The Internet Crackdown Begins: U.S. Senator Al Franken Wants Google, Facebook And Twitter To Censor Political Speech

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Are the days of the free and open Internet numbered?  The Internet is certainly used for all sorts of horrible things, but it has also allowed ordinary people to communicate on a mass scale that would have been unimaginable decades ago.  In the old days, if you wanted to reach large audiences of people with your information you always had to go through corporate gatekeepers.  But today, anyone with an Internet connection can literally broadcast whatever they want to say to the whole world.  Personally, my wife and I have always been amazed at how many people we are able to touch all over the planet from our little home in the mountains.  Over the past seven years our websites have been viewed more than 100 million times, and we receive emails about our work from people all over the globe.

 

Unfortunately, major changes may soon be coming to the Internet.  The election of Donald Trump really angered the elite, and they are blaming the power of the Internet for his victory.  They insist that something must be done “for the good of democracy”.

For example, in an opinion piece for the Guardian, U.S. Senator Al Franken proposed that it is time for the U.S. government to step in because Google, Facebook and Twitter have failed to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech

As lawmakers grapple with the revelations regarding Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 election, many are shocked to learn the outsized role that the major tech companies play in so many aspects of our lives. Not only do they guide what we see, read, and buy on a regular basis, but their dominance – specifically in the market of information – now requires that we consider their role in the integrity of our democracy.

Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.

Those are very ominous words.

So precisely what would constitute “propaganda”, “misinformation” or “hate speech”?

When you start regulating speech, you cross a very dangerous line.  There is a reason why our founders guaranteed us freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights, because if we don’t have the freedom to say what we want then what do we really have left?

During the presidential election, there was a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton’s health.  The mainstream media insisted that she was just fine, and they accused those of us in the alternative media that were questioning her health of engaging in “propaganda” and “misinformation”.  Well, it turns out that we now know that Clinton’s health was so bad that Donna Brazile was actually considering replacing her as the nominee, and so it was actually the mainstream media that was putting out “propaganda” and “misinformation”.

Any effort to institute some sort of “truth police” would take us significantly down the road to totalitarianism, but apparently that is what Franken wants.  In fact, he is openly suggesting that it is time for government regulators to step in

Instead of simply trusting the big tech companies to police how their services are being used and abused, Franken suggested that regulators need to step in. Lawmakers should take a closer look at the influence technology plays in the everyday lives of Americans by conducting “vigorous oversight in the form of investigations and hearings to fully understand current practices and the potential for harm,” the Minnesota senator said.

“I’m hopeful that recent events will encourage regulators, as well as a broader contingent of my colleagues — on both sides of the aisle — to give this issue the attention it deserves,” he said.

So once government regulators begin regulating speech on the Internet, where will it end?

Will everything that we do on the Internet have to be evaluated for “truthiness” before it is allowed to be posted?

And who decides what the “truth” actually is?

I am a big believer in the marketplace of ideas.  I have always been convinced that if everyone is allowed to openly share what they believe that the truth will win in the end.

Of course the elite are scared of the free exchange of ideas, because that gives the people way too much control over their own destiny.  Prior to the Internet age, they were always in control of the flow of information in our society, but now things have changed dramatically.

They desperately want to get control of the Internet, because they want things to go back to the way that they used to be.  But we can’t allow that to happen, and so we must greatly resist any attempts to regulate speech on the Internet.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

   
  • William the Resolute

    It’s no surprise that Franken is advocating against the 1st Amendment. Franken is a Communist plant like most of the Minnesota Congressional delegation.

