Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse of the Day - Matthew 19:19
- Facebook's very bad week
- Facebook hit with worst service outage ever, as stocks tumble
- DC Statehood
- Nightmarish story out of Pittsburgh
- In MORE Facebook news...John Stossel sues Facebook
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Facebook's very bad week
By Mike Huckabee
Facebook is having one of its worst weeks ever, and that has some people absolutely delighted.
It kicked off Sunday when “Sixty Minutes” interviewed Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who exposed thousands of pages of internal documents. They showed that people inside Facebook were complaining about how it allows misinformation, incitements of violence and hate speech to spread, and that they were aware that Instagram is harmful to users, particularly girls, but are pushing to introduce a version aimed at children anyway. Here’s that interview on YouTube:
It’s interesting, but notice how CBS illustrated every reference to “misinformation,” hate speech or violence by showing Trump supporters and repeating the ever-more-shaky claim that the January 6th Capitol violence was an “insurrection.” Note to “Sixty Minutes”: social media sites are also used by leftists to spread hate speech and to organize violence. Maybe you missed all the riots, looting, arson and attacks on citizens, police and government buildings and monuments last year by violent leftist radicals like Antifa, but some of us are old enough to remember way back to 2020.
It makes me wonder how much of this pious concern about Facebook’s internal post vetting and “fact-checking” is really just about the left not wanting people on the right to have free speech. After all, we’ve known since the First Amendment was written that some people would use it to express bad or incorrect ideas, but that would be fixed by challenging them with more free speech. I’m not ready to trade the free marketplace of ideas for a Facebook-created algorithm that decides who gets to speak.
Haugen will also be testifying to the Senate this morning, where she reportedly plans to accuse Facebook of tearing societies apart and compare it to big tobacco, and not just because Mark Zuckerberg has blown so much smoke in Congressional hearings.
Facebook hit with worst service outage ever, as stocks tumble
By Mike Huckabee
As Facebook’s cursed week rolled on, its stock took a deep dive on Monday, as did other tech stocks.
There were several reasons, but Facebook was hardest hit because it suffered its worst service outage ever. Its social media subsidiaries Instagram and What’s App were also out of service. For a while, not only could users not log on, but Facebook employees couldn’t access their email, and some reportedly couldn’t even get past the "smart" security systems to enter their offices. The sites were eventually restored after it was discovered to have been caused by a glitch in configuration changes that had a “cascading effect” on the way its data centers communicate. Whatever that means.
The positive news was how many people openly celebrated the welcome absence of Facebook, Instagram and What’s App from our lives, even if it was only for one blessed day. Some of them celebrated it on Twitter, not seeing the irony.
The Babylon Bee had a field day with headlines such as, “Hackers warn that if demands aren’t met, they will reactivate Facebook.” And “In major disaster for humanity, Facebook comes back online.” It’s funny because it’s true.
Years ago, “The Simpsons,” which has accurately predicted many things, like Trump becoming President, predicted what happened on Monday. You can see it here:
(Okay, technically, that was what happened when kids turned off the TV, but the results were the same.)
But in all seriousness, this outage did offer some valuable lessons, among them: we rely far too much on social media, which has some positives but a lot of negatives. Also, if it’s going to be part of our lives, then it’s a bad idea to rely on any one platform for our news or communications. We know how Facebook, Twitter and other giant platforms skew what we’re allowed to see and censor what we’re allowed to say. Then, because of their near monopolies, it’s a serious problem when they go down.
The best solution (short of government intervention that will not happen as long as Democrats are in charge and benefiting from the unfair slant) is diversification. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I’m also on as many other alternative platforms as possible, like Parler, and their numbers are growing. I also keep my own website, just in case.
The only advice I can give you is to have real friends, seek out reliable independent sources of information (like this newsletter), and live your life so that you wouldn’t miss Facebook or the others if they did go away. If enough people did that, their influence would dwindle and life might once again be as pleasant and peaceful as it was for a brief period on Monday.
By Mike Huckabee
Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court shattered one more liberal dream by rejecting an appeal of a lower court ruling that D.C. residents are not entitled to voting representation in Congress. That court cited a 2000 SCOTUS ruling that the Constitution does not require that DC must have a right to vote in Congress.
DC Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton expressed deep disappointment but insisted that this ruling "has no bearing on D.C. statehood, which would give D.C. residents not only voting representation in Congress but full control over their local affairs."
I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that it does. The same Constitution that the SCOTUS found does not require that DC have a vote in Congress also specifically states in Article 1, Section 8, that the nation’s capital will not be part of a state nor treated as a state, but in a neutral district under the sole authority of Congress, where the representatives of all states can meet on equal footing.
Since this case shows that the SCOTUS will look to the Constitution in deciding such issues, then how can it not suggest that they will bar DC statehood, just as the Constitution does?
Nightmarish story out of Pittsburgh
By Mike Huckabee
The University of Pittsburgh is under growing scrutiny over accusations that it’s using federal grants to conduct grotesque medical experiments involving tissues and organs harvested from electively-aborted babies.
I feel I should warn you that the story contains nightmarish, graphic descriptions of these experiments and of the abortion procedures used to obtain the body parts. Critics are comparing them to Nazi atrocities, although Frankenstein would also be an apt metaphor. It’s so horrific that nearly 100 Congress members have signed a letter to the Biden Administration demanding more information (for all the good that will do), and even an OB-GYN who supports abortion has raised alarms over it.
I’m torn because I think everyone needs to know about this, but I have to warn you that once you read it, you won’t be able to unknow it.
In MORE Facebook news...John Stossel sues Facebook
By Mike Huckabee
This week, all the 24/7 news channels could have a theme: “All Facebook, all the time!”
