Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Fake News; Real Assault

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Alex Jones, censorship, free speech, First Amendment, social media

I don’t defend the way Twitter, Facebook, and others target users for expressing views that these firms dislike. I do defend the individual rights of all persons, including owners of companies. Our freedom to act includes the freedom to act in ways others consider to be wrong — if we do so while respecting the (actual) rights of others.

But something is extra-disturbing about the way Facebook, Google, Apple, Spotify, etc. (though not Twitter) ejected Alex Jones from their platforms. The firms apparently obeyed journalists and politicians demanding InfoWar’s ouster for purveying “hate speech.”

And now: “These companies must do more than take down one website,” intones incumbent U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.*

Such statements aren’t laws. But every company must worry about the arbitrary government power that incumbents like Murphy can deploy. And fellow U.S. Senator Mark Warner’s leaked paper on the dangers of technology-abetted fake news tells us we’re in for a more direct assault on free speech.

“The size and reach of these platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives . . . and our politics,” says the plan. The goal is to “ensure that this ecosystem no longer exists as the ‘Wild West’,” i.e., unfettered by government.

So . . . the idea is to rescind that wild First Amendment? 

I would sooner press for a new law penalizing politicians who threaten the liberty of firms on the basis of catering to the “wrong” customers.

But there is no crying need for this. Let’s stick with “Congress shall make no law . . .”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

 


* These companies did not take down a website, by the way. Alex Jones’s InfoWars.com appears to be going gangbusters. Those companies ousted InfoWars from their Web services. This is a distinction with a difference.

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By: Redactor

2 Comments

  1. John F Brennan says:

    The only thing which censorship and attempted muzzling of free speech by any private platform in a free and unrestricted market will do is to encourage competition by new and other platforms with differing or less editorial bias. That is the Wild West at its best and that it is uncontrolled by the government is correct and protected.
    The First Amendment must, and hopefully will be honored Those false leaders who would regulate have their own agenda and spin, as usual, couched as the “the common good”. Beware!.
    No rational person looks to InfoWars (or the WaPo, the NYT or most of the alleged news “outlets”) for unbiased journalistic reporting. At least InfoWars is honest in its self-description and stated purpose.
    Journalism, as it was once taught and practiced has died, openly betraying its principles and claiming the current situation, i,e, Trump, has necessitated nearly all “reporting” must be editorialized to be in opposition to him.
    They could not be more wrong, This is another especially in the age of electronic recordation and publishing of nearly every event or utterance and with the advancing technology. Now stilted reporting cannot be long hidden, especially with free market competing outlets reporting it, even if it is with their own editorializing.
    What is being witnessed is the death of an oligopoly.
    As for Washington, the faction which advocates for an ever-growing federal government, and always seeks to expand its power and influence, must be expected to seek control and prop up the platforms it prefers by the proposed regulation and any other means possible
    Some of the press has for centuries been a powerful tool and close ally to those in our government whose chosen path is away from the principles of liberty enshrined in the original constitutionally limited republic and toward a “true democracy”, their term for tyranny of the majority (to be “led” by their elitist selves).
    Both the press and the elitists are powerful and therefore neither will go down easily or quietly, They are zealots, all the more dangerous because of they actually believe they serve the common good. They cannot countenance, regardless of the lessons of history, that “by any means necessary” brings invariably hideous and tragic results…..

  2. Not So Free says:

    As much as I find what fakebook, et.al. did deplorable, the absolute last thing we need is government getting involved any more than they already are.
    .
    The alternatives are already coming online.

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