The Truth Machine


The Truth Machine

Recently a Facebook founder decried how ugly Facebook has become:

“No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem - this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

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The problem is social media promotes terrible decorum. Most people are too afraid to demand gracious and truthful dialogue, as is normal during business meetings.

How do we fix decorum?  Use standard business meeting rules!  Especially when discussing rules we all share.

Truth Machine Rules

To keep discussions on topic and productive, the moderator should use the following rules:

Only 3 types of posts are allowed in response to any lead post:

  • You can disagree, but only with facts of support, or it may be summarily removed.
  • You can agree
  • You can request more supporting data for a lead post claim.

Participants will be required to answer questions about any “disagreement” or “off topic” claims with frank and gracious dialogue. Often this is needed just for clarity, not for suspicion of false claims or intentions. Evasive replies will be considered evasion of honesty.

Opinion, Beliefs and Feelings Are Contraband

Opinion and contradiction are hereby contraband, subject to summary removal.

  • Rule of Apology –
    If false claims, opinion, or contradiction are exposed, the contributor will be required to apologize before further posting is allowed. This keeps people humble, and usually the disruptor quits at this point.
  • Suggest a New Thread –
    When someone is passionate about what is considered an off-topic post, I sometimes offer them to start a new thread. “If it’s so important, start a new thread.” They rarely do, which exposes the tactics was meant for disruption, not clarity.
  • Source of Rules –
    The rules above were derived from Ben Franklin’s Junto Club rule:

“Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute or desire of victory; and to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.”

Truth Machine Results

When I implemented these rules on my Facebook wall, all the liberals left within 3 weeks.  This was after I spent 2 years of reaching out to them with grace and patience, attracting dozens of liberal participants who complimented me on my grace and exceptionally good moderation.

Conversely, after adoption, readership from conservatives tripled to 2000 readers, yet we still manage to have disagreement and productive discussion.   Most conservatives like decorum and fact-focused arguments.   Very few conservatives dislike the rules.

The rules promote educational, fact filled discussion, eliminate disruptive liberal discussion tactics, and expose liberals are ONLY on social media to disrupt and divert truthful, productive dialogue.

John D. Lofgren @ Junto Club:
Author of “Atlas Shouts”  #13 rated Money book on Amazon:
Atlas Shouts, The Movie: