By Aaron Kesel
Mozilla, the non-profit organization which runs the Firefox internet browser, said Wednesday it was launching an effort against “fake news,” as fact-checking software backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and George Soros got its first run-out in public to shape our Orwellian nightmare of future truth arbiters.
Mozilla said it was “investing in people, programs and projects” in a new initiative to “disrupt misinformation online” calling for a “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative,” or MITI for short, Business Insider reported.
They further stated the “internet’s ability to power democratic society suffers greatly” because of fabricated stories, such as the “Pope endorsing Donald Trump for the U.S. presidency” or a “dead FBI agent killed in a mysterious fire with information on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton” – just two examples of stories that turned out to be bogus.
Mozilla’s innovations director, Katharina Borchert, told AFP that the organization was working on tools for Firefox and better online education with media groups, universities, and tech activists.
The “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative” comes just as an automated real-time fact-checking engine dubbed the “bullshit detector” was demonstrated in London.
The group that created the fact-checking engine, Full Fact foundation, is backed by Omidyar and our favorite billionaire tycoon Soros.
The organization stated its software is “capable” of spotting lies in real-time and was used to fact-check a live debate at the House of Commons. How that objective was achieved isn’t clear since it’s likely automated A.I., but algorithms are not 100% accurate.
“As the proponents of propaganda and misinformation become more sophisticated in their use of technology, it is important that fact checkers do not fall behind in our fight against it,” Full Fact said.
“This is an important investment in the future of fact-checking,” Stephen King, of the Omidyar Network, told The Guardian.
“You only have to look at the number of initiatives that have risen up to address this challenge, either by tech companies or other organizations to see how worrying this phenomenon is to so many,” Borchert added.
I worry more about those who want to act as fact checkers, blatantly ignoring propaganda and fake news by the MSM while targeting alternative media and dictating what is and isn’t important for public consumption.
“Whether it’s become a big enough priority is perhaps a better question,” Borchert said, arguing that it was time for rival news organizations to “rally around” each other to confront the spread of fake news.
Then you have Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, planning to launch a crowd-funded news service called Wikitribune to help combat fake news.
So you have all these people, some of whom have even once advocated for a free and open Internet, now advocating for controlling the flow of information under the moniker of “fake news.”
How about all the fake news spread by the CIA and intelligence services called planted propaganda usually for pushing war? Especially as a new report questions the veracity of claims made by a shady firm Cloudstrike that “Russia hacked the election” – how about that fake news?
Putting the future of what we believe in anyone’s hands, let alone artificial intelligence, seems reckless; but a system backed by Soros and Omidyar seems like a dangerously stupid idea that can only lead to a path paved toward Orwellian censorship the likes of which even George Orwell couldn’t have imagined.