Government to track political speech on internet

This is a real headshaker that should send chills down your spine.

Washington Free Beacon:

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

"False and misleading ideas"? "Subversive propaganda"? Who's going to define those terms? What's "misleading"? What's "subversive"? Subversive to who? Or what?

There's a reason the First Amendment is so unambiguous. It's to keep tyrants like these people from inflicting their views on the rest of us and preventing others from freely expressing themselves.

It sounds like the perfect vehicle for left wing academics to "prove" what nasty, lying, hateful people conservatives are. It will be just one more weapon used by the left to savage the right.

The only thing this "service" will prevent is freedom of expression by putting a damper on those with controversial or fringe ideas. Will no one rid us of these meddlesome tyrants.


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