Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on the hot seat right now for flip-flopping on ethics regarding fake news on his multibillion-dollar social media platform.
On one hand, the company’s policy is to protect First Amendment Freedom of Speech at all costs, but when there is so much misinformation and flat-out lies spread around, they should have a responsibility to its users.
And a famous screenwriter just wrote a blistering piece about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the New York Times.
Aaron Sorkin is one of the most famous screen and television writers in Hollywood history. In fact, Sorkin’s name alone is worth marketing for a project, which is almost unheard of in the industry unless you’re a dual writer/director threat like Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson.
You probably know a lot of Sorkin’s work considering he’s been around for three decades.
He stormed onto the scene with his play “A Few Good Men” in the late 1980’s, which was adapted into a film in 1992 starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and a who’s who of supporting actors.
Sorkin created and wrote the short-lived and fantastic “Sports Night” television show. But it was writing every episode of the first four seasons of “The West Wing” that really solidified his career as one of the most prolific writers in Hollywood. Yes, of course, he’s a liberal.
But he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Social Network,” about the invention and rise of Facebook but particularly about how Zuckerberg went through contentious depositions after cheating partners out of his multibillion-dollar venture.
Zuckerberg appeared before Congress recently to discuss Facebook’s policies concerning political advertising campaigns and how it affects the company’s Free Speech in the face of bald-faced lies.
In his article, on one hand Sorkin shares Zuckerberg’s “deep belief” in Free Speech but also adds “this can’t possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children’s lives.”
Now, of course this comes from a liberal and is designed to be more pro-liberal and anti-conservative only pointing out the “demonstrably false” allegations that Hunter Biden saying, “Right now, on your website, is an ad claiming that Joe Biden gave the Ukrainian attorney general a billion dollars not to investigate his son.”
Sorkin added, “Every square inch of that is a lie and it’s under your logo. That’s not defending free speech, Mark, that’s assaulting truth.”
But what Sorkin fails to add is another meme that spread through Facebook like wildfire in 2016-17, which is a meme of Trump telling People Magazine in 1998, “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”
Except, he never said that. That is demonstrably false and yet millions of liberals shared and fell for it just like the implications Sorkin alludes to in his article. Why not be fair on both sides, Sorkin?
Sorkin also noted that over “40% of Americans said they got news from Facebook.”
He’s right. That is dangerous and they should have journalistic ethics if that’s the case. It’s their responsibility to do so.
Facebook needs to have a higher responsibility of ethics, but while Sorkin only points to misinformation about liberal politics, he neglects to say it happens on both sides, which is obviously true.