In a recent Periscope livestream, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden discussed the topic of “fake news” as supposedly helping to sway the U.S. presidential election with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Snowden said that the solution to “fake news” was not censorship, but rather critical thinking.
This discussion comes after Facebook announced that it would be partnering with ABC News, Politifact and Snopes to assist with the debunking and labelling of so-called “fake news” stories on their social networking platform.
“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee but rather because we as participants, we as citizens, we as users of these services help each other,” Snowden said. “The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular.”
Snowden made no mention of whether or not he believed the claims—pushed by the likes of Hillary Clinton and her supporters—that “fake news” had swung the election in Donald Trump’s favor, but rather pointed out the dangers of companies using terms such as “fake news” to censor content with which they disagreed.
Snowden stated that rather than waiting for gatekeepers to define what is and is not “fake news,” people should be encouraged to participate in an open dialogue with one another and point out facts based upon proven data.
You can watch a replay of Snowden’s full interview with Jack Dorsey here.