Opinion: Removing Liability Protections for Social Media Is the Wrong Answer

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

 

As all of we Conservatives are well aware (and Leftists are willfully ignorant) of, last week, the New York Post broke a huge story. The Post published an account of a personal computer allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, now Democrat presidential nominee. The laptop in question had supposedly been dropped off by Hunter Biden to a repair facility where smoking gun emails corroborating corrupt activities on the part of both Bidens — pere et fils — were discovered.

From the article:

Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

Read: Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad

I won’t bore you with all the details of how the computer got there and the extent of the incriminating data on it. That has been well covered by my colleagues.

Read: Huge: Hunter Biden Emails Recovered, Videos and Meetings Revealed

Read: About That Hunter Biden Laptop…

What is really important is the response by the legacy media and their wingmen in the tech-social media community. Except for attempting to divert attention, the media is attempting to fly high cover for the Biden campaign by flat out ignoring the story or, in some cases, making sympathy excuses.

Read: Media Tries to Use Hunter Biden’s Drug Problem to Protect Daddy Joe

What’s worse are the social media platforms. Both Facebook and Twitter have gone full Orwellian censorship.

Read: Here’s How You Know the Hunter Biden Emails Are Real

Surprise surprise….left-leaning media and social media titans are so in the tank for the Democrat nominee, they are flat out promoting a lie…a series of lies on their platforms. They have gone so far as to lock the accounts of a major newspaper (NY Post), the campaign account of a Presidential candidate (Donald Trump), and locked the account of the President’s Press Secretary. They are all-in in their attempts to bury this story.

Fortunately, it ain’t workin’ quite as well as they had hoped. We all know the old saw, It’s not the crime; it’s the coverup. That’s especially true in this case. The Media titans aren’t especially guilty of any crime in this case. But their efforts to cover for the crimes of both Bidens are bringing increased scrutiny their way.

As my good friend and colleague Sarah Lee notes:

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, may have really stepped in it this time by effectively censoring the bombshell New. York Post expose on Hunter Biden’s laptop and the emails therein which suggest the former vice president’s son may have been engaged in a cash-for-influence scheme with Ukraine and China.

While President Trump has declared his desire to repeal Section 230 protections — a part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that essentially removes liability from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for user comments and has been interpreted as allowing the companies to moderate content without consequence — the process of clarifying what Section 230 legally means has come out of the Federal Communications Commission

Read: A Reckoning Is Afoot for Social Media as Section 230 Lights up the Hill

As much as we all like the idea of these unaccountable tyrants being brought up short by Congress, or by regulators now under our control, we should proceed with caution, especially when it comes to making Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other platforms liable for user content on their sites, which seems to be the direction the president and a few of his Republican congressional wingmen appear to be moving.

This would be a huge mistake. One more time…This would be a huge mistake. If we make the platforms responsible for user content, we will have just handed these Cyber CEO’s a more powerful weapon; a cudgel now backed up by an official regulation or statute handed down from Olympus/The Federal government.

We will have given them the best excuse possible to block whatever content they wish…Out of an abundance of caution and in willing compliance with what we believe is the government’s intent, we have blocked this content/account. Of course, once you’ve jumped through whatever hoops to get your content or account restored, no easy task for someone without the public notoriety of the president, its timeliness is long expired. Just what they want. We are 14 days from Election Day. A review process, especially if there is a backlog, can easily take 14 days. Like justice, truth delayed is truth denied.

Instead of abridging the Section 230 protections of the CDA, we should reaffirm them, however with an addition. We should say that because these platforms are indeed platforms, they are not responsible for the content their users post. However, the flip side of that is, because they have no liability for the content, they are forbidden from restricting content based on their assessment of its accuracy. It’s not their job to be fact-checkers. They need to get out of that business. This simple change would accomplish that.

They have another option. If they don’t like the one I proposed, we can break them up, just like we did with The Phone Company. President Trump and his regulators in the FCC need to keep this simple. We don’t need to make the problem worse. Leave the Cyber CEO protections in place, but get them out of the fact-checking business. Done.