But in a week with so much dramatic Facebook news –- including a whistleblower on 60 MINUTES accusing them of exploiting hate and misinformation for profit and a crashing halt to their platform for six hours on Monday –- it might be just as important to focus on what some would see as a smaller story: the $2 million defamation lawsuit filed against the Big Tech behemoth by veteran investigative reporter John Stossel. You’ll know immediately whose side we’re on, as we’ve also had it up to HERE with so-called independent “fact”-checkers –- both the “official” ones who get paid to distort the truth and the pajama-clad partisans with nothing else to do but sit and snark. We applaud Stossel for refusing to take it.
Stossel has 19 Emmys to his name. He’s the former host of ABC’s 20/20, STOSSEL ON REASON, and his own show on FOX BUSINESS NEWS. He’s currently the creator and host of STOSSEL TV. He’s also the author of several bestselling books. And yet to put his reports on Facebook, even he has to gain the approval of partisan, agenda-driven gatekeepers.
He appeared Monday evening on FOX NEWS PRIMETIME with this week’s host Ben Domenech. Stossel’s problem with Facebook started when he posted a couple of videos about climate change and the California wildfires. Stossel says some “fact”-checkers from the team Climate Feedback, a spin-off of parent group Science Feedback, twisted his words so they could flag his posts as “misleading.” It’s incredibly easy to distort what somebody said so you can argue against THAT, rather than what they actually said. We’ve had to deal with that ourselves; in fact, it happened to us last week, with our story on the Maricopa County forensic audit report. So we were very interested in what Stossel had to say.
On his website, Stossel notes that Science/Climate Feedback uses Facebook to censor “lots of responsible people, such as science writers John Tierney, Michael Shellenberger and Bjorn Lomborg."
He explained to Domenech that the reason he’d left FOX NEWS was to do independent reports like the ones that had been posted to Facebook. “And I’m very careful about what I say,” he said. These “fact”-checkers, hired by the Poynter Institute, described by him as “a lefty group,” are so alarmed about climate change that they won’t allow anyone to even postulate, “Well, maybe we can adjust to this.” Stossel accuses them of actually manufacturing a misleading quote --- even putting quotation marks around it.
We thought it might be fun to look up the Poynter Institute and their International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), so we did and found their “Code Of Principles,” which include “A Commitment to Non-Partisanship and Fairness” and “A Commitment to Open and Honest Corrections.” Gosh, we love unintentional humor. Why, it looks as though John Stossel is accusing the “fact”-checkers of violating their own principles as stated right there on their own website. I wonder how well their “Code of Principles” would stand up to a fact-check.
Anyway, Stossel said the fakery was pointed out to the “fact”-checkers and also to Facebook but that it wasn’t taken down. “And that’s just lying about me,” he said. It didn’t matter –- reviewers labeled Stossel’s piece “FALSE.”
Stossel was able to get interviews with a couple of the reviewers and showed them the original video posts. (That’s rare, by the way; usually there’s no way to appeal these actions, and they don’t even tell you what they find objectionable.) The reviewers told him, “Oh, we never watched that.” So Stossel got “black marks” for something he never said and the reviewers hadn’t looked at.
What’s the significance of this? As Stossel explained, when you get two “black marks,” Facebook cuts off your views. In the case of Stossel’s climate videos, that’s 24 million. “Now, I don’t get anything like I used to,” he said. And, of course, that was exactly the idea, as the powers that be have no room for dissenting opinion. “...I’m being punished by these idiot ‘fact’-checkers,” he said.
In his lawsuit, Stossel claims the “fact”-checkers never actually challenged any facts in his videos, adding that their process “is nothing more than a pretext...to defame users with impunity, particularly when Defendants disagree with the scientific opinions expressed in user content.” He's saying what we’ve said for a long time: they’re not checking facts; they’re checking opinions. (In case you wondered, that's why we keep putting quotation marks around the word "fact.")
Stossel believes Facebook should, first off, fire Climate Feedback “because they are silencing a lot of good science reporters.” That activity does seem to be spreading these days, infecting social media like some kind of...well, virus.
Matt Agorist wrote about Stossel’s lawsuit for THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT.
Apparently TFTP has had a lot of trouble with this, too. As Agorist writes, “THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT knows this process all too well as we have a target on our backs and we have successfully refuted and overturned nearly every fact check from the outlets who respond to our appeals. But even after the fact check is reversed, the damage is done.” He explains that even when there is vindication, users are never notified of that.
This can happen to you, he says, even when your content is “100 percent factual.”
Agorist’s piece has more details about what Stossel said vs. what he was purported to say. The “fact"-checkers flagged Stossel’s content as “misleading” and --- our favorite --- “missing context.” Stossel alleges that what they did has ruined his business model after his “viewership plummeted,” and he also cites “reputational harm.”
According to Agorist, THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT had a similar experience with some perfectly accurate information they posted about COVID when their commentary was falsely linked to a conspiracy theory having to do with 5G wireless signals. TFTP had said nothing about 5G, but by creating that link out of thin air, "fact"-checkers were able to label the commentary “false.”
Facebook is reportedly standing by its “fact”-checkers regardless of their bias. They told VARIETY that they believe Stossel’s case is “without merit,” proclaiming, “We will defend ourselves vigorously against the allegations.”
Agorist mentions the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as just one example of social media “fact”-checking leading to censorship of accurate and potentially game-changing information. (I would add that according to one recent poll, 16 percent of Biden voters said they wouldn’t have voted for him if they’d known of his family’s dicey foreign business dealings.) You’d think that after they’d been proven so utterly wrong, "fact"-checkers wouldn’t be taken seriously any more, but they work in service to an agenda so the truth hardly matters.
We wish John Stossel well with his litigation. In fact, we’ll give him the last word, by linking to his website, where he gives his side and shows the videos that were flagged.