A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. - James Dent
Question #93261 posted on 08/09/2020 8:08 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you prefer to see misinformation (plandemic/frontline people) left up, or should it be taken down?

-My Name Here


Dear "Or Is It?",

I would say that if it is blatant misinformation made to lie, manipulate, or misrepresent facts, it should be taken down. This video is pretty representative of my beliefs, if you're interested in knowing more.

When you're dealing with mistakes that can be learned from (such as cultural biases), there is merit leaving things up to remember and learn from mistakes. See: Warner Brothers not removing their racists or otherwise inappropriate shows, but showing remorse for it (and then later Disney+, both cited there, though I think WB does a better job). It's not that these are blatantly trying to lie; it is that when it was made, those were the largely held beliefs at the time, and creators were doing their best with what they had. For misinformation, take it down. The sooner the better.



Dear friend, 

On days where I have actual faith in humanity (it's been a while since I had one of these days), I would say that I believe 100% in free speech and therefore misinformation shouldn't be censored. Any false information should be left up, because whoever makes it has the freedom to publish it, and people are responsible to use their brains to evaluate the validity of the information for themselves. 

Here's the problem. I don't have confidence in the critical thinking skills of the general American public. Too many people believe every word that comes from the Twitter feed of a man with decades of documented fraud, lies, corruption, and generally questionable conduct, rather than listening to thousands of experts who have dedicated their lives to education and scientific pursuit of knowledge and don't have a single good reason to lie to you, and definitely don't have some collective conspiracy lined up. I trust a doctor who went to 8 years of medical school because she wanted to save lives a lot more than I trust a wealthy reality TV star turned politician. Why is this not common sense? 

So, while I think people should be entitled to their own opinions and are responsible to seek information for themselves, I also think that it's dangerous to have misinformation floating around that could ultimately lead to poor decision making and potential harm toward others. Of course, "fake facts" can be found pretty much anywhere (I mean, it's not like we can just censor Fox News, and people believed the hydroxychloroquine video MORE once it got taken down because it supported their beliefs about conspiracies) but I do believe that putting "Hey, this has been fact-checked and seems to be false" warnings on things is probably wise. At the very least, it makes people think twice before they just accept what they're seeing. Having sources attached to fact-checked information would be even better. 

And, because this question made me think of it, here's one of my favorite moments from Parks and Rec, which just seems to feel more true every day:

underestimate the voters.jpg (source)