  • DJohn1

    This is not the first time that we had a “FREE” press.
    Newspapers used to be “FREE” because of competition.and ownership different from one another.
    Then we had the Newspaper Act.
    In my town we had a morning and an evening paper with two different editorial staffs and writers. In 1948 the papers went to one production staff and one owner. They still maintained two papers, one Republican and the other Democrat. The owner was a democrat.
    The papers eventually “merged” into a Democrat Newspaper.
    After I retired the production was sent to India and 30 employees were laid off.
    I don’t know who else lost their job.
    My point? Even the internet is likely to go corrupt once government gets its hands on it.
    Right now 6 owners own all the media.
    By the way the Internet got started when newspapers wanted to do away with the help. Publishers spent a lot of money to develop programs that did away with the need for production workers. Automation and computers developed as a direct result of people with a load of money willing to spend it to develop new ways of production of a newspaper. They succeeded.
    Ironically the newspaper business is in decline now they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. One newspaper I know of was making 9 million dollars net a week before they screwed it up.

    • diogenes

      It wasn’t “the government” that shut your paper down, it was a private owner assisted by bank capital. It wasn’t “the government” that put those six private individuals in charge of nearly all American major media — it was private ownership working in collusion with bank capital and their fellow oligarchs. America’s problem isn’t “the government.” America’s problem is the tiny ultra-rich group of Americans — the one in a thousand who own approaching a third of our country, with their holdings concentrated in controlling “shares” (as they like to call them) in all major economic and cultural institutions — including media — and American government’s problem is what these oligarchs corrupt it to do — which we see all around us in the increasing degradation of American society, culture and environment. No one wrecks his own home. The wreckers live elsewhere, in their gated communities and guarded penthouses and private islands. It’s our homes they pillage on, our neighborhoods they wreck, our children they lie to, our country they betray.

  • lte

    What about ending the censorship on this site?

  • Jaime Stinson

    Was it the elites idea to create the internet in the first place?

    • iris

      I think the Department of Defense was responsible for coming up with it, which is exactly why Obama never had the right to allow its oversight to leave U.S. legal policy parameters within the last couple of years. We the people paid for the research and development, etc., with tax dollars.

  • papmoose

    keep the internet free and get rid of franken.

  • davidnrobyn

    “I have always been convinced that if everyone is allowed to openly share what they believe that the truth will win in the end.”

    Michael, these are not the words of one who believes the Bible. People will believe what they believe not because it’s true, but because it’s convenient, or pleasurable, or profitable, or self-aggrandizing. You should know that by now. “The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (sick); who can know it?” If you want lots of people to believe something, pick the lowest common denominator, and the path of least resistance. The truth is hard and unyielding, not soft and compliant. It goes directly against human nature. People tend to reject the truth because it doesn’t conform to their wishes. That’s just the way it is. We Bible believers should have a much more realistic attitude than you expressed in your statement.

  • Bill Kilgore

    Al Franken leading the charge- yet another (((cohencidence)))

  • I_loathe_disqus

    Maybe they SHOULD be regulated : Treated as the monopolies they are, and therefore forbidden to censor speech , as they now constiture the true ‘town square’ . Maybe that would create more problems than it would solve…But Franken’s suggestion is so asinine, that I will only say this :

    Civil wars have started over less.

  • mjazzguitar

    Look how easily they forced people out of their homes at gunpoint, without warrants, after the Boston Marathon bombing.

  • Brad Sherard

    Al Franken is an enemy of western civilization. Free speech IS the west. Without it, all else dies in gagged silence.

  • typical jew.

  • Personan0ngrata

    The Internet Crackdown Begins: U.S. Senator Al Franken Wants Google, Facebook And Twitter To Censor Political Speech

    In a just world the censored political speech would begin and end with Al Franken’s big fat duplicitous mouth.

  • David

    The only free speech liberals support is their own progressive propaganda. They want right-wing or conservative speech banned.

  • The Dude

    “…they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech…”
    In my experience, most propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech is spread by the government. It is the courts and the elected politicians who have failed to prevent the spread. I recently filed a criminal complaint against the government of Canada for this very thing, and (as yet) nobody has stopped them from publishing.
    So…. maybe the politicians and courts need to be better controlled.

  • It’s one way to overcome “network” advantage and open up the market to competition .