Uncommon Sense

November 27, 2019

A New Version of “If Their Lips are Moving . . .”

Filed under: Politics,Technology — Steve Ruis @ 9:42 am
Tags: , , ,

I read that the only Dutch-speaking fact checker working for Facebook has quit in protest in Facebook’s policy that it will not fact-check political ads.

I applaud the decision as one of personal integrity but it will mean next to nothing to Facebook as they . . . do . . . not . . . care. Actually they care about making money, but fact checking, preserving people’s privacy, etc. not so much.

This serves merely to bring up my question: Are there still people who believe that you can learn anything of value from a political ad, enough so that they are worth watching? These “advertisements” are exactly what they are as used in commerce—misleading statements that are trying to sell you something. The whole modern practice of advertizing grew out of what was called at the time . . . propaganda. (I kid you not. And this was before propaganda was seized upon for political use in a major way.) And, ironically, modern economic theory is based upon “buyer” and “seller” having the same information, which means there should be no need for advertising, certainly not the deceptive kind.

I stopped watching/listening to political ads years ago. There is no upside. Well, there is the upside that politicians will waste their money producing the damned things.

So, I recommend to you that you should also eschew political ads as they are misleading propaganda that have very little up side and a big downside. They are hardly worth fact checking as most would not pass muster.

The old joke was: Question: How can you tell a politician is lying? Answer: His lips are moving. Maybe we need an update on this: the modern version is: Question: How can you tell a politician is lying? Answer: When you hear/see him saying “I am <name> and I approve this message.”




  1. I deleted FB over a year ago.


    Comment by john zande — November 27, 2019 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  2. Good advice. GROG


    Comment by grogalot — November 27, 2019 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

  3. I had a farcebook account some years back. I deleted it after less than three months. My wife has a large extended family so I get all that news from her. I found I had zero use for farcebook. The way I see political ads is to turn the TV off and all the other lights in the room. If they pop up on a web site I’m on, I just go to another web site.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 27, 2019 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

    • See the aged do have more wisdom than the young. (You and me, anyway.)

      On Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 1:57 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2019 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  4. Frankly I think FB should be shut down and Zuckerberg and the entire board of directors of FB should be in jail. They’ve lied to Congress, to the UK Parliament, to their users, it abuses the privacy of their users… The whole thing is one giant surveillance system that tracks, monitors and records virtually everything anyone who ever used it does. Now we have Zuckerberg engaging in ‘secret’ meetings with Trump and “conservative” politicians, its policy where they won’t accept ads that lie, except by politicians, of course. And yet still host racist and homophobic material (and worse) hiding behind a non existent claim of the ‘right of free speech’… And now they’re trying to launch their own currency and we should just trust them because they know what they’re doing and would never, ever do anything bad. FB is taking on more and more of the traits of a full blown dictatorship..

    sorry, got into full rant mode there, but you hit one of my pet peeves with FB.


    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 27, 2019 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

    • Good rant! Couldn’t agree more. More executives going to jail means better CEO behavior in the future. These assholes are all fine and good talking about “moral hazards” when it is applied to the little people but not when it is applied to the “job creators” (gag).

      On Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 4:56 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2019 @ 11:23 am | Reply

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