A free society relies upon the free flow of ideas, philosophies and opinions. Those who increasingly control the transmission of those are abusing their power.
There’s a huge difference between offering an internet platform for a diversity of views which takes care to block violent, racist and obscene behavior, and one that claims to respect all views but manipulates search results for partisan political advantage or falsely censors, ‘jails,’ ‘shadow bans,’ de-monetize, and hides content for the same reasons–essentially modern book-burning.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was intended to shield from liability platforms from the former but not the latter. It is an artificial restraint on liability, but one that has served well to protect the free flow of information and opinions on the internet. But those who claim to be ‘platforms,’ rather than ‘publishers,’ are violating the law with their censorship.
Oh, Twitter, you showed your bias by putting a CCP-connected Chinese “advisor” on your board.
President Trump’s executive order will put on notice the tech giants to shape up, and encourage the victims to seek redress. By making it easier for people to sue violators of freedom of speech, this is promoting liberty, for the Section 230 law constrains legal redress for internet censorship.
By the way, ‘fact checking’ is usually done by highly partisan and opaque groups who ‘pass’ or ignore lies by their allies and ‘fail’ truth from their opponents. Yea, that’s how it works in practice.
Before the days of ‘fact checkers,’ people did this themselves by double checking and questioning sources, reading from multiple sources, asking questions, maintaining a sceptical attitude to astonishing news, and for goodness sakes, using their own common sense and judgement.
You don’t want to live in a world where you are spoon-fed pre-digested ‘facts’ and forbidden to see what someone decided is ‘fake’ based on their biases and hidden agenda.
That’s the reality of life in China and every other dictatorship, and where censorship leads those who surrender their judgement and reasoning abilities to a powerful authority. Thre’s little difference between the Chinese government censoring a story, and an effective monopoly like Google or Facebook from similarly censoring and blocking your efforts to learn or share the truth.
If you need someone to tell you what you should believe, buy a pacifier first.
Art Harman is the President of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, a space advocacy organization supporting the return to the moon by 2024. He was the Legislative Director and foreign policy advisor for Rep. Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, transportation, foreign broadcasting and NASA/space policy.
He has travelled the world and been behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, was arrested by the KGB, and stood in the footprints of those who sacrificed everything for freedom at Tiananmen Square.
Mr. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Constitution’s Origination Clause–and was dubbed “The Bill Killer” by Roll Call for his work. He provided policy advice to the Trump campaign, transition and the White House. He wrote what became the ‘bible’ for post-Brexit trade relations which was introduced in 2016 by Sen. Mike Lee as S. 3123, the United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act, and he advised the Trump administration to return Americans to the Moon by 2024–now official policy. Harman is a frequent guest expert on radio shows on key policy issues, an award-winning filmmaker, and an award-winning fine-arts photographer.