The federal government has spent almost $1 million to analyze your political speech on Twitter.
The money was given to researchers at Indiana University through a National Science Foundation grant for a project known as “Truthy.”
The project name derives from a term coined by liberal television personality Stephen Colbert – and that’s not the only liberal thing about it, according to The Washington Post.
Truthy uses a “sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex network models” to “to detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution” on the web, according to the project’s website.
In other words, in true liberal fashion, the project’s researchers have established themselves as the arbiters of what constitutes “social pollution” as opposed to valid or worthwhile social media communication.
In case their intentions were not clear enough, the project’s grant application abstract also explains that the results of their study could “mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”
The only problem with this claim, of course, is that in order to “assist in the preservation of open debate,” the team must first define which ideas are “false and misleading,” what constitutes “hate speech,” and how to distinguish “subversive propaganda” from mere puffery.
Funny … isn’t that what open debate is supposed to do?
The actual intention of the project is clear. As the new media replaces traditional forms of news dissemination, the federal government has increasing lost its ability to decide what “truths” are acceptable for the American people to consume. Truthy is nothing more or less than a thinly veiled attempt by the feds to reassert control.
How thinly veiled? The Truthy project’s leaders wrote in 2012 of a “highly-active, densely-interconnected constituency of right-leaning users using [Twitter] to further their political views,” The Post reported.
If that veil were any thinner, it would be an Olsen twin.
The Founders enshrined freedom of speech in the First Amendment to prevent the government from doing just this — becoming to sole arbiter of truth. It is not the government’s job to decide what is or is not accurate or fit information for public consumption.
The Founders intentionally and explicitly left that role to We, The People, to be accomplished through robust public debate, unfettered by government intervention.
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