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Arrow Boston University prof suggests TAXING fake news - 06-14-2019, 12:57 PM

The liberal media would have imploded by now if it were taxed starting when Trump started his campaign.

EXCLUSIVE: Boston University prof suggests TAXING fake news

A Boston University business professor has a novel way of addressing "fake news."

Marshall Van Alstyne said that "what you’re doing is you’re taxing the damage. You’re
not taxing the speech.”

Campus Reform spoke with him further.




A Boston University professor is suggesting tackling the problem of fake news by taxing it.

BU business professor Marshall Van Alstyne advocated the approach in a recent BU news release, expanding on the concept in an interview with Campus Reform. Van Alstyne says it is important to note that he does not want the censoring of free speech, but rather an accountability system for harmful fake news.

"You’re taxing the damage. You’re not taxing the speech"
“You could sample messages, find out some proportion of false and damning information, and then tax in proportion to the damage that’s being done,” Van Alstyne told BU. “What you’re doing is you’re taxing the damage. You’re not taxing the speech.”

“The simplest definition [of fake news] is information that causes harm at scale,” he said, suggesting that it may have cropped up in the 2016 presidential election and Brexit.

“[The point is] to recognize disinformation as a form of pollution in your news feed just like carbon monoxide in your air supply or dioxin in your water stream,” the professor explained to Campus Reform. “Social media platforms effectively pick up and amplify anything that generates engagement, regardless of whether this creates happiness or harm.”

Van Alstyne emphasized that he does not want to regulate free speech, but instead the consequences of it.

“The tradeoffs are difficult to balance on both sides,” he told Campus Reform. “The extremes are easy: On one hand, we don't allow outright lies about products or people’s character, and on the other hand, we must promote free speech even of unpopular opinions -- abolishing slavery and promoting women's suffrage were once unpopular. The middle ground is hard and mechanisms that police speech must be applied very delicately and with great caution.”

Though the term “fake news” has become more popular with recent political climates, Van Alstyne noted that it is not a new problem, referencing World War II as a time where fake news was used to spread wrong information to opponents’ enemies.

He said that the modern iteration of fake news has two new features.

“First, it's possible for one partisan to ‘whisper’ salacious claims to large audiences in ways that are almost invisible to third parties affected by those claims. This was much harder with broadcast TV or radio,” Van Alstyne told Campus Reform. “Second, unlike traditional media that hired journalists...modern platforms do not create the content they distribute….Platforms, both by law and by design, largely absolve themselves of responsibility for content even as their algorithms choose what to censor and what to amplify.”

To solve the problem, Van Alstyne suggests looking at foreign governments.

“Apply the penalty narrowly to misinformation spread by foreign governments,” the professor told Campus Reform. “They don’t have a citizen’s right to speak and shouldn’t be meddling in our elections anyway. Such a narrow intervention would reduce disinformation from foreign adversaries but have no effect on citizens themselves. Neither left nor right-leaning citizens would be affected. Yet, it would alter platforms' incentives to use such information to foster engagement.”

Van Alstyne told Campus Reform that he does not want his views to be assumed as leaning left or right because he is a professor or lives in Massachusetts, but that he is “deeply committed to finding the truth, regardless of the voice that happens to speak it.”


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06-14-2019, 01:33 PM

There's no way CNN will allow this to happen. They're already suffering financially from having such awful ratings.
Add this tax to their load and they'll be out of business in a week.


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06-14-2019, 01:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
There's no way CNN will allow this to happen. They're already suffering financially from having such awful ratings.
Add this tax to their load and they'll be out of business in a week.
And once Yahoo news shriveled up.
Robin would have no sources left.


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06-14-2019, 05:29 PM

Whatever its merits, it is clearly a non-starter because it cannot be implemented, and selection criteria would be impossible to determine.

Back in the Founders' time, the mass media was privately owned newspapers (some pamphleteering also, I guess), which routinely published scurrilous libels, targeted at whomever the owners opposed.

Thomas Jefferson was well acquainted with how the press of his time misbehaved, and he still said this:

Quote:
The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.
"Jefferson writes from Paris to Edward Carrington, whom Jefferson sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788, on the importance of a free press to keep government in check."


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06-14-2019, 05:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofla View Post
Whatever its merits, it is clearly a non-starter because it cannot be implemented, and selection criteria would be impossible to determine.

Back in the Founders' time, the mass media was privately owned newspapers (some pamphleteering also, I guess), which routinely published scurrilous libels, targeted at whomever the owners opposed.

Thomas Jefferson was well acquainted with how the press of his time misbehaved, and he still said this:



"Jefferson writes from Paris to Edward Carrington, whom Jefferson sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788, on the importance of a free press to keep government in check."
It's a good thing you are worth 10 figures.

Just sayin'....you can afford the tax.




In order to continue advancing their illogical arguments modern liberals have to pretend not to know things…
  
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06-15-2019, 04:41 AM

Well it start a tax war against the opposition every time the White House switched parties.


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