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What We Can Do Now That the Government Can Pressure Social Media to Display 'Their Truth'

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File

This isn't a great day for free speech as a highly contentious issue was given the ol' SCOTUS punt. 

As Streiff reported earlier, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the plaintiffs who challenged the government's indirect regulation of speech through social media companies by pressuring them to censor what it considers "misinformation" lacked standing to do so. The net effect of this is that, at least for now, the government can keep influencing social media companies to censor information displayed on their platforms. To be clear, this doesn't allow the government to force social media companies to only allow discussion around narratives on the government's terms, but it does allow the government to continue to "urge" these companies to do some narrative control on its behalf. 

What that urging looks like isn't fully realized, but the government isn't above bringing social media CEOs in front of them for highly publicized hearings and voicing their displeasure. 

And all this just in time for the election, too. 

(READ: Supreme Court Deals First Amendment Blow in Murthy v. Missouri)

That fact can't be overstated. Biden's administration and its alphabet agencies can continue to pressure social media giants, platforms used by millions, and search engines to censor inconvenient narratives and push Democrat-friendly news straight through the 2024 election. That means that if another incident like the Hunter Biden laptop arises, the Biden admin can simply wave its hands at capitulating platforms and say "misinformation," claim it comes from an opposing foreign entity or some other nonsense, and that social media platform can and probably will begin deleting or blacklisting posts about it. 

To be very clear, the platform in question can refuse to capitulate, and I can assure you that some absolutely will. 

However, the usual suspects will likely continue to obey Big Brother government thanks to a mix of ideological kinship and fear of reprisal in some capacity. 

But there's a silver lining to every cloud, and that comes in the form of us still being able to do something about this. As I mentioned earlier, there will be websites that are more than happy to tell the government to kick rocks. Platforms like X and Rumble are two platforms that have demonstrated their willingness to allow free speech in the face of government agencies openly trying to pressure them. They stand in stark contrast to platforms like Facebook and YouTube (Google) and Twitch (Amazon), which are more than happy to ask "How high?" when the government comes around and says "Jump." 

Empowering platforms like X and Rumble, which will closely guard your free speech values, will not only send a clear message; it will also create havens where the truth can still get out unimpeded by D.C. entities. 

I have a feeling as censorship-happy platforms become more entombed by the government's narratives, an explosion of activity will be seen on platforms that lack that level of censorship. The government will create its own Streisand Effect and harm its own attempts at narrative control through its penchant for pressuring censorship when inconvenient stories break. 

But the other is to realize this battle isn't over yet. Voting accordingly is going to help a ton, as the right people in office can begin crafting laws that put up roadblocks against government censorship. This ruling by the SCOTUS should be the spurring of a massive push toward the idea that we need to have people in office who are willing to limit the scope and abilities of government. 

This fight isn't over. This was effectively kicked back to lower courts to further deliberate when/if those with proper standing mount further challenges. So, while this was a loss, it wasn't a loss of ground. The push still needs to continue. 

Ultimately, the fight for the internet is a fight for the truth and the state of the future. For that, we should fight like hell. Vote accordingly and support platforms that treat you like an adult. 

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