Monday, October 02, 2023

Perils of Policing ‘Disinformation’ When Your Right is to a Free Press

NewsGuard, a service that rates adherence to basic principles of good journalism, gives my employer, Reason magazine, its highest possible score. Yet the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a British organization that aims to steer advertisers away from disreputable websites, claims Reason is one of the 10 “riskiest” online news sources in the United States.

The stark contrast between those two assessments illustrates the challenge of defining “disinformation,” an increasingly nebulous concept that invites subjective judgments driven by political allegiances and policy preferences. That problem is especially acute when the government demands that websites take steps to curtail “disinformation,” portraying it as a grave threat to public health, democracy, and national security.


  1. Just wondering: did Joseph Goebbels ever accuse the United States of being Nazis?

  2. When you assert that a fabulist lie (“disinformation”) CAN be defined -- it's a newly forged LIE... duh -- you've already surrendered.

  3. Disinformation? Misinformation? Why not call them both "Lies"? And then prove it!

  4. Reason Magazine is hit'n'miss, and often has me scratching my head. Given their penchant for slobbering over Jared Polis as something of a libertarian, my estimation of their ability to "reason" about truthfulnesss is not very high.
    - Mr. Mayo

  5. Every person sees the world thru their own prism and every statement a person makes is a product of their prejudices and agendas. I try hard to be objective, but that is difficult where we are discussing anything that would involve my personal opinion as opposed to a topic where we are examining hard evidence and absurdly concrete facts and circumstances. Even in the latter arena, inexperience and novelty will cause you to reach conclusions that are contrary to the reality of the situation. I trust nothing I read and only a small part of what I actually observe. I try to lead a simple life where first causes are more apparent.


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