interested in you.

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track "misinformation" and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor "suspicious memes" and what it considers "false and misleading ideas," with a major focus on political activity online.

The "Truthy" database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to "detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution."

...

They're about to use a surprising word. That word is "subversive." In years past, "subversive" was a joke on the left -- they viewed the term as a fascist meme intended to delegitimize criticism of the state and essentially criminalize dissent.

In other words, they were against government attempts to suppress what it called "subversive speech."

How times change.

"This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate," the grant said.

Also note the Orwellian phraseology -- the government's monitoring of citizen political speech is supposed to "assist in the preservation of open debate."

Uh-huh.

I always know I'm engaging in "open debate" when I feel the hot breath of a government censor on the back of my neck.

This is scary, and the government should not be funding this. The government should have no truck with efforts to monitor the political speech of its subjects, I mean, I guess we're supposed to still call them "citizens."

If the university wants to cook up yet another "Rightwingers are all crazy liars" fake study, that's their business.

But the government should not be paying for this, and should not have an ownership interest in the fruits of monitoring citizen speech.


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posted by Ace at 12:15 PM

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