Accuracy in Media

In a new piece, Vice seems to want to hold Twitter account LibsofTikTok, an account that shares terrible takes shared by liberals on TikTok, to an impossible standard.

To reduce its logic to the minimum, to an ad hitlerium, it’s as if because Hitler said be nice to doggies, no one else can ever say be nice to doggies, because that supports something that Hitler said. Hitler is bad, so supporting something Hitler said cannot be done.

Yes, we know, that’s extreme and in bad taste and yet that is what Vice is demanding of LibsofTikTok.

The actual argument used is that the Kremlin propaganda outlets are talking about pedophilia as a disease, a problem, in western and non-Russian societies. There’s a – probably – fake leaflet doing the rounds which makes claims about pedophilia in the UK for example. The Kremlin is using this as propaganda, this is true – that they are talking about it, that is. LibsofTikTok has referred to a video in which a Pennsylvania-based therapist seems to advocate for the acceptance of pedophilia. The argument then made is that because – note, because – the Kremlin is not only pursuing the same subject but has also picked up on this reference and is repeating it, then that reference should not be made.

It is also said that the video of the therapist has been deceptively edited but that’s not our point here at all. Whether or not pedophilia is being pushed as something which should gain social acceptance or not isn’t our point either.

The point is this insistence by Vice that saying anything that aligns with what bad people – here, the Kremlin – is saying should not be said. For that is the underlying logic of what they’re saying.

“Though Raichik never mentioned the leaflets, within days of the video being posted, major Russian disinformation networks on Telegram, some with hundreds of thousands of followers, began sharing it alongside the images of the fake leaflet. These networks suggested that the existence of the video proves the claims made in the pamphlet. “

LibsofTikTok didn’t mention the leaflet, but the video referred to is then picked up by the Kremlin. So, LibsofTikTok should not make reference to the video because, well, because?

Vice ranks about 100 on the list of U.S. news and media outlets and gains some 28 million visits a month from that position. The organization is much larger than those numbers suggest, however. The magazine is said to have a distribution of 900,000 copies, the TV channel is available in 60 million American homes on cable. This is a significant media outlet.

Yet look at the logic they’re using. LibsofTikTok is bad to talk about pedophilia because the Kremlin is. This is logically the same as insisting that we should not talk about being nice to doggies because Hitler also said that. No, being nice to dogs is an argument independent of who makes it, talking about pedophilia is equally independent of whatever the Kremlin is saying.

After all, how can we actually have a conversation, let alone a political or social one, without examining the actual arguments being put forward?




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