eldavojohn writes: Friday on CNBC, Bill Clinton gave an interview that is causing some unrest on popular news sites today. When asked if there is a role for government in terms of ensuring that the information out there is accurate he replied, "Well, I think it would be a legitimate thing to do. But if you wanted to do it--for example, you wanted to set up some sort of agency that would be a--ring the bell, you know, or--on the heavily visited sites, `This allegation has been made and here are the facts.' If the government were involved, I think you'd have to do two things, and--or if you had a multinational group like the UN. I think number one, you'd have to be totally transparent about where the money came from. And number two, you would have to make it independent. It would have to be like an independent--let's say the US did it, it would have to be an independent federal agency that no president could countermand or anything else because people wouldn't think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out. That is, it would be like, I don't know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors. And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it's a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money. But if it's a government agency in a traditional sense, it would have no credibility whatever, particularly with a lot of the people who are most active on the Internet." His response has elicited responses ranging from a Ministry of Truth a la 1984 to discussion of genuine concern about internet rumors and falsehoods.
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