NewsGuard co-founder advocates banning anonymous social media posts, enabling lawsuits against tech firms for “false” content
07/05/2024 // News Editors // Views

NewsGuard co-founder and co-CEO Steve Brill has published a book, “The Death of Truth” – but he’s not taking any responsibility. On the contrary.

(Article by Didi Rankovic republished from

Namely, Brill’s “apolitical (misinformation) rating system for news sites” as NewsGuard is promoted to customers, is often blasted – and currently investigated by Congress for possible First Amendment violations – as yet another tool to suppress online speech.

But corporate media sing his praises, presenting him as a “media maven.”

A censorship maven more like it, critics would say. And while getting his book promoted, Brill managed to add his name to the steadily growing list of governments, NGOs, and associated figures who are attacking online anonymity.

Along with end-to-end encryption, the ability to interact anonymously is a cornerstone of the internet, but these two key elements that ensure not only privacy but also the security of individuals, companies, etc., have become the two main targets for authoritarian (labeled as such or acting in that spirit) governments.

Brill’s contribution: a set of practical solutions that includes “banning anonymous posting online and funding media literacy programs.”

The problem that this is supposed to fix is, essentially, that social media platforms are not yet fully under control, and therefore neither are their users (and voters).

If anonymity were to be taken out of the equation, Brill is reported as saying – then it would be “easier to sue tech companies for the false content posted on their platforms,” as well as “waging legal campaigns against social media companies for violating their own terms of service.”

There’s another snippet of a veiled threat aimed at tech companies, in terms of what might happen to them if they “misbehave,” (such as letting up on the already extraordinary levels of censorship), especially during a campaign season.

Reporting about Brill’s Washington DC garden party to promote his book and the efforts to “clean up the internet and bring truth back to life” – the Washington Post repeatedly mentions “bad information” as that ominous source of “divisions” and “polarization.”

We’ve been hearing about “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and even “malinformation” that must be fought tooth and nail. But what is “bad information” – could it simply be information that one doesn’t like?

Whatever it is, Brill and his ilk seem willing to dismantle the internet itself, in order to get rid of it.

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