Letters to the Editor

Letters: Fake news + Facebook + Tax hikes + California House Republicans

Fake news

Re “It’s tempting, but regulation isn’t the best way to rid Facebook, Twitter of fake news” (Editorial, Nov. 2): One thing I have seen constantly in this whole debate over Russian meddling-fake news is a push to blame Facebook, Twitter and other social media for not doing enough to weed out fake news. This editorial only touched on one aspect of the true source of blame: human nature. Critical thinking has been eroding steadily in our country, regardless of political affiliation. I saw it in papers I graded in graduate school. Students lay out their opinion and back it up with sources that are questionable. When asked if they verified these sources, they would say they had seen it on the Facebook news feed, so it must be true. Sounds like the punch line of a joke, right? Should social media platforms be more conscientious about fact checking their news feeds? Sure. But a larger part of this is for critical thinking to once again be emphasized, so we can help ourselves weed out fake anything. If all it took to sway 150 million users, the number of people exposed to Russian ads on Facebook, to vote a certain way was a slick ad on social media, then we deserve everything we get.

Jenna Rawlins, Rancho Cordova

Tax hike

Re “GOP tax plan would slash corporate rate, help wealthiest” (sacbee.com. Nov. 2): Unlike New York members of Congress, California Republicans in the House appear comfortable with eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes. Their claim that the state government raises taxes to create a write-off opportunity is spurious at best. Some of them have suggested that we are asking red states to support our housing costs, a claim that is truly galling. We are a donor state, getting back only less than we pay to federal coffers. A substantial amount of our money goes to support people in poor red states, many of whom favor small government except when it comes to collecting spending our money. To add insult to injury, people in those states appear to despise us. If we lose the state and local tax deduction, we ought to remind the rest of the country what a tea party really looks like.

Judith Hurley, San Jose

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