Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Republican Administration Seeking Federal Regulation of Speech on Social Media Sites

Via Politico:
"The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Donald Trump pledged to explore 'all regulatory and legislative solutions' on the issue."

'If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,' the White House official said."
Part of the "justification" here is that many conservatives are aggrieved that non-governmental entities don't grant them wanton freedom to spread hateful lies, violent rhetoric, and conspiracy theories.

Social media sites' banning of righwing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, for instance, is an oft-cited example of "bias" against "the conservative viewpoint," which is one of the biggest indictments of 21st-century conservatism in the US.

What's also neat here is that so many formal and informal checks on the Executive Branch are sort of just accepting that Trump can do whatever he wants, especially regarding "culture war issues," by merely issuing an Executive Order.

There's also this relevant tidbit:
"Trump said Monday that he wants the government to work with social media 'to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike,' and the White House has invited internet and technology companies for a discussion on violent online extremism with senior administration officials Friday."
If you actually believe the goal of such "tools" would be to prevent rightwing-inspired domestic terrorism, rather than to persecute the people Trump identifies as his political enemies, I have a large wall to sell you that will be paid for by Mexico.

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