Last night after the “celebration” portion of the convention, when the camera was panning over the red, white, and blue balloons on the convention floor, did anyone else happen to hear Wolf Blitzer, the august host of CNN’s The Situation Room, suddenly say, “Wow, that’s a lot of balloons”? Which he followed with: “I bet someone would like to stomp all over those balloons.” Anderson Cooper quickly changed the subject, but we couldn’t let it go: A strange, sepia-toned reel started playing in our minds: young Wolf at 3 years old, clad in a dirndl, popping a big red balloon given to him by his Polish mother; Wolf at 8, joyfully popping bubble wrap with his siblings in his home in Buffalo, New York; and then Wolf, late last night, walking onto the convention floor, glancing over each shoulder, and then stomping, gleefully, onto a balloon. Then, looking around once more and striding out, whistling happily. We really hope he got to do it.
[Facebook’s rationale for leaving up the Pelosi video] is ridiculous. The only thing the incident shows is how expert Facebook has become at blurring the lines between simple mistakes and deliberate deception, thereby abrogating its responsibility as the key distributor of news on the planet.
Would a broadcast network air this? Never. Would a newspaper publish it? Not without serious repercussions. Would a marketing campaign like this ever pass muster? False advertising.
No other media could get away with spreading anything like this because they lack the immunity protection that Facebook and other tech companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 was intended to spur innovation and encourage start-ups. Now it’s a shield to protect behemoths from any sensible rules. …
By conflating censorship with the responsible maintenance of its platforms, and by providing “rules” that are really just capricious decisions by a small coterie of the rich and powerful, Facebook and others have created a free-for-all with no consistent philosophy.