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    • Today, I wanted to respond to a twitter tweet which I think contains words which are historically and factually incorrect.

      Twitter would not let me comment on the original tweet but it stated that I could "retweet."

      When I attempted to do so, twitter put up a message which prevented the retweet until I clicked another link indicating that I stll wanted to retweet.

      When I posted my refutation of the tweet which I quoted, twitter will not display the tweet that I am refuting until someone clicks "view."

      I am not motivated by a desire to spread the misinformation but by a desire to refute it. Twitter's approach to this situation is irritating to me and in my opinion the wrong way to deal with misinformation. I would appreciate reading responses with regards to twitter's policy both from those who think twitter's method is graceful and from those who think that it is clumsy and klutzy.

      I am not soliciting a discussion of my tweet on this platform, if you desire to respond to my tweet please do so on twitter.

    • I actually appreciate Twitter not allowing the misinformation to be visible. When I see (for instance) a TV commentator who disagrees with something the president has said, and then runs a clip of the president saying it, I cringe. Not an effective way to disagree.

      When refuting, I assume you have read the tweet you are retweeting and you are making your point. I don’t have to see the original tweet to understand your point, do I?

      If I really need to know what is in the retweet, you could briefly summarize the content before writing your response: “xxx says zzz??? This is just plain wrong blah, blah, blah...”

      Or am I in the minority here?

    • Lidja,

      I have often found when looking up the source of a reported statement that the one making the report had been unfair in the way that they phrased their report. This has been true regardless of where the original speaker or writer might be positioned on the political spectrum. It would be possible for you to assess the accuracy of the historocity of my statement without looking at the original but you would be unable to know whether I am misrepresenting the original speaker or writer unless I give a link to that person.

      There have been times when I misunderstood someone and misrepresented them not due to a desire to misrepresent but rather due to having misunderstood what they were saying.

      I am a teacher of the Bible. I tell those who listen to my teaching that although the scriptures are infallible yet my own perception of the scriptures is fallible. In fact, I have found numerous places in the Bible where my perception of the passage 40 years ago was wrong. Thus, I urge those I teach to examine the original text and context for themselves because I might misunderstand.

    • I understand, and I, too, am a big believer in the value of the primary source. However, I’m not sure it’s a reasonable expectation to share the primary source verbatim (which has been deemed false already) on a platform like Twitter. Something to think about...

    • You and I deem it false but that in and of itself does not make it false.

      Although I believe that the points that I raised falsify the claim made in the original tweet, yet another person might raise a different set of points which nullifies the effectiveness of my points.

      One of the biggest problems which exists in the USA today is a sense of "self righteousness." I do not use this term in its religious sense because there are some who are anti-religious and ardent atheists who are just as "self righteous". Whenever any of us think that I am right because I am right, we become closed-minded and bigoted towards those who disagree with us.

      To quote a statement from over 2500 years ago:

      "He that pleads his cause first — just; But his neighbor comes and searches him out."

    • You and I deem it false but that in and of itself does not make it false.


      Watch out - don’t get sucked into the tendency toward relativism. There are still facts. There is still truth. The misinformation contained in that masked tweet is not a fact and it is not truth. It doesn’t matter what you or I say about it. It is false.

    • I’m not a Twitter user and I get your frustration. I would say that conversations about tweets - even if against it - promote them. The fewer responses the less it grows or spreads. Of course I’m speaking of social media posts in general and as mentioned I’m not familiar with Twitter.

      Do you have a better idea of how they should do this? Have you wondered why they’ve chosen to do it this way? There’s likely a good reason though that doesn’t mean they’re doing it effectively.

    • I tried to send a link in a DM on twitter the other day to a friend and was not allowed to do so.

      Being the arbitor of truth and fact is one thing but disalowing personal communication?

    • Just speculating here but allowing people to share links to misinformation is more likely to spread the misinformation than not. Could that be why it didn’t work or you weren’t allowed?

    • Short comment on you or them thinking it false doesn’t make it so. Twitter must have done a fact check and deemed it false or misleading so your belief became irrelevant. Just wondering if maybe that is the case sometimes.

    • This gets into really tough territory. Who decided what is misinformation?

      Not only that but there are ways around sending links that makes the policing of them childish.

      There needs to be liability for this attempt to quash free speech.

