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Regulate social media like public utilities

Betsy McCaughey on

Democracy took a big blow when Twitter shut down President Donald Trump's accounts and Google and Amazon ousted Parler, a site favored by millions of conservatives.

Big Tech, which is run by the left, is robbing Americans of their right to communicate freely and exchange ideas.

The nation's founders worried that the government would use its power to censure and crush competing viewpoints. Their remedy was the First Amendment, guaranteeing all of us freedom of speech and association and barring government censorship. They had no way of anticipating that tech companies would grow more powerful than governments and have the monopolistic ability to suppress or cancel political viewpoints.

Yet, Facebook and Twitter now "wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions," explains ACLU lawyer Kate Ruane.

And Google, now the eponym for all internet searching, suppresses content by placing it on a distant page few searchers will ever get to.

At one time, newspapers were the staunchest defenders of the First Amendment and the marketplace of ideas. No more. After Trump's Twitter accounts were canceled, The New York Times' tech newsletter advocated more censorship, not less. It called for censoring "habitual online misleaders," and cracking down on some 25 "influential repeat spreaders of false information," such as radio host and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino.

 

Who decides what's false? For 200 years, Americans believed, in the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market."

Now the public is supposed to capitulate to what the lefties working for Twitter and other Big Tech companies say is true.

Twitter and Facebook posed as "fact-checkers" to limit the spread of accurate New York Post reporting about incriminating content on Hunter Biden's laptop. They wanted to make sure the average American voter didn't see it before voting.

Americans should be outraged over this high-tech tyranny. It's robbing them of access to the market place of ideas and threatening to destroy political freedom. Elections aren't fair if voters are kept from hearing competing views and the facts about the candidates.

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Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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