MSNBC's Ruhle Says Facebook Should Be 'Shut Down'

In the wake of Facebook apparently discovering and shutting down Russian troll and disinformation pages, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle has turned to an authoritarian solution. 

On the 11th Hour with Brian Williams Wednesday night, Ruhle said, “I'm not going to feel bad for Mark Zuckerberg. This is the world he created, and maybe it's a Frankenstein. Maybe he created a monster,” of the social media site. She continued: “And while it's our gargantuan problem, Facebook has a gargantuan amount of money to address this.” 

 

 

What exactly does she think could be done? She complained that lawmakers are “not forcing Facebook to do anything or regulating them to do anything.” In fact, she claimed, “Facebook could shut it down tomorrow until they have this thing solved.”

Host Brian Williams was puzzled, asking Ruhle to clarify: “What would you shut down, though?” Ruhle reiterated, “Brian, you could shut down Facebook. You could say, we don't understand the monster we’ve created. We're 98 days away from the midterm elections.” Ignoring that Facebook is now one of the largest sources for political news, Ruhle asked rhetorically, “do you really need to look up, you know, what your ex-boyfriend is doing these days and where he is going on summer vacation? Maybe not.” 

The next morning, on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, she doubled down on her position against Facebook. She argued to her guest, CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis that "if I ran Beyer Aspirin, and there were a few bottles of contaminated aspirin somewhere around the country, you know what I would have to do, pull every bottle off the shelves until we figured it out.”

Jarvis, like Williams, was taken aback and had to clarify, “So, you’re saying that Facebook should take all the contents of everybody off the shelf?” Ruhle responded, “So I’m asking, why shouldn’t they?,” implying that Facebook should shut down a marketplace of ideas because of a few bad ones. 

Twice this week, Ruhle has argued that Facebook, on its own initiative or by government regulation, should be shut down “until we figured it out,” drifting close to authoritarian policy on the site. 

The full transcript can be found below: 

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
11:42:41 PM - 11:44:21 PM
7/31/18

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Having said that, isn't this the world that Mark Zuckerberg wanted? And how on Earth to you corral the wild west? 

STEPHANIE RUHLE: I'm not going to feel bad for Mark Zuckerberg. This is the world he created, and maybe it's a Frankenstein. Maybe he created a monster. And yes, it is extremely difficult to corral it, and Facebook is bringing in all sorts of allies and partners and the FBI to address this. But nobody's crying for Facebook here. To the point he just made, these cyber-attackers never went anywhere. They were there before the 2016 election. They remain there today. And while it's our gargantuan  problem, Facebook has a gargantuan amount of money to address this. And with Facebook not being regulated, you can say all day long if people on the hill are united in their condemnation of Facebook, but they're not forcing Facebook to do anything or regulating them to do anything. Facebook could shut it down tomorrow until they have this thing solved. 

WILLIAMS: What would you shut down, though? I mean, there are pages going up tonight that look innocuous and have just a slight tilt to them that only a trained eye like Robert would see as being Russian in their derivation.  

RUHLE: Brian, you could shut down Facebook You could say, we don't understand the monster we’ve created. We're 98 days away from the midterm elections. And to Cheryl Sandberg's point, they don't even know where this is coming from. Knowing the threat it is to our American democracy, do you really need to look up, you know, what your ex-boyfriend is doing these days and where he is going on summer vacation? Maybe not. Not until we address what the exact problem is here. It's not like Facebook doesn't have the money to do it. 

MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle
9:07:06 AM - 9:07:59 AM
8/1/18

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Jeff, I got to go to you first, if I ran Beyer Aspirin, and there were a few bottles of contaminated aspirin somewhere around the country, you know what I would have to do, pull every bottle off the shelves until we figured it out. 

JEFF JARVIS: So you’re saying that Facebook should take all the contents of everybody off the shelf? I don’t think so. 

RUHLE: So I’m asking  why shouldn’t they? 

JARVIS: Because most of what happens on Facebook is good. It’s cats, it’s OK.

RUHLE: Most of the aspirin that are out there in bottles across grocery stores are OK. 

JARVIS: But look for your feed and tell me where you find the Nazis. The thing is here, Stephanie, we have to switch around. Facebook did finally get its act together. Facebook is our best ally in this fight. We have the head of DHS saying, whistling past the Kremlin saying, “Oh, I don't see any Russian stuff going on.” Facebook is our best defense, that's where we are. So, they are -- 

RUHLE: They took ad dollars from these outside influencers. 

JARVIS: They take ad dollars from a lot of people. And so do media companies and so do all of us. 

NB Daily 2018 Congressional Censorship Russia MSNBC Live The 11th Hour with Brian Williams Video Stephanie Ruhle Brian Williams


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