    • The First Amendment does not protect speakers, however, against private individuals or organizations, such as private employers, private colleges, or private landowners. The First Amendment restrains only the government.

      It's nice to believe that nobody can tell you what you can and cannot say in any capacity, but it simply isn't true. As far as I know, non-government organizations can censor things pretty much any way they want, really. There may be backlash from others, but it isn't illegal in the current state of the US constitution.

    • This is where I stand too. The other day at a rally as Trump railed against masks to his mostly maskless crowd, he said something so provocative it was sure to go viral with even the fact checkers repeating it, thus making it seen by 100 million people maybe (?). Against my better instincts, for the sake of this thread, I will repeat it too:

      "In California, you have a special mask. You cannot, under any circumstances, take it off. You have to eat through the mask. And they don't realize those germs, they go through it like nothing."

      The problem is, millions of the 100 million (?) people who heard that repeated on Fox, CNN, Facebook, etc., believed it as some of my Utah family did. And it allowed thousands (?) of people to express their opinions on whether it was true or not, amplifying it even more.

      Twitter is simply trying to prevent mass harm.

    • This gets into really tough territory. Who decided what is misinformation?

      This is the Kellyanne Conway approach to life.

      Ironically, this attitude is exactly what turned society toward science—a search for absolute truths. And now we have a segment of society that rejects and resents the truths that science has uncovered/discovered.

    • There needs to be liability for this attempt to quash free speech.

      Hey Dan,

      As someone who is involved in three social media sites (Cake, ADVRider, and Flickr) I can’t even begin to describe how enormous a challenge it is. Do we allow malicious links that will hijack your computer because free speech? Spam? Links to child porn? Beheadings? Threats of violence?

      If we block any of those, people routinely scream that we squash free speech and threaten us.

    • Once again I think it is pretty black and white.
      Illegal behaviour out. Free speech in. Hate speech is a tough one. I believe manners and decorum should prevail. So frothing are the mouth vitriol with hate? No bad, spam bad. Beheadings No! Cops shooting anyone no. Some of this is not free speech and it incites rather than informs.

      Bias especially political bias is bad most political speech is harmless unless it becomes hateful. Disagreeing politely with someone is not hateful.

      The more information the better!

    • I would disagree and say that it is absolutely Twitter and every other responsible organisations job, to prevent the spread of dangerous non-factual information masquerading as fact.

      Opinion is opinion and I would absolutely defend the right to free speech no matter how strongly I agreed or disagreed with a certain opinion. Everybody is free to think and to express those thoughts.

      Fact is something else though, there are no 'alternative facts' unless you live in an alternative dimension, they are things that can be easily checked and substantiated or disproved.

      Should Twitter or anyone else be policing opinions? No, absolutely not.

      Do they have a right to check and police what is shared as fact on their network? Yes, they absolutely do.

    • I don’t think more information is better when the information makes the reader less informed, turned away from well established ‘truths’ and spreads more falsehoods particularly when they undermine a democracy. To have a thriving democracy you need to be able to agree on some facts or at least approximations of it. Yes it’s a line in the sand but it should be drawn and enforced. This whole conversation reminds me of kids wanting to swear in my classroom and say it’s freedom of speech.

    • Disagreeing politely with someone is not hateful.

      The more information the better!


      I read the editors’ comments and they “politely disagreed” with the founder. They tried to point out that the article he wanted to publish seemed to be on shaky ground—the things he wanted to talk about in his article were unproven, and there seemed to be a selfish motive on the part of those who were throwing unsubstantiated conclusions out there that they wanted others to pick up on and run with. (A common tactic of conspiracy theorists).

      Perhaps the issue here is the definition of “information.” To one person, “information” is defined by its relationship to fact. To another person, “information” is defined by its relationship to a particular circumstance. Both definitions are correct, but they are both entirely different!

    • It opens twitter to liability.

      I agree. I learned it the hard way when I started ADVrider and when we didn't take some things down, we almost got sued into oblivia. The Secret Service even called my home. You learn fast to err on the side of taking it down.

      Some people really really really want to post child porn, for example, and they are convinced it is their right. But Hell hath no fury like moms when they discover children in suggestive poses on your servers. Rightfully so.

    • I hope and pray that protecting our children from predators really sinks in as the right thing to do.

      From conception to adulthood it is in societys interest to protect children.

      Evil exists.