President Barack Obama appeared to suggest a form of censorship so as to address what he calls the current “wild-wild-west-of-information” media environment. He recalled the past when there were three major television networks to sift through news. He said that democracy requires citizens who can sift through lies and distortions. “We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,” Obama said in Pittsburgh recently. 
 
“There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world,” Obama added. “That is hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible,” he said. “The answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say ‘this is reliable’ and I’m still able to argue safely about facts and what we should do about it.
 
Reports in establishment media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the three major networks, have been challenged by independent media. Concerns have been raised by conservatives, for example, the sphere of social media is stacked against them. Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg met with some conservative media and leaders this year (e.g. Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, and Dana Perino) to answer questions about alleged suppression of conservative news. For example, when news broke over a story involving Planned Parenthood, Facebook linked to stories critical of the revelation rather than the alternative conservative websites that broke the story.
 
Also, Twitter has banned certain critics of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, including the controversial James O’Keefe and Milo Yiannopoulos.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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