This week representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter will join with European leaders and the Prime Minister of New Zealand to to curb free speech across the internet. Americans should be alarmed. Internet freedom is being extinguished fast in Europe. How long will it survive in the U.S.?
Social media titans like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have more influence over our freedom than Supreme Court justices or U.S. presidents. But these internet executives are selling out core American principles for the almighty dollar. They’ll do whatever a host country demands. In , and even capitalist , internet freedom is already dead, without a murmur of protest by Zuckerberg and others.,
Standing alongside French president Emmanuel Macron on Friday, Zuckerberg said, “ .” You read that correctly — Zuckerberg’s endorsement of censorship. A total repudiation of America’s commitment to freedom of expression — the freedom that tops our Bill of Rights.
Of course, Zuckerberg was talking to Europeans. Until these foreign governments finalize their censorship regulations, Facebook is relying on leftist groups like Avaaz. In Spain, France, and Italy, Facebook is already removing accounts expressing populist views on NATO, immigration, Muslims, and other controversies.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is calling for an, like her country’s Christchurch massacre, that could incite copycat violence. All agree that’s reasonable. But don’t be fooled. Europe’s censorship goes farther, squelching competing ideas and limiting the public’s range of political choices. Facebook is glad to oblige.
Here in the U.S., where the Constitution prohibits government from censoring speech, Facebook is doing the dirty work, imposing its own Silicon Valley brand of political correctness. Recently Facebooklike Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos from its platform. Facebook subsequently even by columnist Michelle Malkin for criticizing this censorship.
Is Zuckerberg ignorant of America’s proud historylike the neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois?
The American Civil Liberties Union condemns Facebook’s censorship, cautioning that “ .”
The ACLU warns that conservatives are the targets now, but next time it could be different. James Esseks, ACLU director for the LGBT and HIV project, explains that censorship threatens “ .”
The fact is internet platforms are more than just private companies. They’ve become like public utilities. We are just as dependent on Facebook and Google as on the local electric company. ConEdison can’t deny us service because of our political views. Facebook shouldn’t be allowed to either.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once explained that under our Constitution, the only acceptable remedy for evil speech is “.” Government must not limit who speaks in the public square.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, though private sector companies — are the new public square.
Don’t count on Congress to fix the problem, while Democrats control the House. They’re on the side of the censors. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is railing that social media companies are not doing enough to “” what he calls “ .”
Instead, expect the courts to step in. Last fall, a conservative nonprofit called Freedom Watch sued Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Apple for suppressing “.” It is plausible judges will rule that allowing social media platforms to censor political speech destroys the freedom of the public square.
Congressional Democrats are still whining about Russian meddling on the internet. Truth is, less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of theduring the 2016 contest .
The biggest threat to a legitimate outcome in 2020 is not foreign interference. It’s left-leaning social media giants tilting the election by silencing viewpoints they don’t like. It’s already happening.