Social media is becoming decidedly unsociable. There is a lot of misinformation on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But that is only one issue. Another social media issue is users scumming, snubbing, bullying or shunning one another. It is quite another when the platforms censor and control the users. It is a third when, after luring in users the platforms with ways for people to make money from their own content, to then demonetize the users.
All of these things are ethically challenged. The level of misinformation, censorship and demonetization are real concerns for the average American. The concern is most especially felt by those whose views are targeted by the big tech elites. The truth is probably something a little different.
Never fear Nancy Pelosi’s is here. The Speaker has a plan. Her plan would make a bad situation worse. At Reason.com Nick Gillespie explains in an op-ed. Pelosi’s plan would turn the internet from a creative realm with both good and bad into yet another aspect of American life controlled remotely for the concentration of power in the District of Columbia.
The Speaker takes control…
Here’s the Gillespie quote: “… The internet is being slow-choked… by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who want to have a bigger role in what we’re allowed to do and say online. To be sure, lawmakers are being greatly aided in their efforts by major tech players such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook, who are explicitly calling for regulation to maintain current market positions in a sector defined by creative destruction…
In an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) pronounced that in the tech sector, the “era of self-regulation” is over when it comes to privacy and speech rules… she zeroes in especially on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as the thing that needs to be torched.
… Section 230 comprises “the twenty-six words that created the internet.” Author Jeff Kosseff explains that by immunizing websites, platforms, and service providers from “lawsuits over materials that their users upload,” Section 230 “fundamentally changed American life.” Indeed, the internet as we know it is based on both “content created not only by large companies, but by users,” writes Kosseff, who observes that of the top 10 most-trafficked websites in the United States in 2018, only Netflix “mostly provides its own content.” All the rest—Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, et al.—either rely heavily on user-generated content (including potentially actionable reviews and comments about everything under the sun) or exist to guide users to such content (Google, Yahoo).
Pelosi is done with all that, telling Swisher that the freedom of expression empowered by Section 230 is “a gift” and a “privilege” that can be rescinded if major tech companies don’t move in the direction she and other politicians want.”
Wrap it up…
Power grabs by federal politicians take many forms. They come from both sides of the aisle. Now Pelosi et al are claiming free speech as a privilege the government has authority to regulate, legislate tax and control. That’s unconstitutional. That’s un-American. It is time we take back our government.
We have the power to limit the scope and jurisdiction of the federal government. Some regulation may be desirable; however, D.C. seems to think that they have authority over everything in our lives — from healthcare to car emissions to the internet. Enough… Enough… ENOUGH! It is time for back to basics.