You guys. Listen up. The Atlantic has stumbled upon the best idea ever.
You know Facebook, the social media network rampant with FAKE NEWS and live broadcasting features that allow psychopaths to broadcast their crimes? The Atlantic has figured out how to solve all the problems. Get this, it involves more government.
Behold, from a piece titled “The Case For A Taxpayer-Supported Version of Facebook”, the insane belief that if the government funded something, it would be better:
An idea for those seeking a technical solution to our polarization and isolation: public social media. Private platforms like Facebook are under no obligation to provide us a diverse worldview. If it is more profitable to bring us baby pictures from our friends than political stories, or to isolate us in a bubble of ideologically comfortable information, they will. A public social media platform would have the civic mission of providing us a diverse and global view of the world. Instead of focusing resources on reporting, it would focus on aggregating and curating, pushing unfamiliar perspectives into our feeds and nudging us to diversity away from the ideologically comfortable material we all gravitate towards.
This isn’t a case for taxpayer-funded social media. This is the case for taxpayer-funded censorship.
The underlying premise of the post is that social media locks us into our bubbles and we listen to nothing else… and by “our,” I mean the right. The article is mostly focused on the center-right not taking in anything other than Bretibart and InfoWars. Because facts.
In fact, there are a lot of false premises in the post. It is implied that we on the right are more insulated than the left, and that we view all mainstream media as liberal and therefore don’t read it. This is simply not true at all, and it is an insult to the intelligence of center-right people.
The left is just as insulated as the right, no more, no less, because we live in such a divisive political time. People on Facebook share memes from pages that post the hot takes solely because those memes confirm their own beliefs and ideologies.
The left has just as many of its own Breitbarts and InfoWars and even RedStates as the right does. But, because the right rejects some legacy media as being biased, we are clearly inferior.
So, we have an idea from The Atlantic: a taxpayer-funded Facebook would suppress views from within our own bubble and force us to experience views from outside our bubble. The problem here is the suppression part.
You are using taxpayer money to suppress someone’s views. That would be a violation of the First Amendment, would it not? Sure, you can argue that “But people from the opposite side will see it!” But, they’re not who we on the right are speaking to when we post something about politics, are they?
Let’s face it, your average liberal is rarely going to come to RedState on purpose and read an opposing view. Liberal writers and thinkers? Sure. We want to know what the other side thinks. Plus, I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone to the left-leaning sites to see if my own writing was trashed.
But if you use Facebook with any sense of regularity, you know that it is far easier to de-friend or unfollow someone who posts obnoxiously partisan crap and it ends up in your timeline. So, by suppressing content I or someone else posts from being seen by like-minded people, and on a website paid for by taxpayer money, this does become a discussion of the First Amendment.
This is not only a bad idea, it could very well flirt with unconstitutionality.