If you watched yesterday’s senate judiciary hearings with CEOs from Twitter and Facebook, two things would have stuck out to you. First, why is Jack Dorsey addressing the senate from the kitchen department at an IKEA? Second, how did a judiciary hearing about misinformation campaigns somehow turn into a misinformation campaign itself? At the heart of this hearing were social media companies making tools and information available to users to combat misinformation through the use of labels and interstitials; why weren’t any senators interested in examining the facts surrounding such policies, I wonder? Rather, senators demonstrated an eye-rolling indifference to truth and instead took the opportunity to peddle their own conspiracy theories, including partisan bias and mind control by robber barons using project management software. The entire thing ended up one big partisan temper tantrum, and was an embarrassment to the American people, frankly.
Truth and facts – regardless of topic, have never been, and never will be a matter of partisan perspective, and anyone who tells you differently is a politician. Truth doesn’t work in reverse – it is impossible to start with a narrative, and then create facts to accommodate it, yet that’s how our terribly dysfunctional political system has worked for the past four years. One can only draw a perspective out of an interpretation of truth based on the facts, wherever they fall. Without accurate facts, narrative ends up where it is today – anything you want it to be, if you’re willing to torture truth to be what you wish it was. But facts don’t change just because you “believe” something different, and when genuine facts disagree with your narrative, you just look like an ass trying to wage war against it.
Alas, politicians aren’t known for operating in truth. Quite the contrary, politicians are known throughout history to excel at lying. Were this not true, there would be little need for fact checkers in this country. It was quite ironic to see the people doing the fact checking getting roasted by the very reason we need fact checking in the first place. What hubris must be, that those who govern by our consent should be the ones to lord over their watchers.