Kinzen's Weekly Wrap - April 30, 2021

The growth of the QAnon movement may have stalled since the Great Deplatforming, but they haven’t gone away you know. 

All week, QAnon supporters have been obsessed by the audit of electoral votes in Arizona. It’s been all over their message boards and chat rooms. On Telegram, some of them have set up dedicated live feeds to monitor the count. They are in constant communication, trying to act as detectives and investigators uncovering what they allege is corruption.

One of the claims they circulated was that 250,000 votes were found to be fraudulent. This, they hope, is the beginning of the turning of the tide. Slowly but surely, they reason, Biden’s victory in Arizona will be undone, leading to various other overturned states. In time, Trump’s resumption of the presidency will finally be complete. 

The only problem is that 250,000 votes were not found to be fraudulent. (Read more from Politifact or Lead Stories.) There’s simply no evidence for such claims.

If nothing else their passion is impressive; if only it could be used as a force for facts rather falsehood. 


Recommended Articles: From the Kinzen Slack channels this week

WIRED. On Social Media, American-Style Free Speech Is Dead

This interview reflects on a recent research paper by legal scholar Evelyn Douek, where she argued that COVID has utterly ended any theoretical conception that platforms should not moderate content. She also talks about how we need to move away from binary take down / leave up conversations: "Things like labels, introducing friction, fact checking; things like warning screens, trying to promote counter speech. I think that that’s a more promising way to go". 

Iffy.news. Mainstream media funds fake news

This report argues that major news outlets are helping to boost ad revenues at disinformation sites. As noted in the piece, First Draft raised this issue years ago, back in 2016. They’re not arguing that publishers never link; of course it’s good to show transparency and point to the original source of your topic. They suggest a link policy based on using intermediate tools like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

India Today. Man sends SOS for oxygen for grandfather, UP police books him for spreading rumours

This is exactly the fear with over-regulation of disinformation; we could end up with perfectly legitimate speech leading to imprisonment.