Today the United States is racing toward riots – everywhere! The “social” media continues to claim protection for their political speech censorship under a clearly abused regulation called section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. “Communications Decency,” is a perfect example of misleading language to deceive the public into accepting another flanking attack on the Constitution and our Bill of Rights..
For those readers who may have heard of Section 230 in the recent news but were not really sure what it had to do with censorship, here is a very brief description of this 1996 law.
In the very early stages of social media platforms the idea that the companies that owned the platforms could be held liable for something one of their subscribers posted was argued to be unacceptable. Subscribers claiming 1st Amendment rights argued the platforms should not be allowed to censor their postings. Law enforcement agencies argued the platforms were potentially the venue for everything from sex trafficking to terrorists communications. And in the third corner, lawyers were salivating over the opportunity to reach into the potentially deep pockets of the platform companies. Section 230 was the compromise of considering all of these arguments. The platform owners were given immunity from liable suits for content published by “third parties” while also being charged with regulating the platform sites to avoid publication of what they were allowed to determine was “hate speech,” even though the Constitution protects such speech.
If that seems confusing, you are in some very influential company. President Trump and President elect Joe Biden have both proposed major changes to section 230. Trump has proposed limits on the protections where political speech is involved and Joe Biden has proposed eliminating the protections altogether in favor of broadening the platforms’ authority to regulate their content. But of course no one can explain what that means.
As they exist now, the social media platform companies are completely protected from liable suits resulting from content posted by those of us using the platforms. But these companies have also been protected from law suits resulting from content that they have not allowed to be posted or have removed. This is the where the first amendment clashes with the Communications Decency Act. Speech – in written form – that is absolutely protected by the First Amendment is somehow not protected from censorship by a private company offering a public platform for communication it decides should not be published.
As the United States has become violently divided by opposing political ideologies, the speech by either side can certainly be offensive to the other. Determining how to differentiate between hate speech and the opposition’s political point of view has somehow become the privilege of the media companies; including print, broadcast and the internet platforms. Perhaps such a trust would be acceptable if the media were as balanced as the political party support within the population. But the reality is that the media is dangerously out of balance with the population. The control of the media has become exclusive to those who believe government is the only solution to survival of everyone and everything. Political speech by the opposition can be and is considered hate speech by those in control of information distribution. Censorship of one party has become rampant while the other is given extensive leeway of content. This is the Constitutional crisis we are now facing. The media has become so bias for one ideology that crimes at the highest level are both ignored and called propaganda of the opposition.
This week spokespersons for CNN have repeatedly called for cable and internet providers to delete Newsmax TV and streaming services from their platforms. CNN justifies these calls claiming Newsmax has distributed “lies” about the election fraud claims by President Trump. The report published by Newsmax.com concludes by reporting that during the years and years of the Russian collusion investigation based on a falsified document – proven to be paid for by political opponents of the President – Newsmax officials never called for the censorship of CNN for their spreading of false information.
Now we will need to wait to learn if the largest media – clearly supporting the various Socialists and Communist and other factions of Dystopian Utopia government – will support CNN and the right of the platform owners to “lock out” Newsmax for violating “their” polices covering hate speech they claim could lead to riots by the readers of such Conservative propaganda. These groups – aka Big Tech – have been given the permission to censor whatever and whoever they decide is publishing hate speech by the now infamous Section 230. Of course we have just lived through nearly 4 years of violence and property destruction by the armed forces of such organizations Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Yet these organizations and their offshoots went uncensored by facebook or twitter or other social media platforms. In fact these purveyors of violence were supported in the press, dignified by many in government and supported with money and action by sports and entertainment celebrities excusing their riots as necessary to effect positive changes in the name of social justice.