CNN’s Stelter Proposes Model to Crack Down on Spread of Disinformation: ‘Reducing a Liar’s Reach Is Not the Same as Censoring’


CNN’s Brian Stelter made the argument that censorship is not the same thing as taking action to reduce the spread of disinformation through public discourse.

Stelter led his Sunday monologue for Reliable Sources by ridiculing conservatives and Fox News pundits who’ve been pushing “dishonest cries of censorship” in recent weeks. After ripping Tucker Carlson and saying it’s “patently false” that CNN is “trying to force Fox News off the air,” Stelter called it “predictable as the sunrise — Democrats win elections and then Republicans say they are being silenced.”

There has been a big media debate about censorship and “cancel culture” recently, following coverage from CNN, the Washington Post, and others critical of outlets like Fox News following the storming of the Capitol. Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal editorial board denounced media outlets “devoted to shutting down the commercial lifeline of other media.”

“While some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this: a harm reduction model,” Stelter proposed.

From there, Stelter moved on to the expanded efforts big tech companies have taken lately to reduce disinformation on social media platforms.

“Do these private companies have too much power? Sure, and many people would say ‘yes of course,'” Stelter said. “But reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach. And algorithmic reach is part of the problem.”

“It is impossible to make all those lies go away, but they can be reduced,” Stelter mused. He then went back to slamming “apocalyptic” narratives in right-wing media.

“These need to be nuanced conversations. This is complicated, but harm reduction is possible. Harm reduction is possible by adding more news and less opinion to the content.”

Watch above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: