Friday, December 21, 2018

Misinformation on Twitter

Fri, Dec 21, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Misinformation on Twitter

Misinformation on Twitter

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  December 21, 2018 at 5:00 am
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  • Lying to the FBI is not a crime if the lie is not material.
  • "[18 U.S. Code §] 1001 explicitly requires that the lie must be material. The statute (a2) reads '...makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation;'" — Alan M. Dershowitz, on Twitter.
  • If Twitter users wish to spread stories as pseudo-reporters, they must also fact-check what they publish. If they do not, they become complicit in the spreading of disinformation.
(Image source: Fox News video screenshot)
Controversy over the responsibility Twitter has in policing its users has been at the forefront of our national discourse. There is also a role for individuals to play in propagating fair and accurate stories on this platform. On Twitter, information seems to spread at lightning speed and "news" stories have a way of taking on a life of their own. Twitter undoubtably has some virtue -- I myself am a frequent user. It is a forum where otherwise disparate people can communicate quickly and information can be democratized. However, Twitter all too frequently can be used to deceive and mislead.
On Twitter, I am often the target of misleading news stories based on out of context or truncated quotes as well as outright lies. My recent commentary on Michael Flynn's lying to the FBI is a perfect example of just that. On December 17, I was interviewed by Bill Hemmer and was asked about the repercussions of Flynn lying to the FBI. I first responded by stating:
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I have always thought Dershowitz to be nearly far left wing, at least left wing. For some reason recently he has been making a lot of sense. He sees what is occurring and even he cannot countenance. I am surprised.