The media loves the First Amendment so much that it’s obsessed with destroying it.
This week’s shiny object attack on freedom of speech is an op-ed by Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes, best known as the guy who turned the New Republic magazine into an illiterate social justice blog, calling for breaking up Facebook and creating a government agency that will determine what you can say.
We need a new agency, empowered by Congress to regulate tech companies… the agency should create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media. This idea may seem un-American — we would never stand for a government agency censoring speech. But we already have limits on yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, child pornography, speech intended to provoke violence and false statements to manipulate stock prices. We will have to create similar standards that tech companies can use. These standards should of course be subject to the review of the courts, just as any other limits on speech are. But there is no constitutional right to harass others or live-stream violence.
“Shouting fire in crowded theaters” hasn’t been a relevant legal standard before Chris Hughes was hatched in some Silicon Valley lab.
Hughes is stupidly or cynically conflating illegal actions with speech. Since we already criminalize sending death threats and child porn, why not go the next step and ban conservatives from social media?
This isn’t an aberration.
Hughes is a billionaire because he happened to know Mark Zuckerberg at the right time, before turning on him, and isn’t very bright. But this is very much the agenda that the media has been aggressively pushing since Trump won.
And, if a Democrat gets into office, they will try to impose it.
For now, they’ve hacked the First Amendment by pushing social media companies to impose their standards and censor conservatives while privileging media content, like the ignorant ravings of the defiled New Republic.
But if they can get a government agency to actually regulate speech online, they will make it happen. Europe is their model. The death of the First Amendment is their objective.