Not fake news, but also not good news
by Doc Searls Saturday, December 10, 2016

I just got an email from Demand Progress that begins this way:

Friend, It’s unbelievable.
Journalists reached out to nine major tech companies asking if they would help the Trump administration build a national Muslim registry, and only Twitter said no!

Text in a box with a Sign This Petition button says, "UNBELIEVABLE: 8 out of 9 tech companies won’t rule out helping Trump build a national Muslim registry."

The footnote at the end of the passage leads to Of Nine Tech Companies, Only Twitter Says It Would Refuse to Help Build Muslim Registry for Trump, by Sam Biddle, in The Intercept.

In the body of that piece it says seven of the other eight companies either "declined to comment" or had "no answer." Not that they "refused" to do anything. The eighth, Microsoft, said “We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point,” and pointed to company PR boilerplate. That's also not quite "refusing."

So let's be clear. Not answering one journal's question is not the same as "won't rule out helping Trump..."

While it's good for Demand Progress (and the rest of us) to demand that other companies match Twitter's position, it's not good to twist a story like this one into saying what it doesn't. Especially at a time when journalism itself is becoming more and more lost and discredited.